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United Methodist bishops pose for a group photo in May 2017 on the steps of First United Methodist Church in Dallas. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Church court asked to set scope of petitions

The United Methodist Church's top court, the Judicial Council, will hear arguments related to what legislation can be submitted to the special General Conference in 2019. Read More

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton (center), who leads the New York Conference, speaks during a meeting of the Commission on General Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Seated to the left and right are Duncan McMillan, the commission chair, and Moses Kumar, General Conference treasurer. Photo by Art McClanahan, Iowa Conference.

Paying for the special General Conference

The Commission on General Conference approved registration fees for visitors to GC2019. A big concern is helping delegates do their work. Read More

Screen shot from a livestream Q&A held by Bishop Scott Jones with members of the Texas Conference. From left, Leah Taylor, member of the Commission on a Way Forward, Bishop Scott Jones, and the Rev. Jessica LaGrone, also a commission member. Photo courtesy of the Texas Conference.

Bishops’ action leads to questions

Some bishops expect three plans will be submitted as legislation to the special General Conference. Other bishops emphasize only one plan has their recommendation. Read More

The Rev. Gary Graves of the Kentucky Conference, and his wife Jennifer, are recognized following his election as the incoming Secretary of the General Conference  at the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Error forces revote on failed constitutional amendment

United Methodist conferences must revote on an amendment to the church’s constitution because the wrong version was sent to conference secretaries. Read More

Bishop José Quipungo of the East Angola Area (left) and Sue Laurie of Love Prevails, an unofficial group that advocates for equality of LGBTQ individuals, share Holy Communion during the United Methodist Council of Bishops meeting in Chicago. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishops’ proposal garners range of responses

Bishops themselves are choosing to emphasize different parts of their motion for a Way Forward. Advocacy groups are also making their thoughts known. Read More

From left, Bishop David Yemba takes communion from Bishops Ciriaco Q. Francisco and Sandra Steiner Ball on May 3 during the meeting of the Council of Bishops in Chicago. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Church ratifies 3 constitutional amendments

Two other possible amendments — both promoting women’s equality and inclusion in the church — fell short of the required votes. Read More

Dana Lyles of Western North Carolina Conference and the Rev. Brad Brady of the South Georgia Conference were among the Connectional Table members talking in small groups during the April meeting in Chicago. The 64-member church leadership body discussed how to carry out the church’s disciple-making mission in this time of uncertainty. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning for post-General Conference church

The Connectional Table, a church leadership body, is looking at ways to support the church’s mission in uncertain times and beyond. Read More

Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball speaks during the April 2018 meeting of the Connectional Table. The meeting addressed the Way Forward Commission's work and the worldwide nature of the church. Photo by Heather Hahn, United Methodist News Service.

Bishop urges new mindset for way forward

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball said United Methodists will need a new approach to General Conference if they are to move through their impasse around homosexuality. Read More

Lay adult members Emma Tousant of the Evangelical United Brethren and J.P. Zepeda of the Methodist Church shake hands as part of the uniting ceremony that marked the formation of The United Methodist Church in 1968. This moment of celebration was years in the making. Photo courtesy of Archives and History.

Amid tumult of 1968, a church came together

The United Methodist Church’s birth took years of work and a commitment to end racial segregation. Historians say 50 years later, the union offers lessons for today. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward participate in a letting-go prayer at the end of their four-day meeting at El Segundo United Methodist Church in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Way Forward prepares final report to bishops

The Council of Bishops will use that report in drafting proposals to submit to the special General Conference. At present, two options are the main focus. Read More

Delegates read the bishops' statement about sexuality and the church on May 18, 2016, at the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Delegates’ early thoughts on Way Forward

Bishops have focused on two possibilities for how the church ministers with LGBTQ individuals, with a traditionalist plan waiting in the wings. Delegates share views on proposals so far. Read More

Judi Kenaston makes a presentation during a meeting of the United Methodist Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Kenaston, a Connectional Table member from the West Virginia Conference, has been leading that group’s discussion about what a possible new U.S. church structure might look like. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Building support for U.S. structure

Church leaders discuss what they see as a growing need for a decision-making body that deals exclusively with U.S. issues, but there is no formal proposal. Read More

For four straight years, a record number of U.S. conferences have contributed to general church funds. Church: Steven Kyle Adair, clouds: Kathleen Barry, UMCom; coins: Kevin Schneider, courtesy of Pixabay; illustration: Laurens Glass, UMNS.

For 4th year, church sees record giving

This year also marks the first time the denomination’s finance agency is also reporting apportionments from outside the U.S. Read More

Wesley United Methodist Church in Pujehan, southern Sierra Leone, was officially unveiled on Dec. 11, 2017. The church is the first United Methodist building to be constructed in the Pujehun District. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Denomination’s membership tops 12.5 million

United Methodist growth worldwide comes even as the U.S. continues to see its membership and worship attendance slide. Read More

The Council of Bishops and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women want people with allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct to know they will be heard. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishops, agency respond to #MeToo movement

United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church is not immune to sexual misconduct, and they pledge to take such allegations seriously. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward convened Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn. The commission is still working on possibilities for the denomination’s future. Photo by the Rev. Maidstone Mulenga

Way Forward fleshing out 3 possible futures

No one possibility for LGBTQ inclusion predominates, commission members said. But they did offer some more details. Read More

Women of Office United Methodist Church in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, welcome visitors to the church which offers ministries to women affected by their country's 20 years of war. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Conferences near goal for Congo rape survivors’ center

Three United Methodist conferences are collaborating with the East Congo Conference to build the Mama Lynn Center. Read More

Inmates can see visitors through the bars of the custodial facility main gate of the Camalig Meycauayan City Jail in Bulacan, Philippines. The city jail is designed for 90 detainees, but has more than 200. Members of New Hill Burning Bush United Methodist Church recently distributed medicines to the inmates.

Filipino church provides medicines for jail inmates

Members of a United Methodist church distributed medicines to the overcrowded Camalig Meycauayan City Jail. Read More

Women and children take sanctuary inside the Light and Life United Methodist Church in Tacloban City, Philippines, after Typhoon Urduja, also known as Kai-Tak, struck the area on Dec. 16. Three persons reportedly died and thousands of families were driven from their homes by floods and landslides. Photo courtesy of Iris Picardal-Terana and Ronnel Tuscano de Juan, Light and Life United Methodist Church.

Filipino church offers sanctuary during typhoon

Church members and six families took refuge in Light and Life United Methodist Church as thousands were driven from their homes by flooding and landslides. 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

Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan (left), gives a set of pajama to an injured soldier during a two-day relief effort in June by Filipino United Methodists for wounded military and people displaced by violent conflicts in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Capt. Eduardo Copliting.

Church helped ease the pain in Filipino siege

Church assisted Filipinos caught in the battle between government forces and Islamic State militants on the island of Mindanao. Read More

Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana, a United Methodist deaconess, speaks during the International Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Quezon City, Philippines. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the Association of Women in Theology sponsored the observance. Photo by Jonathan Sta. Rosa.

Deaconesses observe anti-violence against women day

United Methodist deaconesses in the Philippines took part in an ecumenical gathering calling for an end to violence against women. 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

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung speaks with Rebecca Cole, director of grassroots organizing at the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, at the three-day “Peace on the Korean Peninsula” seminar held at the United Methodist Building in Washington, Nov. 13-15. Korean-American United Methodists added their voices to the growing number of people calling on the U.S. government to tone down the rhetoric on North Korea. Photo by Erik Alsgaard, the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Joining the call for peace on Korean Peninsula

United Methodists need to educate themselves, others to become faithful advocates for peacebuilding. 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

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

A newly planted mangrove sapling stands tall during the opening devotion of a tree-planting ceremony along the shore of Minanga River in the Philippines. Members of Greenhills United Methodist Church and Central United Methodist Church helped plant 320 mangrove trees to counteract climate change. Photo courtesy of Jastine G. Narvaez.

Filipinos plant 3,044 trees to aid Mother Earth

"The global warming-climate change phenomenon has worsened." — Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan. Read More

In a video image, Simon Christodoulou (left), an Australian, and Jun Abella (right), a Filipino-Australia immigrant, participate in a practice TV broadcast that was part of a training workshop led by Siegfred Balatan, a producer for GUMC.TV, in Sydney, Australia.  The training was conducted as part of a Television ministry partnership between Wesleyan Methodist Church in Parramatta, Sydney, Australia, and Uniting Church of Australia. Photo courtesy of GUMC.TV.

Digital/TV ministry to serve Filipinos in Australia

Partnership among Filipino United Methodists with Australian churches opens new door to worshippers. Read More

From left, Bishop Samuel Aguilar, vice president of CIEMAL (Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean); Elder Juan de Dios Peña, president of the council; and Bishop Hideide Gomes de Brito Torres, council secretary, listen during the XI Assembly taking place Oct. 9-13, in Panama City, Panama. The three were elected officers at the meeting. Photo by the Rev. Gustavo Vasquez, UMNS.

Strengthening mission in the Americas

Methodist and United Methodist leaders meet to discuss how to bolster the church in Latin America and the Caribbean and heard an update on Puerto Rico. Read More

Beryl R. Coloma, chairperson of Puno United Methodist Church’s outreach ministry, reads a statement by the Philippines United Methodist Board of Church and Society, reiterating its denouncement of extrajudicial killings by the Philippine government. Photo courtesy of Puno United Methodist Church Communications.

Philippines United Methodists decry government killings

Philippines Board of Church and Society issues statement as the government’s violent war on drugs continues. 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

Members of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum gathered with the thousands of protesters in Rizal Park, Manila, on Sept. 21, marking the 45th year of martial law in the Philippines. It was also called a

Filipinos protest on martial law anniversary

“Only antidote to the power of tyranny is the power of organized people.” 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

Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan (left) prays for a leader (red vest) at a refugee camp in Malaybalay, Philippines. United Methodists pooled their resources to provide relief to wounded soldiers and people displaced due to violence between the military and the Islamic State group or ISIS. Photo courtesy of Dan Ela.

Filipino United Methodists help those fleeing violence

Filipino United Methodists provided relief to wounded soldiers and people displaced because of violent conflicts. 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

The choir of Rhems United Methodist Church in New Bern, N.C., sings an anthem on Palm Sunday. The rural church has seen its ministry grow with the addition of Karen refugees from Burma. Photo courtesy of Rhems United Methodist Church.

Refugees revitalize country church

The movie “All Saints” shows how Karen refugees saved a church. Rhems United Methodist Church has a similar story and a personal connection to the film. 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 local committee for the “BalikBayanihan2018” convocation, set for Jan. 3-6, had its first meeting at the United Methodist Headquarters in Manila.

Filipinos to come home for a mission

BalikBayanihan2018, a convocation set for Jan. 3-6 in Manila, Philippines, is being organized by Filipino-American United Methodists and a local committee. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Ciriaco Francisco speaks at a demonstration on the day of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation address on July 24 in Manila. Both Francisco and retired Bishop Solito K. Toquero denounced the extension of martial law in Mindanao. Photo by Sonny G. Dela Pena.

United Methodists decry Mindanao martial law

United Methodists condemned the extension of martial law in Mindanao, joining in demonstrations and other protests. 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

United Methodist Communications special projects manager April Mercado (right) leads a ham radio class during a crisis simulation in Cebu, Philippines. The Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Program was held to strengthen communication during times of crisis. Photo by Mildred Arce, UMNS.

Ham radio classes help prepare for disaster in the Philippines

Workshop focuses on utilizing offline communication tools to strengthen emergency response during times of crisis in the country. 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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippines church holds sexuality forum

A recent forum on sexuality at a local United Methodist Church was an effort to support denomination-wide conversations on LGBTQ people. 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

Senior division winners of the 10th National Bible Quiz in Manilla, Philippines, were Faith Eunice Rubante (left), Central Luzon Philippines Conference, third place; Angela Joy Balod, Northern Philippines Conference, second place; and Niomi Nicole Salitico, Bulacan Philippines Conference, first place. The Grand Finals were held at Central United Methodist Church on Jan. 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jeremiah and Melvin Nor Ramos.

Bible Quiz contestants conquer fear to inspire

After six months of competition, winners were declared in contest that increases scriptural knowledge for young 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

Delegate Pierre Kasongo (right) and other members of the Tanganyika delegation vote on legislation while supporters of full rights for LGBTQ persons in the life of The United Methodist Church stand with their mouths taped shut outside the bar of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., to symbolize the way LGBTQ people feel they are silenced by the church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church’s homosexuality debate tops 2016 news stories

Disaster response and episcopal elections were other big stories for The United Methodist Church in the past year. Read More

Philippines bishop honored for sheltering poor

United Methodist Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco gave sanctuary to thousands of farmers after a peaceful demonstration turned deadly. 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 1,200-voice choir was a highlight of Revive 2 at the Ultra-Philippines Sports Complex in Pasig City on Nov. 26, an event which drew 10,000 United Methodists.

Revive 2 in Philippines draws 10,000

This was the second revival event held to highlight the legacy and contributions of The United Methodist Church. Read More

Bishop Pedro M. Torio Jr. speaks to the Philippines Central Conference after he was re-elected as a United Methodist bishop on Dec. 1. His wife, Joyce, holds their baby. Photo by Gladys Mangiduyos, UMNS

Torio re-elected bishop in the Philippines

Bishop Pedro M. Torio Jr. was re-elected bishop by the Philippines Central Conference on the sixth ballot. Read More

A man is tested for HIV/AIDS at a forum held at Wesleyan University, Philippines, to promote awareness and help reduce stigma associated with the disease. AIDS affects as many as 37 million worldwide. Photo by Gladys P. Mangiduyos, UMNS.

Philippines United Methodists raise awareness on HIV/AIDS

More than 160 clergy and laity members attended the forum and members voluntarily rolled up their sleeves to be tested for HIV/AIDS. 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

Women delegates to the Philippines Central Conference attended a gathering to educate women and youth delegates about the issues facing The United Methodist Church. The delegates will vote on the election of Filipino bishops at the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 meeting. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Ferariza-Meneses

Filipino women, youth prepare to elect bishops

Gatherings educate youth and women delegates on issues facing The United Methodist Church. The delegates are preparing for Philippines Central Conference meeting. 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

Map indicates location of Davao City in the Philippines. Image courtesy of United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

United Methodists respond after Philippines bombing

Explosion on Sept. 2 killed 14, injured dozens, and shook Cathedral United Methodist Church in Davao City. “We would like to help families of victims as well as the vendors.” Read More

United Methodists respond to Philippines bombing

Blast shakes church's neighborhood, and United Methodists working with elected officials on finding ways to help victims. 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

United Methodist Bishops Solito K. Toquero (left) and Rodolfo A. Juan break sweet potatoes for Holy Communion at a rally during the first State of the Nation Address July 25 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte of the Philippines in Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana

Church supports ‘genuine change’ in Philippines

New president’s State of the Nation Address inspires hope in many. 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

Children get a closer look of a large inflatable globe during the May 12th General Conference Climate Vigil at Oregon Convention Center Plaza in Portland. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Prayers, paper lanterns at climate vigil

Across the connection, United Methodists are experiencing the effects of climate change and some are calling General Conference 2016 to act. Read More

Bishop Warner Brown addresses the Council of Bishops inside Collins Hall at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Ore.

Bishops’ president: Believe church can change

Ahead of GC2016, Bishop Brown shared his own experiences with the church’s desegregation to explain his faith in the church’s power to transform. Read More

Farmers (many of them Lumads) stage a die-in protest along General Santos-Cotabato national highway in Koronadal City, Philippines, to raise their demand to the government for the immediate release of calamity funds and justice to the farmers of North Cotabato who were violently dispersed last April 1 in Kidapawan City.

Commentary: GC2016 will hear Lumad plight

The Lumads, indigenous peoples in the Philippines, are on a pilgrimage in the United States to tell their stories of struggle and hope. 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

Bishop Rodolfo Juan, center, with the Rev. Rubynell Estrella, pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Manila, lead a candlelight prayer service at Central for farmers caught in a violent protest at the Spottswood United Methodist Church.

United Methodist church sheltering farmers in Philippines

Police have surrounded the Spottswood United Methodist Church, which is providing sanctuary to farmers and Lumads after a protest turned violent. 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

Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana, a United Methodist deaconess, documented the experiences of the women relatives of victims of human rights violations. She presented her research in a lecture series on “Women in the Revolutionary Struggle” on May 14 at the University of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Benny Mendoza

Filipina deaconess focuses on women confronting violence

United Methodist Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana has received an award for sharing the women's stories. She calls them her research partners. Read More

Bishop Samuel Azariah, second from left, the moderator of the Church of Pakistan, was host of a conference in Lahore earlier in March on interreligious cooperation. Azariah asked for prayers for peace and “wisdom” from political and religious leaders after the Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Pakistan. Photo courtesy of the World Council of Churches

Easter attack on Pakistan’s Christians

Church of Pakistan leaders pray for an end to religious extremism after terrorist attack on a large number of Christians and those of other faiths at Lahore park. 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

Some 200 faculty and students of Wesleyan University-Philippines in Cabanatuan City joined the One Billion Rising movement to fight violence against women.

Fighting violence against women

United Methodist leaders in the Philippines are joining in the One Billion Rising movement to fight violence against women. 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