November 27, 2013
"I depend on God to get me through the day. I trust in God that I will return home, that I do not need to fear for my safety or the future." - Bernard Addison in an email from detention in a federal prison facility.
Bishop Clymer, a champion of theological education, dies at 96
MINNEAPOLIS (UMNS) - Retired Bishop Wayne Clymer, a former president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and liaison on theological education, died Nov. 25. He was 96. The United Methodist News Service will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
Businessman falls, finds church before leaving for prison
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Annette Spence of The Call in the Holston Annual (regional) Conference shares the experiences of Bernard Addison, who on the verge of incarceration for mail fraud, found a new faith and a new church family.
Finance agency responds to clergy housing ruling
MADISON, Wis. (UMNS) - A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield their housing allowances from federal income taxes is unconstitutional. But the ruling is on hold until appeals are exhausted. The General Council on Finance and Administration, the United Methodist finance agency, is monitoring the case.
Read statement from the General Council on Finance and Administration
Read Religion News Service story about the case
Diverse group of young adults consider God's call
DENVER (UMNS) - Speaker after speaker told the 429 young adults gathered to explore ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church that God is calling them to go change the world and the church. Vicki Brown has the story about Exploration, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
British church issues letter after minister's arrest
LONDON (UMNS) - The British Methodist Church issued a pastoral letter Nov. 25 to all its ministers, noting that "it has been a difficult and sad week for many of us because of the allegations made against the Rev. Paul Flowers and then his subsequent arrest." Flowers, who had been suspended from his ministerial duties pending investigation, was arrested Nov. 21 in connection with a drug-related inquiry.
Read pastoral letter from The Methodist Church in Britain
Read more on the arrest
Apply now for central conference theological education grants
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Applications for grants for projects aimed at improving United Methodist theological education in the central conferences in Africa, Europe and the Philippines can be submitted starting this week at www.centralconferencegrant.dreamhosters.com.
Read news release
Finance agency OKs insurance merger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The board of the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency, on Nov. 22 approved the merger of United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust into United Methodist Insurance Company. Board members expect the move to save the finance agency more than $100,000 a year.
Learn more about United Methodist Insurance
New director of older adult ministries starts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. William B. Randolph, former chaplain at a senior living community in Pennsylvania, will become director of aging and older adult ministries at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship on Dec. 1. Randolph will assume the position formerly held by Richard H. Gentzler Jr., who retired on June 30 after serving as director for 13 years.
Read news release
New post for church planter
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) - Bishop Larry Goodpaster has announced the appointment of the Rev. Gary A. Shockley as Western North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference congregational development team leader.
Read news release
'Tis a gift, but it's not simple
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (UMNS) - The Rev. William Dobbs, clergy assistant to the bishop in the West Michigan Annual (regional) Conference, offers advice to clergy on when and when not to accept a gift from a congregation member.
And she made pies: Apple and pecan
DETROIT (UMNS) - The Rev. Laurie Haller, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Mich., blogs about making Thanksgiving pies for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth at the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit. Haller delivered her pies the same week as The United Methodist Church's stance on homosexuality was in the national news.
Correction: An item on Nov. 26 misidentified the church where the Rev. Chappell Temple is senior pastor. It is Lakewood United Methodist Church in Houston.
Read Temple's blog post on C.S. Lewis