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UMNS Weekly Digest - May 11, 2012


UMNS Weekly Digest

May 11, 2012

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for May 7 11. It includes summaries of stories, UMTV video reports and additional briefs from United Methodist News Service. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

Stories this week:

General Conference 2012 recap

The United Methodist News Service is reporting on activities related to General Conference 2012, the denomination's top lawmaking body, which met April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla. Commentaries featuring guest bloggers discussing General Conference issues can be found at and at UMNS reports appeared as they occurred on and also can be found on General Conference 2012's website at Among the stories this week looking back at GC2012:

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - From the opening worship service on April 24 to the final amen on May 4, The United Methodist Church's top legislative body ended "guaranteed appointments" for clergy, said no to adding another bishop, and voted to stay the course on the church's highly contested stand on homosexuality. The nearly 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries were stunned when the Judicial Council voided a plan to reorganize the denomination's bureaucracy. Read full story and post a comment»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - One blogger writes of "postpartum depression." A tweeter admits to having PTSD. Even after they went home, clergy and lay people were using the social media network provided by United Methodist News Service and to voice their kudos and their disappointments. Join the conversation»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Overseeing the logistics of General Conference can be intimidating, but the Rev. Alan Morrison credits his Boy Scout training, going back to when he planned a patrol camping trip at the age of 11. The Boy Scout went on to become an Eagle Scout - andlater the General Conference business manager. Read his story»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council of Bishops, said one of the biggest accomplishments of General Conference 2012 was learning better how to reach out and make disciples. "Let's do what we are called to do, right there in local churches," said Wenner in a news conference May 4. Listen to the news conference»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Ruth Daugherty's seen a lifetime of changes over the last 11 General Conferences. "Now the delegates are 38 percent female," said Daugherty, who's been an elected delegate from the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference since 1972. "We're still not where we ought to be, but at that time it was less much less." That's not the only difference. Read full story and post a comment»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Delegates and visitors to General Conference 2012 teamed up to help bag more than 40,000 pounds of cucumbers that were then distributed to homeless shelters and feeding programs around central Florida. The cucumber bagging was sponsored by Society of St. Andrew, a nonprofit hunger relief ministry started by three United Methodist pastors. See the video»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - From video of the plenary sessions and worship services to more than 4,000 photographs capturing moments inside the convention center, the General Conference 2012 website is a multi-media record of what happened between April 24 through May 4. It's also not too late to post your own comments. Take a look»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Continuing a theme about sailing with Jesus "over life's tempestuous sea," GC2012 worship leader Marcia McFee got participants in the May 1 evening worship up on their feet, telling their neighbors, "I've seen some storms in my life," and adding, "but, I see Jesus coming." A number of ecumenical guests were present at the service -- including the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, World Council of Churches, who preached -- and the United Methodist Council of Bishops recognized one of them, the Rev. John L. McCullough, Church World Service executive director, with its 2012 Ecumenical Award. Read full story and post a comment»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - The rise and fall of a proposed restructuring of boards and agencies in The United Methodist Church received the most chatter during the second week of General Conference 2012. The conference entered the 21st century, tapping into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help spread the message and get folks involved. A joint project of United Methodist News Service and MethoBlog, was visited by almost 80,000 unique visitors and posted nearly 2,500 comments over a two-week period. Read full story and post a comment»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - Jim Bickerton literally whittled away his time at General Conference 2012. Bickerton, a volunteer marshal at plenary sessions, could be seen whittling pieces of wood into pairs of animals for a Noah's ark set. The United Methodist from Moundsville, W.Va., also got to show off another of his creations: his son, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton. Read full story and post a comment»

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - General Conference 2016 will be held in Portland, Ore., where delegates can expect temperatures to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler from Tampa. The site of the General Conference, held every four years, has traditionally rotated among the church's five geographic U.S. jurisdictions. The last General Conference in the Western Jurisdiction was in Denver in 1996.

Global effort targets maternal health

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Every 90 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth. This Mother's Day, United Methodists are making a difference in a global campaign to lower the mortality rate for mothers. Consider the stories of three United Methodist women who are bringing health and wholeness to women around the world. Read full story and post a comment»

Tips for honoring God and mothers

DALLAS (UMNS) - So, you want to pay tribute to the moms in your congregation this coming Sunday, but you want to do more than stoke the fires of commercialism. "This raises some thorny questions about how to keep the focus on worshipping God, while celebrating and honoring the gifts of mothers," writes the Rev. Joan G. LaBarr. "The answer seems obvious: Just turn to the Bible." Read full story and post a comment»

Church secretary training set

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A special training seminar on church administration and administrative duties will be held July 15-20 at the office of the General Council on Finance and Administration. The GCFA offers this program in support of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries, formed 30 years ago to "provide individual growth, professional development, continuing education, spiritual enrichment and work toward the betterment of The United Methodist Church." Interested people may contact Cynthia Haralson, the GCFA staff person to PAUMCS,at (615) 369-2386 or

Theology on tap

DENVER (UMNS) - A comedian-turned-United Methodist pastor holds services in another kind of sanctuary: bars around this mile-high city. Using beer coasters for business cards, After Hours Denver meets on Monday nights offering simple sermons and a side order of Communion. Does it work? The Rev. Jerry Herships usually preaches to a full house. Watch the video»

Wanted: funds to ship sweet potatoes

BIG ISLAND, Va. (UMNS) - The Society of St. Andrew, which facilitated the "produce drop" during the recent United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla., is seeking emergency donations to cover shipping for up to 150 truckloads of sweet potatoes. A North Carolina grower has offered a donation of 6.3 million pounds of good sweet potatoes that the society can ship to feeding programs across the South, as far north as New York, and as far west as Kansas. Read more»

UMCOR refugee ministry gets boost

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Church World Service is partnering with the United Methodist Committee on Relief to provide leadership for UMCOR's historic mission among refugees and immigrants. As ecumenical relations director,Jen Kilpswill help get United Methodist congregations involved in resettling the displaced refugees and immigrants, as well as identify local programs for them. Read the announcement»

Stomping out malaria

BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - More than 2,000 people from eight cities hit the pavement on April 21 to raise money for mosquito nets in malaria-ravaged countries. The Louisiana Skeeter Run was sponsored by the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference as part of The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign. How serious is the malaria epidemic? Every 60 seconds, someone dies from malaria. See the story»

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries