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Church becomes emergency shelter after Harvey

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell explains why Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston opened its doors to displaced residents. “There was no doubt in our minds.” Read More

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell greets volunteer Mary Jackson at the doorway of the food and clothing distribution center at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Houston churches go flat out with flood relief

Bishop expresses pride but also tells volunteers to pace themselves and ʽfind time for Sabbath.’ Read More

The Rev. Scott Moore, the director of missional excellence for the Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, works from a forklift during a “water drive” in Conroe, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey. The efforts to help make sure disaster relief teams had enough water for the thirsty town where floodwaters shut down the water system. Photo by Brant Mills, courtesy of the Texas Conference

‘God moments’ spur pastor’s Harvey relief efforts

The Rev. Scott Moore of the Texas Conference recounts how obstacles that seemed insurmountable vanished in a series of events he says were beyond coincidence. Read More

Pastors preach comfort to Harvey survivors

United Methodists gathered to worship after Harvey, and bishops from the Rio Texas and Texas conferences visited churches and communities that were damaged. Read More

Clergy from the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone lead a procession of worshippers to an area at the bottom of Mount Sugar Loaf where hundreds of bodies that were not recovered are still buried under the rubble of a devastating landslide. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving for the victims and survivors was held at the bottom of Mount Sugar Loaf, Aug. 27. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Service provides chance to mourn mudslide victims

As the death toll continues to rise, United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu helped organize a service of remembrance that allowed survivors to mourn the dead. Read More

The Island in the Son United Methodist Church in Corpus Christ, Texas, was badly damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Rio Texas Conference hopes to get emergency response teams to the Corpus Christ area by Aug. 29. Photo courtesy the Rio Texas Conference.

Harvey floods hit Houston churches

Bishop calls damage ʽcatastrophic’ as the hurricane that became a lingering tropical storm continues to wreak havoc. Read More

Susan E. Dillozon, (center in green) is a United Methodist deaconess who is serving as a pastoral worker in Methodist Filipino Ministry in Macau, China. The mission house became a refuge to evacuees after the devastation of Typhoon Hato, the biggest storm in this area in years. Photo courtesy of Susan Dillozon.

Typhoon Hato victims flee to Macau Filipino Methodist Mission

Filipino United Methodist members take shelter as biggest storm in five years pounds area. Read More

The Rev. Henry Samuel of Vine Memorial Baptist Church, an affiliate member of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, prays with and consoles a group of women who lost 17 members of their family during the Aug. 14 flood and landslide in in Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Church providing emergency health services after mudslide

The United Methodist Church is providing emergency health services for survivors of the flood and mudslide that has killed nearly 500 people. Read More

Death toll more than 200 in Congo landslide

The East Congo bishop has called on the entire community to help after a landslide in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo left more than 200 dead. Read More

A view of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Regent area of Freetown, Sierra Leone, shows the breadth of the area that was devastated by flooding on Aug. 14. Torrential rains led a mudslide that resulted in the death of nearly 400 people with figures expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Hundreds dead, missing in Sierra Leone mudslides, flooding

The numbers of dead and missing after torrential rains led to deadly mudslides is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Read More

The Rev. Susan Ferguson (center) of Asbury United Methodist Church in Lafayette, La., prays with Trent Noel (right) and his son, Jay Barnes, who are gutting flood-damaged drywall at the home of Noel's mother in Lafayette, La., in August 2016. As the one-year anniversary of the flood approaches, United Methodists in Louisiana are looking for more volunteer teams to continue the recovery work. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Louisiana needs flood-recovery volunteers

A year after Louisiana's “1,000-year rain,” United Methodists are helping residents with home repairs and other support services. Read More

Delegate George Howard moves to approve a request from the United Methodist Council of Bishops during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. General Conference agreed to let the bishops name a commission charged with advising how the denomination might stay together despite divisions over homosexuality. The Commission on a Way Forward's closed-door meetings approach has found support and criticism. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Commission’s closed meetings find support, criticism

Some endorse Commission on a Way Forward’s approach. Others say it violates the church’s stance on transparency. Read More

Retired United Methodist Bishop Joel Martinez speaks during a rally at the Texas State Capitol protesting a proposed bill that would keep transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. About 200 United Methodists were among the 500 people at the event. Photo by Susan Risdon.

Rallying against Texas ‘bathroom bill’

About 200 United Methodists are among 500 at interfaith advocacy event in Austin, Texas, encouraging a vote against bill affecting transgender people. Read More

In a file photo from 2016, the Rev. Anna Blaedel speaks during the Iowa Annual Conference session on June 4. Photo by Arthur McClanahan, Iowa Conference.

Gay clergywoman’s case heads to top court

The Rev. Anna Blaedel, a campus minister, told the Iowa Annual Conference last year that she is “a self-avowed practicing homosexual.” Read More

The Rev. James Dwyer reports June 18 to Claremont United Methodist Church, in Claremont, Calif., on the recent California-Pacific Conference gathering. The conference approved Dwyer’s motion asking the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on the constitutionality of church law and Social Principles language stating that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Photo by Terry Givens.

Petitions: ‘Incompatible’ is unconstitutional

Denmark and California-Pacific take on language at core of homosexuality debate. Read More

Council of Bishops President Bruce Ough speaks to his episcopal colleagues during his May 1 presidential address in Dallas, Texas. Ough urged bishops to support the Commission on a Way Forward and redouble their own efforts toward unity, evangelism and social outreach. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Bishop Ough: ‘The entire church is rightly watching’

Council of Bishops’ president speaks candidly to colleagues of leadership challenges amid divisions over homosexuality. Read More

The Rev. Jeff Greenway discusses the need for church reform April 28 at the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s “We Believe in the Church!” event, hosted by Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Greenway is chair of the association. Photo by Tim Tanton, UMNS

Evangelical group plans for what’s next

Leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association leave open the possibility of a church split. But no matter what happens, group leaders say they’ll be prepared. Read More

Members of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus and supporters pray over the seating area to be used by the United Methodist Judicial Council during their meeting in Newark, N.J. The denomination's top court held an oral hearing on a petition questioning whether a gay pastor can serve as a bishop in The United Methodist Church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Reactions vary to ruling on clergy qualifications

Judicial Council’s decision says that conference boards of ordained ministry must consider sexuality when assessing candidates. Read More

The Rev. Alex da Silva Souto of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus leads a prayer prior to an oral hearing before the denomination's top court, meeting in Newark, N.J., questioning whether a gay pastor can serve as a bishop in The United Methodist Church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Spectators pray, sing at Judicial Council

About 200 people prayed, sang and celebrated Holy Communion before and after a Judicial Council hearing on whether a gay bishop can be elected and consecrated in The United Methodist Church. Read More

Bishop Karen Oliveto (left) meets Dixie Brewster (right) for the first time prior to the opening of oral arguments before the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting in Newark, N.J. Brewster is petitioner questioning whether a gay pastor can serve as a bishop in The United Methodist Church. At rear is the Rev. Keith Boyette, representing Brewster before the council. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Court hears arguments over gay bishop

An elected representative of one U.S. regional body asks whether the episcopal election in another region violates United Methodist Church law. Read More

United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu, surrounded by his cabinet, reads from his episcopal speech March 8-12 in Makeni, Sierra Leone. In his speech, Yambasu delivered a “wake-up call” to the Sierra Leone Annual Conference about the possibility of a global church split in 2020. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Sierra Leone bishop: Overseas support at risk

Sierra Leone’s United Methodist bishop warns the church needs to reduce its reliance on overseas funds in case the denomination splits over homosexuality. Read More

Myers Park United Methodist in Charlotte, N.C., is a large church where members are divided on what the denomination's position on homosexuality should be. The Rev. James Howell, pastor, says the church's ability to stay unified and be effective in mission work despite differences would be at risk if The United Methodist Church splits into traditionalist and progressive groups. Photo courtesy Myers Park United Methodist Church.

Schism threat has some churches caught in middle

Pastors of United Methodist congregations with diverse views on homosexuality worry that a painful choice looms. Read More

Ophthalmologists Jessica Shantha (from left), Moges Teshome and Steven Yeh pose with Umaru Sesay, 12, from Moyamba Junction, Sierra Leone. Sesay, who had cataracts as a result of contracting Ebola, had a successful operation that allowed him return to school. A partnership between Emory University and the Christian Blind Mission provides free cataract surgery to Ebola survivors at the Ruth and Lowell Gess Eye Hospital in eastern Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Free surgery for Ebola survivors

A partnership between United Methodist-related Emory University and others is improving the eyesight of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. Read More

The published and unpublished verse of Charles Wesley teach us a great deal about our relationship with God. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Musical devotions: Hearing familiar hymns with new ears

You can do more with a hymn than just sing it. The words written by Charles Wesley are meant to instruct and inspire us. More

Laura Gage (center) hugs Joe Royer while helping sort through the wreckage of his home in Joplin, Mo.,following the deadly tornado. At left is Kevin Kaufhardt. A UMNS photo  by Mike DuBose.; A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

Churches Dealing with Disaster

When disaster hits a community, pastors and congregations need to be prepared. Find news and resources for facing tough times. More

Maps courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, labeling of United Methodist hospitals and clinic by United Methodist Committee on Relief.

The Church Responds to Ebola

United Methodists continue to combat the deadly outbreak across West Africa. Find latest updates and ways you can help. More

Image of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Photo by Clayton Childers, United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

Human Sexuality

Learn more about the official position of the church, read opinions by church leaders and members, find resources and recent news stories. More

Game Changers Summit Dreamers and doers gather to harness the power of communications technology, September 3-5, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

Technology for Social Good

United Methodists from around the connection are discussing the life-saving power of technology. Learn how you can get involved. More

East Congo: The long journey to peace

The United Methodist Church has thousands of faithful disciples in its newest episcopal area. Pastors and laity are bringing the Good News under challenging circumstances. Read More

Three crosses stand above the cemetery at Israel United Methodist Church near Montrose, W.Va. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Trending Local: The Growing Role of Local Pastors

Local pastors — non-ordained, and in most cases without a seminary degree — are growing in number and taking on more roles in The United Methodist Church. Read More

Haylie Wollitz (right) from First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica, Calif., helps repair flood damage from Hurricane Katrina at the home of Betty Johnson in New Orleans. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Special Coverage: Hurricane Katrina

In the years since Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of United Methodists have put money, hearts and hands into the work of recovery. More

Residents of Port-au-Prince line up outside the devastated National Palace. A 2010 file photo by Mike DuBose.

Special Coverage: Haiti

The United Methodist Church was among those who rushed to respond to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. Special series, "Keeping the Faith," takes a look Haiti's journey to recovery. More