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Posts by Lane T Denson

Help get cleaning buckets to Hurricane Sandy survivors. Photo by Susan Kim.

Cleaning Buckets Needed

One way to make a difference after a disaster is to create cleaning buckets for survivors. Learn about the depots of the UMCOR Relief Supply Network. Read More

Why I celebrate Labor Day

The Labor Day holiday gives cause to pause and reflect on the important work of all those who labor in our society. Read More

Pentecost illustration by Cindy Caldwell

God isn’t done showing up among the people

Only the intrusion of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost will cause us to stop producing new rules and begin practicing the ones we already have received. Read More

Members of Sonoma (California) United Methodist Church attach  color-coded Post-it notes to show their level of interest in various church ministries. Photo courtesy of church member Dave Chambers.

Ministry idea: Post-it identity

Is your church welcoming a new pastor? David W. Chambers, a member of Sonoma United Methodist Church in California, shares the following idea. Read More

Remembering Our Fallen on Memorial Day

Recently I was asked by a widow to lead a simple service of remembrance at the grave of her husband buried in Arlington Cemetery. Read More

Editor’s note: United Methodist News Service has a new home

Want to follow the latest news that affects The United Methodist Church? Here's how Read More

Coming Home

I'm finally home from my deployment, sleeping in my own bed, having home-cooked food again and everything else the home front brings! MOST of that is GREAT! However, along with... Read More

Chaplains: part of the medical team

As an eight year old child I was hospitalized for an evening at St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Hammond suffering with asthma. Read More

A delegate picks up a stone in the center aisle during an April 27 “Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples” at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida.

An Invitation to Repentance

By Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell Jr. Those of the Christian faith have entered into one of the most sacred times of the Christian year, the Lenten season. Many of our... Read More

La Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico celebra la vida de Iris Janet Rivera Casanova

La ingeniera Iris Janet Rivera Casanova, esposa del Rdo. Dr. Juan A. Vera Méndez, Obispo Emeritus de la Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico, falleció en horas de la noche... Read More

March worship resources available

Inclusive/expansive-language prayers, calls to worship and liturgies that can be used in March (Women's History Month) are available... Read More

United Methodists join D.C. pray-in for immigration reform

Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Julius Trimble will join other Christians on Feb. 17 in Washington to pray for an end to deportations. They expect to be arrested. Read More

Clergy diversity mirrors membership

The number of United Methodist clergy of color increased by 7.6% in the United States over a five-year period, according to an analysis by the General Commission on the Status and... Read More

The closing ceremony for the 2013 Wild Goose gathering included communion, a masa made with corn, cheese and jalepeno from New Mexico and provided by Wild Goose attendees. Photos courtesy of Cassandra Lawrence

Wild Goose Festival integrates social justice, conversation, re-imagination and experimentation

" I began my search for an event that would integrate social justice, conversation, re-imagination and experimentation. I wanted to participate in an exchange of ideas and inspirations," wrote Cassandra Lawrence,... Read More

‘Do No Harm’ event to get new date

Plans for “Do No Harm 2015,” a sexual ethics summit addressing prevention of and response to abuse, misconduct and harassment of a sexual nature within The United Methodist Church, are being... Read More

‘Do No Harm’ event to get new date

Plans for "Do No Harm 2015," a sexual ethics summit addressing prevention of and response to abuse, misconduct and harassment of a sexual nature within The United Methodist Church, are being... Read More

Her hands spattered with paint, United Methodist volunteer Kathy Ahmad takes a break from renovating the Methodist Children’s Home orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to play a game with Franckenson Renevil. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Top tips from a handbook for mission volunteers

“A Mission Journey: A Handbook for Volunteers” was developed by a task force of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and international Volunteers in Mission. Included are team activities, a “best... Read More

Judicial Council releases April docket

The United Methodist Judicial Council has released the docket for its April 23-25 meeting in Little Rock, Ark. Read More

Bishop Ken Carter Jr. of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference speaks to the Lifewatch Sanctity of Life Service of Worship.

Bishop says include unborn in ‘radically inclusive church’ mission

Bishop Ken Carter Jr. told the 26th annual Lifewatch Sanctity of Life Service that the mission of a radically inclusive church must include the unborn in its inclusiveness. The bishop... Read More

In this scene from “I Have a Dream” The Musical from TheatreSouth Atlanta, city official Bull Conner enforces segregation policies by arresting marchers during a 1963 civil rights demonstration in Birmingham, Ala. UMNS Photo by Yonnick Jones.

Musical brings words of Martin Luther King Jr. to life

United Methodist Brigitte Keane is fulfilling a personal vision to make a social justice contribution in her adopted hometown of Miami by supporting the touring production of “I Have a... Read More

Free GCSRW webinar series begins Feb. 4

A series of webinars aimed at helping develop principled leaders in The United Methodist Church is being offered this year by the General Commission on the Status and Role of... Read More

Commentary: Discipleship requires evangelism

“Church is where we learn and are reminded of who we are and how we fit into God’s larger story, “ writes the Rev. Heather Heinzman Lear, director of evangelism... Read More

Is sexual misconduct still an issue?

Is sexual misconduct an issue of concern in The United Methodist Church? The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women reports some interesting responses to sexual ethics questions... Read More

Bishop Sally Dyck of the Northern Illinois Conferenct (standing), host of one of two Ministry with the Poor roundtables, welcomes participants. She is one of several United Methodist leaders who are re-examining how the church ministers with the poor. A UMNS photo by Anne Marie Gerhardt.

Mobilizing in Ministry with the Poor

The church reaches out to the people in poverty in many ways, but some United Methodist leaders are re-examining how the church ministers with the poor and if it can... Read More

The Present Political Crisis in Ukraine

Missionary John Calhoun offers insight into how United Methodists are responding to the political crisis in Ukraine. As we begin a new year, the people of Read More

United Methodist Bishop Daniel Wandabula of the East Africa Episcopal Area. A UMNS file photo by Annette Spence.

Bishop Wandabula joins call for South Sudan ceasefire

United Methodist Bishop Daniel Wandabula has joined world leaders in calling for a ceasefire in Africa’s youngest nation, South Sudan, where violence has claimed at least 1,000 lives. Read More

Summary of coverage about Frank Schaefer

The United Methodist pastor was asked to surrender his clergy credentials after a church trial for officiating at his son’s same-sex nuptials. Read continuing coverage of the response to... Read More

Perspectives on Schaefer case, same-sex debate, in United Methodist Church

The debate around same-gender weddings and human sexuality has heated up in The United Methodist Church after recent events including the defrocking of a pastor for performing the wedding of... Read More

Rev. Frank Schaefer responds to reporter’s questions in a news conference after his two-day church trial. A UMNS photo by Kathy L. Gilbert.

Pennsylvania pastor invited to join Cal-Pac conference

Frank Schaefer, who was asked Dec. 19 to surrender his ministerial credentials to the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference has been invited to join the California-Pacific Annual Conference. Read More

Finance agency warns clergy on same-sex benefits

The United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration has cautioned clergy who work for one of the denomination’s agencies that they could lose their credentials if they apply... Read More

The Rev. Frank Schaefer acknowledges supporters during a news conference at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, where he announced he will not surrender his clergy credentials. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Defrocked pastor to preach Sunday in D.C. church

The Rev. Frank Schaefer says he is not ready to give up on The United Methodist Church and will immediately seek an appeal of a decision to take away his... Read More

Children from Dagami, Leyte, gather around United Methodist Communications team members April Mercado (front, center) and Ernani Celzo (back). These children are survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. Photo courtesy of April Grace Mercado.

Commentary: Sharing pain, hope, in typhoon’s wake

Amid the destruction of Typhoon Yolanda and the heartbreaking stories of suffering and hardship, I’ve seen the human spirit spring forth, ready to provide aid and relief in all... Read More

A memorial for the Boston Marathon attack on April 15, 2013. United Methodists around the world testified to seeing God in the response to the tragedy. Photo by Anubis Abyss/Creative Commons.

2013: Continuing to meet challenge of violence

Some of the hardest memories from 2013 are those associated with violence from the Newtown, Conn., to Boston to Sanford, Fla., to Nairobi, Kenya, to Centennial, Colo. Read More

Edita Tante describes her experiences as a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

2013: Cleaning up after dangerous winds, floods

A November typhoon left part of the Philippines in ruins, reminiscent of the 2004 South Asian tsunami, while in the United States, tornado-prone Oklahoma witnessed the nation’s widest tornado on... Read More

Jim Winkler, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, will leave the agency by Dec. 31. A UMNS Photo by Jay Mallin

2013: A year in United Methodist milestones

In 2013, The United Methodist Church experienced important transitions in its leadership as well as widely recognized milestones in the life of the denomination and individual United Methodists. Here are some... Read More

The Rev. Frank Schaefer (second from right) prays with supporters before a news conference at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia where he announced he will not surrender his clergy credentials. Clockwise from front left are: Joe Kalil, Jordan Harris, Schaefer and the Rev. Robin Hynicka, pastor of the Arch Street church. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Pennsylvania pastor says he will not surrender clergy credentials

At a news conference at Arch Street United Methodist Church Dec. 16, the Rev. Frank Schaefer said he will not surrender his clergy credentials and intends to continue to be an... Read More

The interfaith community in Newtown, Conn., has tried to help with healing after the tragedy there a year ago. UMNS photo by Arthur McClanahan.

Year of trial, grace for Newtown faith community

Christmas has returned to the heartsick village of Sandy Hook, where a school massacre one year ago... Read More

(From left) The Revs. Olav Fykse Tveit, Ivan Abrahams and Vayani Nyobole approaching the Mandela house for an evening prayer service. Photo by Mark Beach/WCC

Week of reflection on Mandela’s legacy

During a week celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, United Methodists and those from other Methodist denominations and the ecumenical community continued to reflect on his legacy. The Rev. Cecil... Read More

A church stands amidst the ruins caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the village of Daanbantayan, northern Cebu, Philippines. A UMNS photo by Ray Buchanan.

Stop Hunger Now aids Typhoon Haiyan survivors

Using already established relationships has made it easier for Stop Hunger Now, a United Methodist-related hunger relief agency, to respond after Typhoon Haiyan. Read More

Buddhist monks share the message during Bangkok gatherings on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. UMNS Photo by Donald Messer.

HIV and saving lives in Asia, Pacific

If countries in Asia and the Pacific provided early anti-retroviral treatment for those with HIV, says a medical professor from India and the son of a rural Methodist pastor, “Lives... Read More

Giving Tuesday: Meet us at the bridge

Across The United Methodist Church, today is designated as #GivingTuesday. United Methodists and friends are setting aside this day to make online gifts to their choice of the verified accountable... Read More

Typhoon Haiyan laid waste to vast areas near Tanauan, Philippines. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

Typhoon Haiyan and the need for climate justice

In the wake of the disaster in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, it is important for us to go beyond simple relief efforts, writes the Rev. Sharon Delgado, a... Read More

Bishop Dyck reflects on same-sex wedding issues

CHICAGO (UMNS) -- "Not allowing space for people who long for an open church is counter-productive to fulfilling our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ," writes Bishop Sally Dyck... Read More

Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren talks with Filipino colleague

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) -- The Rev. Arthur McClanahan, communications director of the Iowa Annual (regional) Conference, writes that the Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren, superintendent of the SouthEast District of... Read More

Bishop laments government shutdown

Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Episcopal area issued a statement today urging United Methodists to "call upon your elected officials to stand with integrity and oppose efforts by a... Read More

Thoughts on World Population Day: How our faith guides us to respect women

Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson, professor of Old Testament at United Methodist-related Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., reflects on how to integrate our Christian tradition with the full needs... Read More

Georgia conference raising funds for Oklahoma tornado relief

Local charities are collecting donations from Marietta residents to aid in relief efforts after a tornado ripped a 17-mile path through the suburbs of Oklahoma City on Monday. Deb Ingham,... Read More

Oklahoma Tornado: British Methodist composes hymn

British Methodist pastor and hymn writer Andrew Pratt composed a poignant, yet hopeful text in the aftermath of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma City on May 20, 2013. The hymn, "A Twisting... Read More

Across the connection on Nov. 29, 2012

Daily Digest is a daily news summary and one of many special news publications of United Methodist News Service. Read More

Hugo survivors join Sandy relief efforts

The tiny coastal town of McClellanville, S.C., is raising money to assist in Hurricane Sandy recovery as a gesture of thanks to Ocean County, N.J., residents who aided... Read More

United Methodists, Mormons, Muslims team up for Sandy relief effort

Think of it as a new version of them as a new variation on 3M. United Methodist volunteers joined with Muslims and Mormons, and together, they removed muck and debris... Read More

Give money, not stuff, to Hurricane Sandy survivors

The pictures tell the story: piles of surplus donated clothing, abandoned in a parking lot. A relief worker sorting through mountains of “stuff.” The price for accepting unsolicited donations of... Read More

Stuffing the bus for Staten Island

For one family, the tragic loss of a friend in New York turned into a church-hosted donation drive and a small trailer full of supplies headed for Staten Island. Read More

Cleanup Post-Sandy Can Seem Like ‘Mission Impossible’

United Methodist volunteer Elaine Piniat shares her story of volunteering for the Lacey United Methodist Church. Read More

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana area visits with Samantha Breaud, fire chief for the Maurepas volunteer fire department. Photos courtesy of Betty Backstrom.

Louisiana conference assessment team visits areas affected by Isaac

Editor’s Note: Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference; the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s U.S. disaster relief... Read More

Louisiana, Alabama-West Florida thank the ‘Connection’ as they brace for Isaac

The Louisiana Annual Conference stands prepared as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the Gulf coastline, Betty Backstrom, director of communications for the conference, wrote early Tuesday, Aug. 28. Read More

Five conferences merge to become two

South Central Jurisdiction approves the cost-saving merger of two Texas-based conferences and joining of two Kansas and Nebraska conferences. Read More

Pastor mourns friend killed in Aurora shooting

Denver-area pastor helps others in Aurora theater tragedy as she comes to grips with loss of someone she knew well. Read More

How do we share the reality of gun violence?

The violence at a theater in Aurora, Colo., brought to mind my memories of the violence at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Read More

U.S. bishops elected, assigned for 2012-16

United Methodists also place a bishop on involuntary retirement and respond to shooting in Colorado. Read More

Aurora community gathers for prayer

United Methodists join others in prayer for victims, survivors of theatre shooting rampage in Colorado. Read More

Jurisdiction affirms Bledsoe’s removal

By 208 to 45 vote, South Central delegates support the episcopacy committee’s decision to compel bishop’s early retirement. Read More

Conferences reject church’s stance on gays

Rejecting the denomination’s stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage were important issues for at least 15 annual conferences. Read More

Committee votes to retire Bledsoe as bishop

Bledsoe said he will pray before deciding whether to appeal to the Judicial Council the committee’s decision to involuntarily retire him. Read More

What goes on a bishop’s report card?

Since 2008, The United Methodist Church’s law book has required formal evaluations of the denomination’s bishops. Read More

Conferences talk bishops, focus areas

United Methodist U.S. annual (regional) conferences and central conferences tackle a variety of issues during 2012 meetings. Read More

Pilgrims’ find calling in Ukraine mission

A friend reflects on the work of a United Methodist missionary and his wife after a tragic accident injures that missionary and kills two others. Read More

Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference

Nearly 1,000 members of The Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference met May 17-19 at the Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks, Pa., with the theme, “Leadership: Making a Way for All.” Read More

Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference

The Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference was held at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, June 7-9, 2012. Bishop Peggy Johnson welcomed clergy and laity to the 228th session of the Conference. Read More

Religious life thriving on campus

Diversity accounts for new religious awakening at college level, say authors of ‘No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education.’ Read More

Texas Annual Conference

The Texas Annual Conference met June 4-7 at the Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, under the leadership of Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. The theme was “On Earth as in Heaven.” Read More

Sierra Leone celebrates life of evangelist

107-year-old ‘Pa’ Ndanema remembered as a simple, humble man who lived his life among the people of eastern Freetown he served. Read More

Africa U. students become mission interns

United Methodist generosity provides education and improves future of many young people. Read More

United Methodists open doors in disasters

From Colorado to the Atlantic coast, churches have worked to help those suffering in the clutches of the summer of 2012. Read More

Two die in Ukraine roof collapse

United Methodist volunteer, Ukrainian student fatally injured; missionary seriously hurt. Read More

Burton to leave women’s commission

United Methodist Commission on Status and Role of Women plans search for new top executive. Read More

Northwest Texas Annual Conference

The Northwest Texas Annual Conference took time in its 103rd session to honor and celebrate the service of Bishop Max Whitfield and wife, Valerie. Read More

Pacific Northwest Annual Conference

From June 21-24, clergy, laity, and guests joyfully returned to the TRAC Center in Pasco, Wash., for the 139th session of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference. Read More

Dakotas Annual Conference

More than 500 members of the Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church gathered in Sioux Falls, S.D., on June 6-9, 2012, to “Get Up and Go!” Read More

Kentucky Annual Conference

Fellowship, worship, Bible study and celebration were the hallmarks of the 2012 Kentucky Annual Conference session, held June 11-13 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky. Bishop Lindsey Davis... Read More

West Ohio Annual Conference

God’s miracles were abundant at the 43rd Session of the West Ohio Annual Conference, evidenced through the breakthrough spirit, unity and faithfulness of its members. Held at Lakeside Chautauqua,... Read More

New Mexico Annual Conference

The New Mexico Annual Conference took time in its 137th session to honor and celebrate the service of Bishop Max Whitfield and wife, Valerie. Read More

Desert Southwest Annual Conference

The Desert Southwest Annual Conference opened with “The Gathering of The Conference” on Thursday, June 21 and ran through Sunday, June 24. Read More

Churches respond to 700 miles of U.S. storms

United Methodists assess damages while they open doors to cool, feed people as stifling heat continues in Midwest, Mid-Atlantic. Read More

Race commission addresses Bledsoe case

The agency charged with monitoring racial matters in The United Methodist Church is expressing concern prompted by the situation involving Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, an African-American bishop who says he... Read More

GC reflections: Church restructure—I’m relieved it failed

No doubt you have been reading, as I have, all of the commentaries on what happened at General Conference. Read More

GC reflections: Moving beyond the trauma and dysfunction

Has the General Conference become dysfunctional? Many outside observers, watching almost 1,000 delegates struggle in a cavernous, dimly lit hall in Tampa trying to make informed and intelligent decisions together, may... Read More

What do we do and where do we go?

Has the General Conference become dysfunctional? Many outside observers, watching almost 1,000 delegates struggle in a cavernous, dimly lit hall in Tampa trying to make informed and intelligent decisions together, may... Read More

Guaranteed appointments action now in question

The United Methodist connection is abuzz today about an email sent by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar regarding General Conference’s action on ending guaranteed appointments for clergy. The email cites... Read More

General Conference 2012: Frustrating, sobering and head scratching

You, no doubt, have heard the old phrase, “When everything’s said and done . . . there was more said than done!” This very well may be the theme of the 2012 General... Read More

GC2012 – It’s a wrap

General Conference 2012 has come and gone – an overwhelming, educational, inspiring, exhausting and ultimately reassuring experience for this editor. Read More

Communicating in real time

Some people use social media to let it hang out, warts and all. In the case of the Rev. Scott Carnes, it’s brain surgery and all. That meant tweets... Read More

Harriett Jane Olson Reflects on #gc2012

Harriett Jane Olson, the top executive of United Methodist Women, shares her thoughts on how to rethink the church's structure in light of the failed support for restructure proposals at... Read More

A new middle class emerging in Africa

The Rising Global Middle Class: How Will It Affect The United Methodist Church?

United Methodists are part of a new middle class emerging in Africa and other parts of the world. Larry Hollon looks at this trend, how it affected General Conference and... Read More

The Rev. Gil Caldwell

Conference stirs heartache, hope for future

At the end of the closing worship service at General Conference 2012, these words from one of the songs jumped out at me: “All ofus have sailed on the rivers of... Read More

The Rev. Rob Renfroe

Amid division, only one view can hold us together

United Methodists have reaffirmed 2000 years of Christian teaching regarding sexuality. This is the same view held by the most rapidly growing parts of the church today. And it is the... Read More

Living prayers

In the closing hours of General Conference, the Judicial Council announcement came through. Plan UMC was “constitutionally unsalvageable.” On the large video screen that broadcast the session, a delegate held... Read More