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General Conference Blog

Delegate Pierre Kasongo (right) and other members of the Tanganyika delegation vote on legislation while supporters of full rights for LGBTQ persons in the life of The United Methodist Church stand with their mouths taped shut outside the bar of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., to symbolize the way LGBTQ people feel they are silenced by the church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016 commentary: We can’t legislate church

Church can’t be legislated, but a clear mandate for denominational unity would help the next General Conference. Read More

This week the United Methodist Church has tried to model an approach to disagreement that the U.S. political system would do well to emulate. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Americans are more polarized than ever. We United Methodists don’t want to be.

The United Methodist Church has tried to model an approach to disagreement that the U.S. political system would do well to emulate. Read More

Commentary: Overcoming the brink of schism

With the enormous issues and overwhelming debate on each that confronts The United Methodist Church today, General Conference 2016 has managed to do some holy conferencing. Read More

Sand Creek Massacre Site

Pilgrimage of Healing: Sand Creek Massacre-Personal Reflection

It takes a village to make a pilgrimage of healing. A journey of healing is not an individual act, but a collective act. Read More

Telley Gadson

Staying in touch at General Conference: UM pastor uses nightly conference calls to keep connected

One pastor and alternate delegate to the United Methodist 2016 General Conference uses daily calls to stay connected with her church back home. Jessica Brodie has the story. Read More

God-led hospitality gesture at GC2016 underscores United Methodist connection

A reservation snafu was the catalyst launching two strangers into a friendship for life. Read More

Ecumenical guests

Ecumenical Day: Advancing toward unity

Perhaps it was fitting to have the whole morning devoted to promoting ecumenism, for ecumenism is about bringing unity among Christians. Read More

#Pagelife: Perspective on what it’s like to serve as a GC2016 page

They run notes, deliver coffee and so much more. Here is one woman's perspective on what it's like to be a page at General Conference. Read More

Methodist Churches from Latin America

Relationship Matters:  Methodist churches around the world in search for unity

What makes our unity possible? Healing and unity happen when we build relationships with one another with mutual respect as partners in ministry. Read More

The main thing

At General Conference, what is the main thing? The Rev. Laura Easto shares her reflection. Read More

Laity called to live ever-blessing, ever-blessed

General Conference delegate urges people in the pews to go out, connect with people, offer hope, engage the world, make disciples. #UMCGC Read More

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar preaches at the May 14 worship service at the United Methodist 2016 General Conference. Photo by Maile Bradfield, United Methodist Communications.

Pentecost, General Conference, and the Spirit of God

The Holy Spirit empowers the followers of Jesus to overcome that which separates us so we can share the gospel with the world. Read More

The Grammy Award-winning indie folk rock duo Indigo Girls sing about love, faith and social justice during a Reconciling Ministries Network benefit May 13 during General Conference. Photo by Matt Brodie, UMNS.

Indigo Girls call on United Methodists to love, support all people

Calling their concert “one big love-fest,” indie folk rock duo the Indigo Girls headlined a benefit concert on May 13. Read More

We ARE they

Words matter, especially when talking about "we" versus "they." 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

Discipleship Ministries staff embark on their daily walk to the Oregon Convention Center.

Walkers challenge us to be difference-makers

When several staff at Discipleship Ministries challenged each other for a “Fitbit” exercise session each day at General Conference, they ended up being challenged to do much more. Read More

A Road to Clarification: Certified lay ministry

Many leaders, including conference lay leaders, are welcoming petitions that reference certified lay ministry in the Book of Discipline. A number of petitions have been submitted with the goal of... Read More

Delegates to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference consider their hopes and dreams for the legislative meeting. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Separate but together: Living as individuals in community

Day 2 of The United Methodist Church 2016 General Conference had moments to acknowledge one's need for individuality in the midst of living within a community. Read More

Opening Worship: We are global and indigenous

While we are a global church, we are a “local” people. Read More

The bishops’ emphasis on prayer is most visible as they offer to pray with people during the breaks in the legislative sessions. Pairs of bishops move to places in the lobby of the Oregon Convention Center just outside the doors of the main meeting room. There they pray with anyone who asks. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

‘A fire shut up in my bones.’ God-given passion at General Conference

Passion is on display on the first day of United Methodist General Conference, and God may be speaking through it all. Read More

A delegate asks:

The Noise of Worship at General Conference

Nearly every day at General Conference, when lay and clergy delegates from all over the world meet to renew and reset our direction as the United Methodist Church, we are... Read More

Farmers (many of them Lumads) stage a die-in protest along General Santos-Cotabato national highway in Koronadal City, Philippines, to raise their demand to the government for the immediate release of calamity funds and justice to the farmers of North Cotabato who were violently dispersed last April 1 in Kidapawan City.

Commentary: GC2016 will hear Lumad plight

The Lumads, indigenous peoples in the Philippines, are on a pilgrimage in the United States to tell their stories of struggle and hope. Read More

All petitions submitted to General Conference are discussed in legislative committees. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, United Methodist Communications.

From ‘to’ to ‘with’: General Conference’s smaller legislation

Not all petitions up for debate at General Conference make headlines. Many simpler petitions also impact United Methodist church life. Read More

The Rev. Darryl W. Stephens

Commentary: Who really has a say at General Conference?

ʽVoice’ matters more than voting percentages, and most voices are white, male, American Read More

Members of the choir welcome visitors to the Nkuwa, Malawi United Methodist Church. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

2013: Year of United Methodist growth, progress

Key developments in 2013 indicate vigorous responses to the challenges facing The United Methodist Church. Read More

Two and one-half cents out of every dollar given to local churches is used to support general church ministries. A UMNS photo illustration by Kathleen S. Barry.

Principles approved to guide 2016 GC budget work

Members of the Connectional Table and GCFA established principles that will guide preparation of general church apportionment proposals to the 2016 General Conference. Read More

Delegates work at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBois.

GC2016 delegates allotted, with U.S. at 58.3 and Africa at 30 percent

The secretary of the General Conference released today a list of numbers of delegates by annual conferences. Read More

Delegates consider legislation at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

2016 General Conference to see drop in delegates

The 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore., will have about 15 percent fewer delegates than recent gatherings of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking body. Read More

The Rev. C. Chappell Temple

Can we get a 20-percent-off coupon for General Conference?

Some of the expense is unavoidable — the result of the increasing globalization of United Methodism, which has been a good thing, to be sure. The Rev. C. Chappell Temple proposes... Read More

Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.

Religion and Race agency charts new future

Commission and Religion and Race beginning conversations with the Commission on the Status and Role of Women on aligning the agencies' work. Read More