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The Rev. Kathleen McMurray joins a Good Friday vigil at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock to protest planned executions of seven inmates. McMurray is associate pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Conway, Ark. Photo by Amy Forbus, Arkansas United Methodist

Clergy react to Arkansas execution

United Methodist clergy spoke out against Arkansas first execution since 2005 and plans for other executions by April 27. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto says goodbye Aug. 14 at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, after eight years as pastor. She was elected bishop by the Western Jurisdiction in July. Oliveto is the first openly gay pastor elected to the United Methodist episcopacy and her standing could be affected by a case before the denomination’s Judicial Council. Photo by Alain McLaughlin Photography Inc.

Church braces for ruling on gay bishop

Some say fragile unity will be tested, regardless of the ruling in the case that could affect United Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto. Read More

The Judicial Council at its April meeting faces a petition asking how the election of an openly gay bishop squares with the Book of Discipline, the denomination's governing document. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Preview to the legal debate around gay bishop

The denomination’s top court faces a question of whether it should weigh in on Bishop Oliveto’s election at all. Read More

A panel discussion at U.N. headquarters focuses on the role of faith-based organizations in refugee resettlement work. The panel was part of the Focus on Faith series of the U.N.’s Department of Public Information- Non-Governmental Organizations, and organized in partnership with LDS Charities. Photo courtesy of Ryan John Koch, LDS New York Office of Public and International Affairs.

Faith groups bring hope, new life to refugees

Panel at U.N. headquarters highlights decades-long leadership of faith-based groups in U.S. refugee resettlement. Read More

The Rev. Kristin Sundt, front, in traditional Norweigan clothing, leads members of the congregation from Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, known as Mindekirken, in a parade celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day. The church marks the day each year on the weekend closest to May 17. Photo courtesy of Kristin Sundt.

Norwegian United Methodist pastor leads Lutheran church

Appointment of Norwegian United Methodist pastor to Lutheran church highlights value of ecumenism. Read More

Women take a break from their knitting class at Banyam Theological Seminary in Bambur, Nigeria. The seminary is now providing training in basic skills for the wives of male students such as tailoring, knitting and basic administrative skills that will help them run a church alongside their husband. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Nigerian seminary educates pastors’ wives

A United Methodist seminary in Nigeria is providing basic skills training for the wives of students training to be pastors. Read More

The Rev. Portia Kanoyangwa was the first to receive treatment during a medical outreach program conducted by The United Methodist Church in the Chitungwiza and Marondera rural districts of Zimbabwe. A total of 355 patients with various ailments benefited from the free program. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Hundreds benefit from medical outreach

Free medical outreach program conducted by The United Methodist Church in rural Zimbabwe also encouraged patients to seek treatment sooner. Read More

Agatha Muagura speaks softly to the chicken she has selected to slaughter as part of a training exercise at the Africa University farm in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Muagura, a freshman agriculture student from Mozambique, wants to be a farmer.

Africa University farm feeds multitudes

Happy animals, abundant crops makes the pan-African university self-sustaining. The agricultural department was one of first two faculties established in 1992. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward meet in small groups during their April 6-8 meeting in Washington, D.C. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops

Way Forward group ponders structural changes

As the commission works toward church unity, some members say the group is contemplating “loosening the connection.” Read More

United Methodist Bishop Rodolfo Juan offers a prayer during an interfaith worship service at Spottswood United Methodist Center in Kidapawan City marking the one-year anniversary of an attack on farmers in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Rodolfo Juan.

Recalling violence against Filipino farmers

United Methodists organize worship service to mark one-year anniversary of a bloody attack in the Philippines. Read More

Nigeria Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna speaks at a roundtable discussion in Lagos, Nigeria, in March. Organized by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the three-day roundtable focused on the future of The United Methodist Church in Nigeria. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodists in Nigeria focus on future

Roundtable meeting gives The United Methodist Church in Nigeria the opportunity to develop a strategic plan for the next six years when the church will celebrate it centenary. Read More

The bishop led United Methodists through some of the worst of Angola's civil war. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Fernandes, brave leader, dies at 78

The bishop led United Methodists in East Angola through some of the worst of his country’s civil war. “The church was everything for him.” Read More

Hispanic youth from Dallas area United Methodist churches and Dallas’ Wesley-Rankin Community Center took a civil rights history tour of the South March 11-15. The group is seen here at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Photo by Martha Valencia.

Civil rights tour ‘impactful’ for Hispanic youth

United Methodist Church’s National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry underwrites trip across South Read More

Martin Doblmeier, director, writer and producer of “An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story,” speaks during an event co-sponsored by the Center for Public Theology at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is best remembered for being the author of the Serenity Prayer. Photo by Erik Alsgaard, UMNS.

New film on Reinhold Niebuhr speaks to today

Niebuhr, the theologian best known today for the Serenity Prayer, offered ideas relevant to the current political scene. 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

Filipino United Methodists are expressing opposition to the proposed return of the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006. Nathaniell Capinpin, a student who took part in the dialogue, said the bill excluded crimes such as rape but allowed for drug-related crimes. Photo by Gladys Mangiduyos, UMNS.

Opposing death penalty in the Philippines

United Methodist bishops and a youth organization have spoken out against legalizing the death penalty in the Philippines. Read More

Courtesy photo of the Rev. Christopher P. Momany.

Commentary: Who 'counts' in ministry any more?

As the denomination struggles with declining U.S. membership, a chaplain at a United Methodist-related college wonders who counts in his campus ministry. Read More

The Rev. Liliana Padilla decided a Taco Service at San Pablo United Methodist Church, in Pearsall, Texas, would reach new people. Padilla, pastor of the historic Hispanic church, cooks the tacos herself.

Pastor does the cooking for Taco Service

The Rev. Liliana Padilla draws new people to historic Hispanic church for free breakfast and Bible study. Read More

United Methodist Women offer songs during the March 19 inauguration of the new North East Nigeria Annual Conference. Photo by Richard Fidelis, Central Nigeria Conference.

United Methodists create new conference in Nigeria

North East Nigeria Conference has 12 districts and 6 mission areas. Read More

The Rev. Jimmy Carr was instrumental in creating the Order of Deacons. He also helped Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center better connect with its community. Photo courtesy of Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

Jimmy Carr, ‘champion of deacons,’ dies at 72

From the local church to Lake Junaluska to Africa University, Carr modeled bringing the church into the world. Read More