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Daily Digest - May 18, 2016

“We remain in dialogue; so much of who we are is working, yet so much needs to adapt to new realities.” — Bishop Bruce Ough on church unity.


Photos from Tuesday's General Conference

Another protest, an address from the Council of Bishops president on unity and a plea from delegates made up the images of May 17 at General Conference 2016.

See the photos


Church hanging onto unity despite cracks in the walls

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Bishop Bruce Ough acknowledged the pain and anger that has been bubbling up at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference over the full inclusion of LGBTQ people, but he also said the Council of Bishops supports church unity. Sam Hodges and Kathy L. Gilbert have the story.
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Conference pleads with bishops for leadership

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates asked the Council of Bishops to lead the church out of the “painful condition” it is in after an address by Bishop Bruce Ough that called for unity but did not address full inclusion of LGBTQ people. The bishops will report back to the conference on May 18. Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges report.
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GC2016 proposal calls for new panel on growth

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates are asking the Judicial Council about the constitutionality of a plan to reallocate $20 million from general church ministries to a new committee on U.S. church growth. Proponents say the plan is needed while others question its ethics or effectiveness. Heather Hahn reports.
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Bishop Abrahams urges Wesleyan commitment to marginalized

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Jesus of Palestine has always been accessible to all, says Bishop Ivan M. Abrahams, World Methodist Council top executive, in his May 17 sermon to General Conference 2016. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Tenure limits for bishops fails

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Term limits for United Methodist bishops got strong support in a vote at General Conference 2016, but fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to change the church constitution. Sam Hodges reports.
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United Methodists grapple with being a worldwide church

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — How do you run a legislative assembly for a Protestant denomination of more than 12 million members from the U.S., Africa, Asia and Europe? Managing diversity is essential, say planners of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference meeting here May 10-20. Elliott Wright has the story.
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Green light for new hymnal project

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church is on track to get its first new hymnal since 1989, and this one will be Internet-cloud based and print-on-demand — the first high-tech hymnal for a mainline denomination. Sam Hodges has the story.
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Bishops emphasize prayer at GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — At General Conference 2016, prayer is an important aspect of our lives as people of faith. United Methodist bishops are leading several prayer initiatives that preceded General Conference and will continue through its conclusion. Read the story from Joe Iovino.
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Church reaffirms commitment to Four Areas of Focus

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — A 15-minute presentation at General Conference 2016 highlighted the achievements, vision, and work that is part of The United Methodist Church’s Four Areas of Focus. Mary Andreolli reports.
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May 17 wrap-up: Schism rumors quashed​

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference 2016 may have started off slowly, but it’s full steam ahead now. On a day with a full docket, delegates considered whether to give $20 million to a group of church growth consultants, whether to eliminate lifetime appointments for U.S. bishops and whether it was time to create a new hymnal. All while the Council of Bishops president denied rumors of a schism plan. Joey Butler reports.
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Native American young people lack history in church

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The concern United Methodist church leaders voice over the declining number of young people involved in the denomination applies to Native Americans as well. Even though most Native youth believe in God, says Nocona Williford, many do not want to be involved in The United Methodist Church. The Oklahoma Comanche and layperson in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference is an observer at General Conference 2016. Kyle Wallace has the story.
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Deaconesses, home missioners consecrated at GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Twenty-six deaconesses and home missioners were consecrated May 16, 2016, on the plenary floor of the United Methodist General Conference. The newly consecrated deaconesses and home missioners come from across the United States as well as the Philippines. The service was a culmination of answering and discerning a call to full-time vocation in lay ministry.
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Other headlines from GC2016

Birth of AME church celebrated at GC2016

Father, son serve as GC2016 delegates

UMW celebrates 150 years of mission

Secretary-designate Graves brings passion to work


Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email newsdesk@umcom.orgfont>a> and put Digest in the subject line.


Sunday, May 22

Peace with Justice Sunday ─ Offering on this Special Sunday supports United Methodist peace with justice ministries through conferences and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. has resources for pastors and lay church leaders


Thursday, May 19
Commissioning of missionaries
8 p.m. PDT. Watch livestream video as 29 new United Methodist Board of Global Ministries missionaries are commissioned at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. This is believed to be the first time the blessing and sending of missionaries has been included in a General Conference worship service during a plenary session.
Watch online


More upcoming United Methodist events