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Daily Digest - May 20, 2016

“We’re so used to saying, ‘It’s OK,’ and I think we’ve gotten to the point where it’s not OK.” — Cynthia Kent, chair of the Native American International Caucus, on allowing United Methodist meetings in cities where sports teams have mascots the demean Native Americans.

 

 

Scenes from GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The commissioning of new missionaries during worship, debates over mascots and reproductive health were all part of the scenes May 19 at General Conference.
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GC2016: How much does the bishops’ plan cost?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates, for now, are leaving questions in the church’s longtime homosexuality debate up to the bishops. But another question remains: How much will the bishops’ next steps cost? Heather Hahn reports on the cost estimates.
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Delegates react to holding human sexuality petitions

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The decision to accept the report from the Council of Bishops to refer all legislation on human sexuality to a yet-to-be named commission was met with joy and trepidation. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
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Church ends membership in reproductive health coalition

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The 2016 General Conference voted to withdraw United Methodist membership from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The church was a founding member of the organization in 1973. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.
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GC2016: Oppose mascots that demean Native Americans

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Delegates to General Conference 2016 overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on United Methodist agencies to raise awareness about the harm caused by sports teams that use mascots or symbols that disrespect Native Americans. But the petition was amended in committee, deleting language that would have called on United Methodist groups not to have meetings in cities that have sports teams with such mascots or symbols. Sam Hodges reports.
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History of The United Methodist Church and mascots

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Native American woman who drafted the original legislation calling on church organizations not to have meetings in cities with sports teams that use mascots or symbols that disrespect Native Americans shares her story. Kyle Wallace talks with Cynthia Kent.
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Church ‘growth committee’ fails constitution test

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The proposed establishment of a United Methodist “Standing Committee on Strategy and Growth” funded by $20 million taken from denominational coffers was ruled unconstitutional May 19 by the Judicial Council, the church’s top court. Linda Bloom has the story.
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29 new missionaries commissioned at GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The liturgy of commissioning, both solemn and joyful, was believed to be the first as part of a United Methodist General Conference. Twenty-nine new missionaries, commissioned on May 19, will serve globally as church developers, chaplains, teachers, health practitioners or administrators, agricultural specialists and youth workers. Elliott Wright has the story.
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Liberian is new Judicial Council president

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — For the first time, a member from outside the United States has been elected president of the United Methodist Judicial Council. N. Oswald Tweh Sr., a lay member from Liberia, will lead the denomination’s top court for 2016-20. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Judicial Council rules on Congo inquiry

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Judicial Council ruled May 19 in response for a declaratory decision related to the Congo Central Conference. Linda Bloom reports.
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Yambasu: Go … with passion and compassion

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Focusing on the call to mission, United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu of Sierra Leone reminded General Conference 2016 delegates that Christ calls us to dismantle the demons of poverty, injustice, racism, war, disease, hunger “and all forms of inequities in our world.” Barbara Dunlap-Berg has the story.
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Agency focuses on increasing men’s church involvement

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Delegates to The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly set aside time May 17 for a presentation by the Commission on United Methodist Men, led by Bishop James Swanson, president, and Gil Hanke, top staff executive. The presentation featured “Missing in Action,” a video describing ministries that invite unchurched men to participate in sports or building projects as entryways to programs.
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Video: Growing pains in the central conferences

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Delegates and bishops attending General Conference share their perspectives on the need for new episcopal areas in the central conferences. David Valera and Patrick Scriven share the story.
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‘We United Methodists don’t want to be polarized’

PORTLAND, Ore. – As the 2016 General Conference continues here, two active United Methodists reflect on the importance of unity for their beloved church and express hope for the future. “The work of Methodist people together is more important than the divisions that might otherwise cause the church to split apart,” write the Rev. Tom Berlin and seminary professor Mike McCurry in this Washington Post column.
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Video wrap-up: Scenes from GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMC.org) — Annual conference communicators are taking a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening each day at General Conference. Today’s video includes interviews with the some of the team offering interpretation and translation in 10 languages.
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Sounds of GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Audio interviews from May 19 include the 60th anniversary of full clergy rights for women, the General Conference remembrance of the death of Francis Asbury and other topics.
Listen to the stories

 

May 19 wrap-up: New missionaries commissioned, special GC costs discussed

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — A day after tabling potentially contentious legislation on human sexuality, General Conference 2016 moved through its calendar at a steady clip, possibly noticing that time to finish its task is running short. They passed legislation to oppose Native American mascots, voted to stop supporting the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and created a new provisional central conference in Asia. And the Judicial Council declared a $20 million plan for church growth unconstitutional. Joey Butler reports.
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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.

 

Tuesday, May 31

Early Bird deadline for Young Preachers Festival and Conference — Gathering will be Thursday-Friday, July 21-22 at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, Kansas. United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is helping to organize the event for seminarians, declared candidates for ministry and young clergy to cultivate preaching skills. $69. Details

 

More upcoming United Methodist events