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2013: Notable passings in Methodism

In 2013, church members marked the passing of a number of United Methodist and Methodist leaders who made significant contributions in their Christian walk. Read More

Auschwitz death camp survivor Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska holds a photo of herself from 1944. She was 89 when she posed for this photo in 2015 for a Reuters feature on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camp. She joined the Methodist Church just after World War II.

Auschwitz survivor, United Methodist dead at 92

Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska was a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Warsaw for many decades. Read More

United Methodists this year marked the passing of scholars, bishops and other churchgoers who put their faith into action. Photo by Silvia and Frank, courtesy of Pixabay.

2017: Remembering notable church members

In the past year, United Methodists marked the passing of a champion of deacons, a Mississippian born of conviction and a bishop who survived an attempt on his life. ' } Read More

Choir member Juliana Amoah prays during worship at Calvary United Methodist Church, a Ghanaian congregation in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Migrant churches provide piece of home

Immigrants want their own churches with familiar language and worship, but the second generation may not speak the language and likely identifies more with German society. Read More

The Rev. Chi My Nguyen (left) visits with parishioner Nguyen Trung Dung at his sushi restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany.  Nguyen is the only Vietnamese United Methodist pastor in Germany, serving a church of about 40 immigrants in Frankfurt. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Journey to pulpit began in peril

The only Vietnamese United Methodist pastor in Germany was a boat person who now leads a church of about 40 immigrants in Frankfurt. Read More

Phebe Duff (left) listens to a question from the Rev. Steve Court, General Council on Finance and Administration board member, about a new compensation structure for general agency staff. Duff, GCFA’s global director of human resources, presented the proposed pay ranges during the board’s meeting Nov. 15 at the United Methodist Publishing House. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS

Agency employees to see changes in pay scales

The General Council on Finance and Administration board unanimously approved new pay ranges for agency staff, despite objections of agency top executives. Read More

Bishops pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance during worship Nov. 8 at the Council of Bishops meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops: Be respectful in difficult times

As the church’s debate about its future intensifies, bishops say they are hearing of increased animosity leading in some cases to disrupted worship. Read More

Bishops pray with their episcopal colleagues who serve on the Commission on a Way Forward during a meeting of the Council of Bishops at Lake Junaluska, N.C., on Nov. 8, 2017. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops consider 3 models for church future

The bishops are looking at three possibilities of LGBTQ inclusion sketched by the Commission on Way Forward. Read More

The Rev. Susanne Nießner-Brose (right) listens while a 27-year-old Sudanese woman who asked that she be called Fatima relates her story of fleeing Sudan to seek religious freedom in Europe. She  is taking asylum at the United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Bremen, Germany, where Nießner-Brose is pastor. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bremen church embraces refugees, migrants

A United Methodist church in Bremen, Germany, that welcomed refugees and migrants has found blessing and new life through the work. Read More

The United Methodist Church, supported by the Fund for Mission in Europe, organizes several camps each summer in which children can play, do handicrafts, laugh, sing and listen to stories. Photo by the Rev. Bence Vigh.

Crossing borders without leaving a country

United Methodist mission fund aids European ministries, including a Roma church in Hungary. Read More

Volunteer Hannah Guzinski helps serve a meal to immigrant children in an educational enrichment program at the United Methodist Peace Church in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Refugees find community with United Methodists

Churches in Germany are providing sanctuary, classes and programs — outreach benefiting the churches, not just refugees and migrants. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough likened bishops to explorers of old as they seek a way forward for the denomination to stay together despite deep divisions around homosexuality. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops called to navigate ‘off the map’

Bishop Ough, Council of Bishops president, spoke as his colleagues were about to begin discussing a report by the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met in Berlin on Sept. 18-20. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Up to bishops to shape Way Forward ideas

In a conference call, Bishop Ken Carter stressed that the Commission on a Way Forward serves the bishops, as it seeks to find a way through the denomination’s impasse. Read More

Martin Luther nails The 95 Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences, a list of propositions for an academic disputation, on Oct. 31, 1517. What he intended to spark debate changed the world. Painting by Ferdinand Pauwels (1830-1904), public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

6 ways the Reformation affects our world

United Methodists and other Christians are still living with the changes Martin Luther unleashed 500 years ago. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Christian Alsted from the Nordic and Baltic Area, along with the leaders of the member churches of the European Methodist Council, signed a Community Agreement expressing a commitment to join together to enable a stronger Methodist witness in Europe during a ceremony in Wesley’s Chapel, London, on Sept. 10. Photo by Üllas Tankler, courtesy of the General Board of Global Ministries.

European denominations agree to closer ties

Agreement is first step for Methodist, Wesleyan and Uniting churches to find “ways for further co-operation.” Read More

The Rev. Lothar Elsner (left) and Thomas Kemper welcome participants to the International Health Forum of The United Methodist Church in Stuttgart, Germany. Elsner is president of the Bethany Deaconess Foundation in Frankfurt and Kemper is top staff executive of the denomination's Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Churches have much to offer in health care

Local congregations can provide needed spiritual and practical support for sick, say speakers at United Methodist forum in Germany. Read More

Sara Hotchkiss, in red, speaks during the Commission on General Conference meeting Oct. 7 at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Ala. Earlier in the meeting, Hotchkiss helped explain plans for the special General Conference in 2019. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning the special General Conference

As church heads into ‘uncharted waters,’ the Commission on General Conference offers an overview of what to expect in 2019. Read More

Dr. Olusimbo Ige (left) visits with Dr. Beate Jakob during the International Health Forum of The United Methodist Church in Stuttgart, Germany. Ige is director of global health for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Jakob works with the German Institute for Medical Mission. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church networks reach remote corners for health care

Church has important role to play in global health care, say speakers at international United Methodist forum. Read More

Twenty-two Roma children from Ohrid are participating in a unique school project of The United Methodist Church in Macedonia. In Europe, Aug. 2, 2017, was dedicated to the memory of thousands of Roma lost their lives in concentration camps during WWII, but the ethnic group still faces discrimination. Photo courtesy of Christina Cekov.

Unique school project for Macedonia’s Roma

United Methodists in Macedonia offer education, practical help and hope to children whose families often face discrimination. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met Sept. 18-20 to discuss possible models for the denomination's future. This photo of the group's logo comes from an earlier meeting. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward sketches ideas to present bishops

Some members express cautious optimism for church unity. Another member has written about why he sees a need for a church split. Read More

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, a clergy delegate from the Great Plains Conference, speaks on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Delegates were discussing what some perceive as a need to divide the denomination over issues of sexuality. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

New group to church: Let’s stay together

The Uniting Methodists Movement seeks to give voice to those who think differences around homosexuality should not divide church. Read More

The General Council on Finance and Administration board has formed a new Reserves Task Force to examine just how much general church funds should save for a rainy day. Photo illustration by Hans Braxmeier, courtesy of Pixabay; adapted by UMNS.

Church reserve funds under a microscope

How much should church agencies save for a rainy day? A new task force is looking at that question. Read More

A mutual love of soccer helped Samuel Goia, a United Methodist lay pastor in Romania, connect with Roma youth and form a team, leading to a ministry with an ethnic group widely discriminated against in Europe. Photo courtesy of Samuel Goia.

Soccer leads to Roma ministry in Romania

United Methodist lay pastor connects with youth, and then their families, in outreach to an ethnic group still discriminated against in Europe. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward are pictured during their first meeting held in January 2017. Photo courtesy of commission.

Way Forward keeps mum on plans for church

The commission is looking at new ways to embody unity amid deep divisions around homosexuality. But it’s not ready to share those plans. Read More

In a video file image, Bishop Bruce R. Ough, at podium, delivers a statement from the Council of Bishops about the formation of the Commission on a Way Forward during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Video image courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward gets input on church future

The commission asked various United Methodists to describe their preferences regarding the extent of the inclusion of LGBTQ people within the church. Read More

Jörg Niederer stands on the balcony at his home in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, holding a tablet that shows the route he will take on his pilgrimage across Europe to John Wesley’s gravesite in London, England. Photo courtesy of Jörg Niederer.

Spiritual pilgrimage to Wesley’s grave

Walking journey will take United Methodist pastor from his Swiss home through at least four European countries before arriving in London. Read More

Edward Ainza, center with flags, and other members of the dance group at International Methodist Church Oslo perform a praise song during Super Sunday worship on May 21. The multicultural church, which shares space with the first United Methodist church in Oslo, is one of Norway’s fastest growing. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Growing church blends cultures, worship

What does church vitality look like in Norway? One example is a United Methodist church that combines hip-hop, K-Pop, and multiple nationalities. Read More

One group of United Methodists participating in the People's Climate March in 2014 gather on the steps of the United Methodist Church of Saint Paul and Saint Andrew in Manhattan before heading south to join the interfaith gathering on 58th Street. Estimates of the number of participants ranged between 300,000 to 400,000. File photo by Linda Bloom, UMNS

Climate accord pullout dismays church leaders

Bishops call on President Trump to rejoin the efforts of nearly 200 countries to reduce carbon emissions. Read More

Judi Kenaston, standing, talks with members of the Connectional Table’s advisory group on U.S. matters about ideas for a new U.S. structure. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Church leaders look at possible U.S. structure

United Methodists long have batted around the idea of adding a church body to take up exclusively U.S. issues. The idea has faced stiff resistance. Read More

Connectional Table members Josephine Deere of Oklahoma, left, and Miracle Oscan of Malawi discuss the connections among different parts of The United Methodist Church during an icebreaking exercise. The Connectional Table, meeting in Oslo, Norway, approved a plan that ties agency evaluation to the denomination’s budget. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Plan approved for agency evaluation

The Connectional Table’s plan calls for aligning its agency-evaluation work with the development of the denomination’s budget. Read More

A marching band starts the parade of children during National Day celebration on May 17 in Oslo, Norway. On May 17, the country celebrates the signing of its constitution in 1814.

Church leaders connect with Norway’s big day

The Connectional Table opened its meeting in Oslo on the nation’s constitution day and got to experience a bit of Norwegian Methodism. Read More

Bishop Karen Oliveto (left) and the Rev. Walter Fenton (right) shake hands during the April 25 oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting in Newark, N.J. Fenton is the analyst for Good News, which advocates that the church hold the line on homosexuality teachings. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Ruling on a gay bishop could be far-reaching

The Judicial Council ruled that a same-gender marriage license creates a presumption of homosexual practice. That’s a big deal, church legal analysts say. Read More

Bishop Minerva Carcaño speaks to the Council of Bishops on May 4 in Dallas, urging support for immigration initiatives. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Bishops back special Sunday for migration crisis

At Dallas meeting, bishops also received an update on United Methodist-Episcopal Church dialogue. 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

Plenty of United Methodists of varied theological perspectives claim the name evangelical. Photo illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS

What does it mean to be evangelical?

Plenty of United Methodists of varied theological perspectives claim the name evangelical. Just don’t call them fundamentalists. Here is why. Read More

Members of the Council of Bishops listen as Bishop Bruce R. Ough reads a statement about sexuality and the church from the Council at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Council of Bishops has called a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019 to take up bishops’ proposals related to church unity and homosexuality. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Bishops set date for special 2019 General Conference

The special meeting will deal solely with the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, charged with finding ways to foster church unity amid deep differences around homosexuality. 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

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

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

Bishop Minerva Carcaño (left) hugs Chiedza Chiwanza at the conclusion of Sunday worship during the 25th anniversary celebration for Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Chiwanza, a first-year humanities student, had just presented Carcaño a gift. At right is Bishop James Swanson. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop celebrates God’s promise to Africa University

Bishop Minerva Carcaño urges denomination to believe that greater days are ahead for the pan-African university. Read More

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, lays out his agency’s plans to help United Methodists reach people for Jesus. He addressed his agency’s board in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Discipleship exec: ‘Stop fixing churches’

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, suggests how the church can shift to conversation to reaching people for Jesus. Read More

Bishop Patrick Streiff gives his episcopal address to the 2017 Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe, held March 8-12 in Zurich. Streiff emphasized the why and how of evangelism, as elaborated by Methodism founder John Wesley. Photo by Üllas Tankler, Global Ministries.

Bishop stresses evangelism at European gathering

Bishop Patrick Streiff invokes John Wesley in address touching on various subjects. Read More

Morris L. Davis, a professor of Christian history and Wesleyan studies at Drew University, speaks to a group of United Methodist scholars and other observers at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. The gathering focused on church unity and the church’s impasse on homosexuality. Photo by Ebony Lincoln, Higher Education and Ministry.

Scholars raise doubts about church’s future

Higher Education and Ministry brought together seminary professors to discuss the denomination’s current impasse on homosexuality. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward worshipped with staff of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries at their Ash Wednesday service, March 1, at Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward group looking to get feedback

Commission members have a broad desire for the church to stay in connection and expect that connection to look very different in the near future. Read More

This 1869 oil painting by German artist Christian Carl August Noack depicts the Colloquy of Marburg, where Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli hotly debated how Christ is present in the Eucharist. The fight ultimately led to the first split among Protestant reformers. Public domain image from the Gymnasium Philippinum, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Reformation lessons for United Methodists

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is this year. In their fight over Holy Communion, early reformers offer a lesson in how not to handle disagreement. Read More

A young boy holds a d.light solar lamp at his home in the Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Wespath Benefits and Investments has invested about $30 million in solar projects, including d.light. Photo courtesy of d.light

Church investments take on climate change

The United Methodist pension agency is planning for a low-carbon economy. For investors, the agency says, the move makes good financial sense. Read More

The Rev. Dr. Liberato C. Bautista, head of the U.N. and International Affairs office of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, and Bishop Christian Alsted, episcopal leader for Northern Europe (third and fourth from left), walk in procession inside the National Cathedral in Trondheim. A service held in the Cathedral was part of the 100-year celebration of the first Sami Congress. Photo by Karl Anders Ellingsen.

Indigenous people celebrated in Trondheim, Norway

One hundred years after the first Sami Congress, United Methodists and others gather to celebrate the church host and the Sami people. Read More

Two residents of Mosul celebrate the partial liberation of their city from control by the Islamic State group by taking a selfie in front of festooned army vehicles. Although a portion of the city has been liberated from ISIS, fierce fighting is predicted as the army moves to retake the remainder of the city. Photo © Paul Jeffrey.

In the wake of ISIS

United Methodist missionary visits war-torn northern Iraq. 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

5 constitutional amendments head to vote

The changes address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. Read More

During World War II and the German occupation of Norway, Trondheim Methodist Church’s loft was used as a secret synagogue for the local Jewish community. The church’s pastor and lay leader made the decision at great personal risk. Photo courtesy of Ole-Einar Andersen.

Church honored for indigenous people work

An 1881 church — the home of a secret synagogue during the Nazi occupation of Norway — has been named a United Methodist historic site for the congregation’s work with indigenous and marginalized people. Read More

The Rev. Jorge Acevedo (left), Alice Williams, the Rev. Jasmine Smothers, the Rev. Tom Lambrecht and Mazvita Machinga talk together during the first meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward in Atlanta, Jan. 23-26. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications

Group takes on church unity from multiple fronts

The Commission on a Way Forward formed six working groups that will look at various topics including the experiences of both LGBTQ individuals and different denominations. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward sees hope for unity in The United Methodist Church. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Way Forward commissioners share prayers, hopes

Commission members, charged with dealing with church unity and the homosexuality debate, talked about where they see potential points of agreement. Read More

United Methodists this year marked the passing of multiple fellow churchgoers who put their faith into action. Photo by Niek Verlaan, courtesy of Pixabay

2016: Remembering notable United Methodists

United Methodists marked the deaths of fellow churchgoers who shaped worship and views on race. ' } Read More

John Wesley argued throughout his life against a complete separation from the Church of England. This statue of him stands outside his house in London. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

What John Wesley teaches about church unity

Wesleyan scholars say that when it comes to Methodism’s founder, the subject of unity gets complicated. Read More

A close-up from a depiction of John Wesley preaching at City Road Chapel in London hangs inside The Old Rectory in Epworth. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

What counts as Wesleyan orthodoxy?

Christians long have debated the essentials of their faith, and that was no different in John Wesley’s day. Read More

After bishops announced the Commission on a Way Forward membership, United Methodists raise concerns about who is and is not at the table. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Reaction to Way Forward Commission members

Some greet the new body with cautious optimism while others question who won’t be in the room. Read More

Delegates and visitors listen to debate about petitions at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS

Bishops name commission members

The Commission on the Way Forward is charged with healing divisions related to homosexuality. Bishops appointed more laity to the commission after concerns raised. Read More

Increasingly, United Methodist deacons such as the Rev. Kimberly Lewis-Davis, a Chicago Police Department chaplain, are serving their primary appointments outside the local church. Photo courtesy of Lewis-Davis; edited from original.

Deacons: Bridging the church and the world

Nearly half of all United Methodist deacons now have their primary appointment outside the church, where they serve as teachers, lawyers and more. Read More

The Rev. Ted Campbell, a professor at Perkins School of Theology, speaking at the World Methodist Conference in Houston on Sept. 1. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Professor fears church division is ‘a given’

The Rev. Ted Campbell gives somber assessment of The United Methodist Church in address at World Methodist Conference Read More

A parade of banners from Methodist and other Wesleyan denominations around the world was a highlight of the Aug. 31 opening worship service at the World Methodist Conference in Houston. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

World Methodist Conference brings together Wesleyan family

This once-every-five-years ‘family reunion’ attracts Wesleyan Christians from all over the world Read More

Bishops of varied theological perspectives have weighed in on the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto, a married lesbian. Most counsel waiting for the Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, to rule on questions of church law. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Bishops respond to gay colleague

Some bishops outside the United States said they worry that Bishop Karen Oliveto remaining in office will put their ministry at risk. Read More

Bishop Pete Torio sings during the 2016 pre-General Conference orientation in Manila, Philippines. Torio is one of three bishops in the Philippines running for re-election when the Philippines Central Conference meets Nov. 28-Dec. 4.

Central conferences to elect bishops

International United Methodist assemblies will gather this fall through next March to elect bishops Read More

Eglise Evangélique Méthodiste completed in 1867, is the first Methodist structure in Switzerland. It is dedicated to John Fletcher, a Swiss-born Church of England priest and collaborator of the Wesleys.

Kansas-born deacon serves Swiss church

An ordained deacon in Lausanne talks about her ministry, community and calling. Read More

Bishop Franz Schaefer led United Methodists in Central and Southern Europe during the Cold War. Photo courtesy of Bishop Patrick Streiff's office

Bishop Schäfer, bridge builder, dies at 95

The bishop crossed ideological differences to lead United Methodists in both democratic Western Europe and the Eastern bloc. Read More

Plan UMC agency restructuring got a chilly reception at the 2016 General Conference. Church leaders still are looking for how agencies can better serve the global connection. Wordle by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

After GC2016, future murky for agency reform

Plan UMC got a cool reception at this General Conference, but proponents still hope some form of agency restructuring will come back in four years. Read More

United Methodist bishops listen to morning worship from the stage of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.  Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishops in no rush to form sexuality panel

Church leaders want the right people for the task of finding a way forward. Meanwhile, bishops still must deal with current church law. Read More

Bid to divest from settlements fails

Israel-related amendment on socially responsibility investing fails, but General Conference supports advocacy letter for Palestinian village. Read More

Bishop Daniel Wandabula of the East Africa Conference appears before the Judicial Council on Oct. 25, 2012 in Elk Grove Village, Ill. A UMNS file photo by Anne Marie Gerhardt

Ugandans join push for bishop accountability

For years, Bishop Daniel Wandabula has pursued charges of attempted blackmail against three United Methodists while facing financial questions himself. Read More

Oklahoma Area Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. walks past supporters of full inclusion for gays and lesbians in the life of The United Methodist Church who are standing in silent vigil as delegates and visitors leave a session of the denomination's 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Hayes had presided over the previous session of the conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016: The debate about how to debate sexuality

General Conference planners are proposing a new way to consider contentious issues. But their plan is getting significant pushback. Read More

A Syrian girl at a school in the refugee camp of Bourj el-barajneh in Beirut in 2015 has fun with the

Ceasefire grants reprieve, but refugee needs still great

United Methodists and religious partners respond as the crisis continues for Syrians and others seeking refuge in Middle East and Europe. Read More

General Conference in May again will take up the question of whether all United Methodist bishops should have limited terms of office. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

GC2016: Should bishops have term limits?

Multiple proposals heading to General Conference would limit how long bishops can serve and in some cases, require them to face re-election. Read More

People gather at a memorial in Brussels for those killed and injured in Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Photo by Miguel Discart, Wikimedia Commons

After Brussels attack, ‘missioning with fear’

Global Mission Fellow in Brussels and religious leaders reflect on fear that terrorism inflicts, but also on God’s hope for peace. Read More

United Methodist leaders call for prayer after Brussels attacks.

United Methodists in Brussels safe after attacks

Two United Methodist leaders and a mission team from the East Ohio Conference were among the thousands at the Brussels airport March 22. Read More

Conferences would be asked to pay lower apportionments under a budget being proposed by general agency executives. Photo illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Top agency executives urge sizable budget cuts

If approved at GC2016, the general church budget would be its lowest in 16 years, and U.S. conferences would be asked to pay less. Read More

Hammerfest, Norway, is home to the world’s northernmost United Methodist ministry. Photo by Karl Anders Ellingsen

Northernmost United Methodist congregation thrives

North of the Arctic Circle, this church in Hammerfest, Norway gives young people a warm reception. Read More

Delegates consider legislation at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. File photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Fairness of GC2016 delegate allotment questioned

Critics say Europe and the Philippines are overrepresented, but others point to cultural, geographical factors. Read More

A woman and man hold high collection baskets during the offering in the April 24 opening worship service of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla.  Giving and the church budget are topics that the 2016 General Conference takes up when it meets in May. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016: Should the general church budget go up?

The denomination’s budget debate comes at a time when U.S. worship attendance is going down yet giving is going up. Read More

Historic image shows Titanic at sea.  Courtesy Phil Gowan.

Ties to the Titanic: Methodists aboard the famous ship

Among the many intriguing stories of survivors, historian Phil Gowan says a Methodist man married a woman he met on a lifeboat. View

Barbara Boigegrain, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits, speaks in a 2016 pre-General Conference briefing video. Screenshot of video courtesy of the pension board

Pre-GC2016 video on divestment gets pushback

Some United Methodists believe the Pension Board went too far in telling central conference delegates how to vote on General Conference petitions. Read More

Committee members vote on proposed legislation during the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. In 2016, delegates will be able to use machines to vote in legislative committees. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

Change coming to General Conference voting

At the urging of the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, delegates will use voting machines in legislative committees. Read More

Stanislas Kassongo (left) takes part in a panel discussion during the pre-General Conference briefing in Portland, Ore. Kassongo is a delegate to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference from the Central Congo Episcopal Area. Isabelle Berger (right) is a French interpreter from the denomination's Board of Global Ministries.

Preview to General Conference debate on homosexuality

Many expect the most passionate debates to be around how the denomination ministers with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Read More

When he landed on the Greek island of Lesbos on Oct. 30, 2015, Nabil Minas, a refugee from Syria, carried his children through the water and left them on the shore, then fell on his face and kissed the ground. A Christian, he crossed himself and covered his face with his hands, weeping with joy.

Seeking refuge across the sea

United Methodist photojournalist witnesses arrival of refugees in Greece and heroics of volunteers providing assistance. Read More

Bishop Eben Nhiwatwa of Zimbabwe (center) holds a meeting of African bishops following the April 26, 2012

African bishops speak out on terrorism, sexuality

The bishops ask General Conference to include daily sessions of prayer for church unity and the cessation of violence around the globe. Read More

Debating church restructuring at the 2012 General Conference. A 2012 file photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Could reorganizing agencies boost church vitality?

Plan UMC aims to align denominational resources toward fostering vital congregations. Church members debate whether it does. Read More

For the first time, the annual “President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge” included international participants. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Education

German theologian makes White House connection

United Methodist is one of 50 international guests at President’s higher ed event on interfaith cooperation, community service. Read More

Central conferences depend on local pastors

Challenges abound, but non-ordained clergy ‘swing the arms’ in faith. Read More

Refugees await crossing from Hungary into Austria. Photo © UNHCR/Mark Henley

Welcoming refugees as ‘fellow pilgrims’ in Europe

Both immediate actions and long-term perspectives are needed in crisis, says European Methodist Council. Read More

A young migrant girl hoping to reach Germany with her family holds up a sign inside the Hungarian border.  Photo by Oláh Gergely Máté

European refugee aid goes beyond food

For United Methodists and other faith groups, current migrant crisis shows that overall improvements are needed on how asylum seekers are treated Read More

Church leaders say by getting online credentials to officiate at a same-sex wedding, a candidate for ordination forfeited her United Methodist status. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Agency wants leeway to fight gay teen suicide

Discipleship Ministries is proposing legislation to lift restrictions on church funding with the goal of better helping the church prevent teen suicide. Read More

Ahlam Al Khaled, a health and nutrition educator for International Orthodox Christian Charities, walks with children in a settlement of Syrian refugees in Minyara, a village in the Akkar district of northern Lebanon. Photo by Paul Jeffrey for ACT Alliance

Christians under threat in Syria, Iraq

Trying not to forget daily suffering of all, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has committed more than $2 million to Syria-Iraq refugee crisis. Read More

San Francisco Area Bishop Warner Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, waters a newly planted tree in the Luther Garden in Wittenberg, Germany. The Lutheran World Federation is inviting churches around the globe to plant a tree in the garden and another in their area as part of preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in October 2017. Photo by Klaus Ulrich Ruof

Why Martin Luther matters to United Methodists

John Wesley took inspiration from the church reformer. United Methodists today are gearing up for the Reformation’s 500th anniversary. Read More

A group of 17 United Methodists, including six bishops, join in morning devotions at the Moravian Congregation at Herrnhut, Germany. The group made the pilgrimage to the historic home base of the Moravian Church to learn more about a movement that influenced John Wesley. Photo by Klaus Ulrich Ruof

A little-known big influence on John Wesley

While in Germany, United Methodist bishops and others learned more about the relationship between Methodism’s founder and the Moravians. Read More

United Methodist leaders in Zimbabwe hope to host a General Conference, but questions remain about the country's treatment of gay individuals. Church leaders say the city of Harare could certainly handle the crowd, since the city hosts the Ebenezer Convention. That United Methodist gathering, shown in a 2014 photo, drew some 55,000 worshippers to Harare. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga.

General Conferences planned for Asia, Africa

Plans call for the Philippines in 2024 and Zimbabwe in 2028. But concerns remain about Zimbabwe’s treatment of gay people. Read More

Daniel Krause is the new top executive of United Methodist Communications. Photo courtesy of Daniel Krause.

New top leader named for communications agency

Daniel Krause brings experience in both corporate communications and local church evangelism. Read More

Residents who worked on rebuilding a bridge in the Chitora community discuss finishing touches such as guardrails and controlling bank erosion. Photo by Vicki Brown, UMNS

Norway-Zimbabwe partnership founded on chabadza

United Methodists, Norwegian government “pitch in” to sponsor community development projects aimed at improving life in Zimbabwe. Read More

In 2014, giving to United Methodist ministries was up almost across the board. Photo illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Record number of conferences at 100 percent giving

United Methodist giving is up across the board. Church observers see that as sign of commitment to support the connection. Read More

An image of hands in prayer. Photo illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Prayers asked for families of 150 dead in German plane crash

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, who leads United Methodists in Germany, said the country is in mourning. Read More

The Connectional Table held a  panel on human sexuality on Feb. 10, 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique. From left are Nordic and Baltic Bishop Christian Alsted, the Rev. Israel Alvaran of the Philippines and the Rev. Nday Bondo, a lecturer at Africa University. Photo by Andrew Jensen, United Methodist Communications.

Sexuality panel displays church’s global variation

Church leaders from outside the U.S. express views as broad as the globe itself on the denomination’s ban on gay practice. Read More

Chuck, played by Josh Childs, ponders the Gospel of Matthew's account of the  Magi's visit to Jesus. Video image from ‘Chuck Knows Church: Wise Men,’ courtesy United Methodist Discipleship Ministries

6 questions with ‘Chuck Knows Church’ star

Josh Childs, who plays the titular lead, talks about his own faith and his extensive research for the popular series' potluck episode. Read More

Bishop Hermann L. Sticher led United Methodists in West Germany just before the Berlin Wall fell. Photo  courtesy of the United Methodist Church in Germany.

Bishop Sticher, German United Methodist leader, dead at 87

He challenged German United Methodists to be ‘a missionary church’ in increasingly secular Europe. Read More