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Posts by Linda Bloom

Mandela is greeted at the 8th assembly of the World Council of Churches in Harare, Zimbabwe, in December 1998. “Journey to Jubilee”: South African Choir Photo by Chris Black/WCC.

Methodists, religious leaders pay tribute to Mandela

As the world learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela, United Methodists and other faith leaders offered tributes to the revered South African leader. The statesman, who died Dec. 5 at... Read More

Volunteers help the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and ACT Alliance repack goods intended for relief in the typhoon-affected areas in Central Visayas.

Ecumenical ties in Philippines assist aid efforts

The 50th anniversary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines originally was planned as a jubilee celebration. But the council, whose members include the United Methodist Church there,... Read More

Tacloban city residents queue for relief goods outside the rubble of Daniel Romualdez Tacloban airport. Photo by Julliane Love De Jesus.

In U.S., Filipinos ready to aid typhoon survivors

For Aquilino (Pong) Javier Jr, the stark television images of people who had lost family and homes to Typhoon Haiyan , including “the parent who was cradling a dead child in... Read More

U.S. Marines arrive in the Philippines as part of promised U.S. military assistance for relief efforts after Super Typhoon Haiyan. Nongovernmental relief agencies also are mobilizing to respond to the disaster. A web-only photo courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

UMCOR relief money on way to Philippines

United Methodists are among those starting to provide emergency supplies while assessing damages from Typhoon Haiyan, a powerful Nov. 8 storm, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, that made direct... Read More

World Council of Churches 10th Assembly at Busan, Republic of Korea. Photo by Peter Williams/WCC.

Korean pastor reflects on first assembly experience

During the second week of the Oct. 30-Nov. 8 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, United Methodist News Service asked the Rev. Thomas Kim, a Korean-American United Methodist pastor... Read More

The Rev. William Shillady, executive director, United Methodist City Society, shares the 175th anniversary celebration program book with Hillary Rodham Clinton before her keynote address. Photo by domenica comfort, courtesy of United Methodist City Society.

Clinton salutes long-running mission work in New York (don’t use)

A daring group of 19th century Methodist women who ventured into the most notorious slum in New York to change the lives of children set an example that all United... Read More

Graphic courtesy of Bread for the World.

With needs on rise, religious leaders warn against food stamp cuts

If Congress drastically cuts the federal food stamp program, religious institutions will not be able to fill the gap for hungry families. That was the message delivered by religious leaders... Read More

Protesters opposed to WCC gather in Busan, South Korea, before the ecumenical organization’s assembly there. UMNS Photo by Gladys Mangiduyos.

WCC 10th Assembly opens in Busan, Korea

United Methodists will be among the 5,000 people joining in the Oct. 30 opening prayer service of the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea, which continues through Nov. 8. Read More

Don Howald (left) gives instructions to a United Methodist volunteer team from the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference as the group prepares to work on a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, N.Y., a part of Long Island. The home is elevated on concrete pilings, raising it above neighboring homes. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — Mission teams needed

Since many volunteer in mission teams plan six months in advance, the advertisement and recruitment for spring and summer of 2014 is crucial right now, says UMCOR’s disaster relief coordinator... Read More

Linda Ketterer (left) and Jarrett Collier cut insulation for a home they are repairing in Long Beach, N.Y., that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Installing the insulation (background) is Linda Smith. They are part of a United Methodist volunteer team from the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — ‘Love Methodist volunteers’

’Volunteers are the backbone of United Methodist disaster response and nobody knows that better than the people who set up the work opportunities. “I love my Methodist volunteers,” declared Gillian... Read More

Bobbie Ridgely (left) and Katie Quigley discuss the progress of repairs at a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J. They work for A Future With Hope, a long-term recovery program of the Greater New Jersey Conference of The United Methodist Church. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery—Management the key

A rebuild averages four to five months but could take up to a year, but The United Methodist Church has become well known for disaster case management. “UMCOR is the... Read More

Peggy Racine (left) gets a hug from Nancy Werner at Werner’s home, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Seaford, N.Y. United Methodist volunteers helped repair the home. Racine is the Long Island Sandy site coordinator for The United Methodist Church. At right is Werner’s son, Harry Werner Jr. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery—Volunteers a ‘lifeline’

“He was standing there, but what I saw was God standing there in the midst of the destruction,” said Nancy Werner of the Rev. Jeffry Wells, pastor of Community United... Read More

The Rev. Wesley Daniels checks on the work of a United Methodist volunteer team at a home in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn in New York that was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. Daniels manages the New York Conference disaster response office hosted by St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Brooklyn. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery—Different needs everywhere

From Santiago, Cuba to Criswell, Md., to Far Rockaway, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and the Jersey shore, the recovery efforts began. The survivors shared common threads of need:... Read More

The Judicial Council for the 2012-16 Quadrennium pose for a group photo during the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Seated, from left: Belton Joyner, J. Kabamba Kiboko, N. Oswald Tweh Sr., and Kathi Austin Mahle. Standing from left: Ruben T. Reyes, Dennis Blackwell, Beth Capen, William B. Lawrence and Angela Brown. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry

Top court says Texas bishop must rule on process question for lesbian clergy candidate

The denomination’s top court has decided that a United Methodist bishop in southwest Texas must rule within 60 days “on the merits” of a process-related question regarding the elimination of... Read More

Lisa Mentges (center) works with a United Methodist volunteer team to repair her home in Long Beach, N.Y., after it was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. The volunteers are from the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Year 1: Sandy recovery—The work of many hands

For months after a storm named Sandy swept through Atlantic City, N.J., Rick Hall got wet if he slept in his bedroom on rainy nights. Read More

Liturgical dancers Heather White Godfrey (front) and Melvin Miller open the 50th anniversary celebration of the Church Center for the United Nations in New York. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

Speaking of peace at Church Center for UN 50th

At a celebration of a United Methodist-owned building “dedicated to the things that make for peace,” it was fitting that the honored guests included a Nobel Peace Prize winner, an... Read More

“We ask that congressional leadership of both parties stand strong in opposing efforts to allow the will of the few to threaten the common good, ” a group of faith leaders urged Congress in a letter. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.

Faith leaders fear for poor in U.S. shutdown

A group of U.S. faith leaders warned today that the impending shutdown of the U.S. government has “enormous implications,” both at home and abroad, for the poor and... Read More

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño addresses the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church during its July 2012 meeting in San Diego. A UMNS file photo courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Conference Communications Team.

Top court to look at rulings on gay-related statements

Rulings on recent actions by United Methodist annual (regional) conferences regarding church law on homosexuality issues will be considered by the denomination’s top court this fall. Read More

Linda Bloom

Bloombytes: Seeing Mandela in New York

Perhaps no group was more excited when Nelson Mandela visited New York in 1990 than the religious folk and civil rights leaders who greeted him at Riverside Church on June 21 to... Read More

(From left) the Revs. Marti Scott, Chuck Dauhm, Michael Shanahan and C.J. Hawking line up (risking arrest) in support of Hyatt workers in Chicago. A web-only photo by Luis Juarez

United Methodists take heart in labor agreement

They prayed at the picket line, listened to workers’ stories, sent delegations to meet with management and supported a boycott. So when UNITE HERE, the union of hospitality workers in... Read More

Just a few hundred yards separates zones of total devastation, damaged roofs and undamaged homes following a massive tornado in Moore, Okla. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

UMCOR exec going to Oklahoma

Greg Forrester, top executive for domestic disaster response for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, will arrive in Oklahoma Sunday to meet with church officials there on tornado recovery efforts. ... Read More

After two weeks of instant noodles, villagers affected by the April 20 earthquake in China finally have rice. Amity is helping distribute rice and other emergency supplies to households. UMNS Photo courtesy of the Amity Foundation

Earthquake relief continues in China

The Amity Foundation, a partner of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is expanding its relief efforts to earthquake survivors in China’s Sichuan Province. Read More

Bishop John Schol joins Bishop Hope Morgan Ward at the Board of Global Ministries meeting. Schol updated board directors on the Greater New Jersey Conference’s Hurricane Sandy recovery plans. UMNS Photos by Cassandra Zampini.

United Methodists invest in Sandy recovery

On April 12, UMCOR directors approved $3 million grants to both the New York and Greater New Jersey conferences, to be delivered in six-month installments. The Peninsula-Delaware Conference received $500,000 for its Sandy... Read More

The Rev. Emilio Castro. Photo by World Council of Churches.

Methodist, WCC leader Castro dies at 85

The Rev. Emilio Castro is being remembered by United Methodists as a church leader who combined faith with a commitment to justice during turbulent political times in Latin America and... Read More

The Rev. Nabil Haddad talks about Christians in the Middle East with members of the Religion Communicators Council and Associated Church Press. Photo by George Conklin, courtesy of Religion Communicators Council.

Mideast Christians endangered, priest warns

Religious freedom has become “a luxury” in the Middle East and western Christians need to be concerned about what is happening to Christians living in the region. Read More

A camera operator lines up shots of lessons and carols during a pre-broadcast rehearsal for the CBS Christmas Eve special at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, United Methodist, in New York. A UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin.

For CBS producer, sharing beliefs is key

When John P. “Jack” Blessington worked with a United Methodist congregation in Manhattan on a televised Christmas Eve service, he looked beyond the seasonal trappings to see how the church... Read More

Linda Bloom

Bloombytes: Women must tell their stories

Being part of a connection is what United Methodists are all about, reflects Linda Bloom, as she notes all the ways in which women have connected in the last two... Read More

Flanked by a police escort, women prepare to begin a march in New York marking International Women’s Day on March 8. United Methodist Women was among the march’s organizers. UMNS Photo by Linda Bloom.

United Methodist Women rally in New York, Nashville

A wet snowfall failed to dampen the spirits of United Methodists and other women who marched in midtown Manhattan March 8 for International Women’s Day. United Methodist Women was among... Read More

International Women's Day 2013

UMW-organized march, rallies to mark International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day, United Methodist Women is among five organizations coordinating a March 8 rally and march near the United Nations. Despite a possible blast of wintry weather,... Read More

A March 5 panel organized by United Methodist Women on “Violence, Economics and War,” a side event to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, drew a large crowd at the Church Center for the United Nations. UMNS Photo by Linda Bloom.

Conflicts raise concerns for women around globe

What happened in the Republic of Georgia is one example of how “violence, economics and war” can impact women, a topic explored in a March 5 panel discussion at the Church... Read More

Economics, war tied to violence against women

How does the intersection of economics, war and violence impact women and girls? A discussion about challenges presented by that intersection and possible innovative solutions is the focus of a... Read More

Commission on the Status and Role of Women 57 - Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls

U.N. begins session on violence against women

An international delegation sponsored by United Methodist Women is joining some 6,000 representatives of civil society to participate in the March 4-15 meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women... Read More

Eli Gashi of Kosovo, left, and Beatrice Fofanah of Sierra Leone were among the grassroots women sharing their experiences at the 56th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting in 2012. A UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin.

UMW to participate in U.N. women’s events

A delegation sponsored by United Methodist Women will spend the next week focusing on education and advocacy around the theme of the Commission on the Status of Women's 57th session —... Read More

Norma Dollaga, left, and the Rev. Connie Semy Mella of the Philippines were among the 23 participants in the Feb. 12-15 gathering at the Church Center for the United Nations. UMNS Photo by Linda Bloom.

Expanding the local-global connection to address social justice issues in the public square

As The United Methodist Church becomes increasingly international, there is a need to make sure every part of that global connection matters. Read More

Bethel United Methodist Church site coordinator and mission volunteers from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., work inside a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island, N.Y. Recovery work being done by Volunteers in Mission through the New York Annual Conference, United Methodist Church. AUMNS photo by Arthur McClanahan

More teams needed for Sandy recovery in Northeast U.S.

United Methodist coordinators in New Jersey, New York and Maryland are beginning to schedule rebuilding teams for those whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October. Read More

Workers pile up debris from Hurricane Sandy in the midst of a nor’easter snowstorm in the Staten Island borough of New York. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Sandy giving now at $6.1 million; teams needed

United Methodists are continuing to contribute both money and volunteer time to the denomination’s relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read More

The East Belfast (UM) Mission is housed in the Skainos Center, shown here behind its vertical garden. A web-only photo courtesy of the Skainos Project.

Methodists join others in call to end violence in East Belfast

Last November, Irish Methodists opened an impressive community center in the neighborhood where they have worked for years through the East Belfast Mission to bridge the divide between Catholics and... Read More

Sandy’s toll: Worse than you think

If you live in the New York-New Jersey region, it’s easy to see that more than two months later, the recovery from Hurricane Sandy has barely begun. Read More

Henry Enders (right) talks with Gus Segredo (left) and the Rev. David Henry about the recovery and restoration progress in Enders’ home. Photos by the Rev. Arthur McClanahan of the Iowa United Methodist Annual Conference.

Long Islanders get Sandy relief

This year, the flooding generated by Hurricane Sandy rose four to five feet “all over the place” on the property of the 87-year-old member of Freeport United Methodist Church. Read More

Scott Mikkelson(left) and the Rev. Matt Schaeffer (center), who coordinate the church’s Sandy relief work on Staten Island, talk with John Stonick, whose home was one of many damaged by the storm. Photos by Arthur McClanahan, Iowa United Methodist Conference.

United Methodists join in Staten Island relief

When John Stonick wants to show how high the floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy were as they swept down the street of his New Dorp Beach neighborhood on Staten Island, he... Read More

The Rev. Larry Pickens

Chicago pastor to run for Jackson’s congressional seat

A United Methodist pastor in Chicago said he has decided to run in the special election to fill Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat in Congress. The Rev. Larry Pickens,... Read More

Goma once more needs reason to hope

In September, I watched online as a United Methodist bishop from the Democratic Republic of Congo pleaded with a sympathetic U.S. congressional subcommittee to help end the rapes and... Read More

Bishop lifts suspension of Utah pastor

United Methodist minister will not return to Tongan congregation after delays in reporting instances of child sexual abuse at the church Read More

Members stands before Drakestown (N.J.) United Methodist Church for its 200th anniversary. The church and its new electric sign provided a beacon for storm-tossed New Jersey residents. Photo courtesy of Drakestown United Methodist Church.

N.J. church sign points way to storm relief

For nearly two weeks, Drakestown congregation has provided food, shelter and Internet access to many without power in its community. Read More

N.J. now open to early response teams

United Methodists in New Jersey are receiving their first out-of-state “early response teams” to assist in the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Read More

N.Y. United Methodists prepare to send out volunteers on Staten Island and Long Island

New York United Methodists are preparing to dispatch volunteers on Staten Island and Long Island to assist survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Read More

World Methodist Council offers prayers for those in Sandy’s wake, urges contributions to help

In the Nov. 2 “First Friday” newsletter of the World Methodist Council, the Rev. Ivan Abrahams, the council’s top executive, expressed his prayers and support for those in the United... Read More

Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference officials are working to assess damage to parsonages and to churches, such as this one in Newark. Photo by the Rev. Chris Heckert.

Storm leaves several N.J. parsonages flooded

At least six parsonages in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference are uninhabitable following Hurricane Sandy, and Bishop John Schol expects that number to rise. An early response team will... Read More

The splintering effects of a hurricane

New Yorker Linda Bloom takes comfort knowing United Methodists will respond to communities hurt by Superstorm Sandy. Read More

The kitchen at Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church, which has hosted people affected by Hurricane Sandy. A UMNS web-only photo by the Rev. Chris Heckert.

Up to 500 a day turning to N.J. United Methodist church as it opens doors for community space

Hurricane Sandy has transformed Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church in Maplewood, N.J., into a living room, office, play space and kitchen for the entire neighborhood. Read More

The day after Hurricane Sandy hit in New Jersey. Photo by the Rev. Chris Heckert.

N.J. struggles to assess damage; bishop focuses concern on human needs as ‘everything down’

“Our main challenge is 2.4 million people without electricity,” the bishop told United Methodist News Service Thursday morning. “Everything is down.” Read More

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, new president of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, receives a gift of “Hope’s Blend” fair trade coffee from Thomas Kemper, the board’s top executive. UMNS photos by Cassandra Zampini, GBGM.

Making an impact on the mission field; directors for the re-tooled Board of Global Ministries asked

A few years ago, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries began an extended, and sometimes painful, process of re-inventing itself. Read More

Hurricane season: Loss and recovery

On a bright August day in New York’s Catskill Mountains, I watched my son and his friends strap on life jackets, grab their inner tubes and board the bus... Read More

U.K. churches go for ‘more than gold’

Churches in the United Kingdom are trying to spin some of their own gold from the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In a nation where only 6.5 percent of the population attends... Read More

The Judicial Council from 2008-12 poses for a group photo during the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Seated, from left: Belton Joyner, Jon R. Gray, Susan Henry-Crowe, and Kathi Austin Mahle. Standing from left: Ruben T. Reyes, Dennis Blackwell, Beth Capen, William B. Lawrence and Angela Brown. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry

Judicial Council voids Plan UMC

A compromise restructure plan for The United Methodist Church, adopted earlier this week by the 2012 General Conference, was declared “unconstitutional” May 4. That unanimous ruling came from the nine-member United Methodist... Read More

The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit gives the sermon during evening worship at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Sailing the ecumenical boat

It’s not often that a message by the head of the World Council of Churches is preceded by a blues guitar riff. But, as Marcia McFee, worship leader for... Read More

Four elected to Judicial Council

Two Africans are top vote-getters during balloting to fill two clergy and two lay spots on United Methodist top court. Read More

A “Nobel” achievement for women

Can women turn the world around? Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee answered that question in her speech during Saturday’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Read More

The ‘clean plate club’ revisited

Growing up, we Baby Boomers often heard our parents urge us to clean our plates because children were starving in China, or India, or some other far off country. Read More