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Daily Digest - May 19, 2016

 

“Our church is struggling, and there are voices all around the edges — just a variety of voices. What I’m afraid of is that if we don’t pause and allow the Spirit to fill the space, then we will fracture.” — George Howard, a delegate from the West Ohio Conference, on the Council of Bishops’ sexuality recommendation.

 

 

Sights and Sounds from May 18

A silent protest, a hectic day of voting and a celebration of Imagine No Malaria are among the images of General Conference 2016.

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GC2016 puts hold on sexuality debate

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates apparently have hit the pause button on the denomination's quadrennial debates related to homosexuality. Late afternoon May 18, the delegates voted 428-405 to accept the recommendation of the Council of Bishops to delay a debate on homosexuality at this gathering of the denomination’s top legislative assembly and let a proposed commission study church regulations. Heather Hahn and Sam Hodges report.
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Mandatory clergy penalties ruled unconstitutional

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Imposing a mandatory penalty during the “just resolution” process for a clergyperson admitting to committing a chargeable offense is unconstitutional, The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Sand Creek Massacre remembered at GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Concerns about legislation and the future of The United Methodist Church got set aside for a half hour at General Conference 2016 on Thursday, May 18, as delegates focused instead on the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, a historical tragedy with deep Methodist involvement. Sam Hodges reports.
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Imagine No Malaria celebration rocks the house

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference 2016 ended its morning session celebrating the Imagine No Malaria initiative launched in 2008 and learned of its next phase: Abundant Health. The 12-minute celebration debuted “Able,” commissioned by Imagine No Malaria as a gift to United Methodists across the globe. Jeremy Rosado, a Top 12 contestant on “American Idol,” performed the song for more than 1,000 people attending the event. Crystal Caviness and Barbara Dunlap-Berg report.
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Imagine No Malaria song

 

May 18 wrap-up: Sexuality dominates debate

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Delegates to General Conference spent most of the day deciding whether to move forward on dozens of petitions regarding the denomination’s stance on human sexuality, but they also heard a report on the church’s response to the Sand Creek Massacre and celebrated the Imagine No Malaria campaign.

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Ecumenical Day marks new relationships

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — United Methodists celebrated new relationships with the Moravian Church and the United Church in Sweden as they marked Ecumenical Day on May 17 at General Conference 2016. The denomination also hosted numerous ecumenical guests, bestowed three ecumenical awards and received an award from Church World Service. Linda Bloom reports.
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Blog: Ecumenism is about unity

 

Bishop Swanson: ‘Evil is going, too.’

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — During his sermon during May 18 opening worship, Mississippi Episcopal Area Bishop James Swanson Sr. told delegates: “If you are going to go, there is a shadow figure that follows you also. You need to know that while you go, evil is going also.” As a foreshadowing of the day’s charged debates on human sexuality, Swanson acknowledged there are disagreements within the church; however, the church should not be in disagreement about God. Tamica Smith Jeuitt, communications specialist for the Mississippi Conference, has the report.
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Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference celebrates 40 years of voting rights

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The 2016 General Conference on May 17 marked the 40th anniversary of members of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference being granted voting rights in the top legislative assembly of The United Methodist Church. Although recognized as a conference by the 1972 General Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference delegates had voice but no vote until the 1976 General Conference, which also met in Portland. Kyle Wallace reports.
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GC2016 celebrates higher education

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry reported to General Conference 2016 on three new leadership initiatives created in 2012: The Central Conference Theological Education Fund, the Seminary Indebtedness Task Force, and the Young Clergy Initiative. Later that evening, more than 2,000 General Conference delegates and others attended a celebration of United Methodist-related higher education.

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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.org and put Digest in the subject line.

 

Sunday, May 22

Heritage Sunday — The United Methodist Church celebrates Heritage Sunday on the Sunday before Aldersgate Day, May 24, when John Wesley had his spiritual rebirth. This year, United Methodists mark the 200th anniversaries of the death of Francis Asbury and the birth of sister denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History offers resources.

 

More upcoming United Methodist events