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A blessing of the tractors worship service in DeKalb County. Story from the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church. Photo by Al Benson.

Blessing of the tractors

What better way to greet spring and express gratitude for a bountiful earth than a blessing for farmers and their families? Read More

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

The Rev. Edgardo Colón-Emeric blesses the elements of Holy Communion in front of a woodcarving of Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper” at the Upper Room Chapel in Nashville, Tenn. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Moratorium, study urged on online communion

A group of 27 United Methodist leaders is urging the denomination’s bishops to call a halt for now on the practice of Holy Communion online and do further study of online ministries. The recommendation — made just days before 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

The Rev. Kombi Ramazani Simon, of the Kivu Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was among the United Methodists expressing regret over President Trump’s reported derogatory remarks about African countries and Haiti. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS.

United Methodists join in Trump rebuke

President’s reported characterization of African countries prompts strong response from bishops, others. Read More

The Rev. W. T. Handy, preaching in the 1950s. He later was elected one of the early African-American bishops in The United Methodist Church’s South Central Jurisdiction, and he’s among three African-American episcopal leaders featured in an exhibit at Perkins School of Theology’s Bridwell Library. Photo courtesy Bridwell Library.

‘Black Archives Matter’ campaign catches on

Archivist at United Methodist Perkins School of Theology goes all out to collect, process, publicize African-American materials. Read More

Ecologically grown vegetables. Photo by Elina Mark, Wikimedia Commons.

Wesley’s diet, exercise tips promote health

Fatty, artery-clogging treats are out. High fiber, diabetic-friendly foods are in. Fad celebrity diet? No, just following in the footsteps of Methodism founder John Wesley. 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

While trying to straighten out the archives at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Louisiana, Reba Harrington and Mary Vizzier discovered a worn case holding the 1943 film “Christ Is Born.” The church made the film, collaborating with movie professionals from the Army Signal Corps stationed at nearby Camp Livingston. A restored version of the film will be shown at the church on Sunday, Dec. 17. Photo courtesy the Louisiana Conference.

New life for church’s 1943 Christmas film

Two women at First United Methodist in Alexandria, Louisiana, spark revival of movie the church made with the Army’s help. Read More

Members of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church in Chicago joined in an ecumenical Las Posadas procession. The re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for safe lodging carries special resonance for at least one family at the church. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo.

How an immigrant family found room at the inn

Las Posadas is the Mexican tradition of re-enacting Joseph and Mary’s search for safe lodging for Christ’s birth. For one family, the tradition has special resonance. Read More

Cindy Bishop, Wesley Nurse, leads a nutrition class in the community center of a colonia, east of Edinburg, Texas. Bishop is based at the First United Methodist Church in Edinburg, one of 88 church-based Wesley Nurses employed by Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas. The nurses focus on improving the health of the uninsured. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Wesley Nurses offer care, prayer

Church program puts registered nurses in United Methodist churches across south Texas, with focus on helping the uninsured. Sam Hodges reports from Edinburg, Texas, for United Methodist News Service. Read More

United Methodists were among demonstrators who converged on the U.S. Capitol to advocate that Congress act to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Photo by Tricia Bruckbauer, Church and Society.

Protests for Dreamers lead to arrests

United Methodists joined with people across the country rallying for Congress to protect immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Read More

Wilmot Collins made big news recently as a Liberian refugee who won election as mayor of Helena, Montana. Collins and his wife, Maddie, are longtime, active members at Helena's Covenant United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of Wilmot Collins.

Refugee U.S. mayor-elect is United Methodist

Wilmot Collins, mayor-elect of Helena, Montana, is a Liberian refugee and a United Methodist. 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

More than 300 people traveled to Impact Church in Atlanta to be part of a discussion on the possible future of The United Methodist Church. The Uniting Methodists Conference was held Nov. 13-14. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS.

Uniting participants call for unity, bravery

More than 400 people participated in a conference that emphasized The United Methodist Church’s strengths despite its differences over LGBTQ issues. 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

Linglestown Life United Methodist Church, in Harrisburg, Pa. had training Oct. 9 on what to do in the case of an active shooter. John Lubawski of the ALICE Training Institute led the session. Photo courtesy the Rev. George Reynolds.

Churches bear down on safety after Texas attack

Massacre at Baptist church prompts United Methodist churches to seek active shooter training. 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

Mark R. Mitchell, lay leader of Flores United Methodist Church and the Las Misiones District of the Rio Texas Conference, has organized local professionals to offer free help to families affected by the Nov. 5, 2017, massacre at nearby First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Photo courtesy Mark R. Mitchell.

A United Methodist balm for Sutherland Springs

Churches reach out in various ways to Texas Baptist church after mass shooting. Read More

A torn flag of Puerto Rico waves from a car a week after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. Photo by the Rev. Gustavo Vasquez, UMNS.

Bishop: Puerto Rico rises with church’s help

Bishop Ortiz told the Council of Bishops about the ways United Methodists are already helping the people of the U.S. territory. Read More

Pastors become chaplains after church massacre

United Methodist clergy offer counsel and organize special services after 26 are killed at small-town Texas Baptist church. 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

Young people in the QuadW Missional Internship program, such as these in Kansas City, Kansas, live and work together in low-income areas, building in time for prayer and Bible study. The United Methodist-affiliated program is set to expand, thanks to a $2.6 million foundation grant. Photo courtesy QuadW Missional Internship.

Big grant for missional internships

Foundation provides $2.6 million to expand `transforming’ United Methodist program for young people. Read More

The Rev. Matt Hall conducts a renewal of wedding vows service for Nick and Stephanie Houle atop Sugar Run Mountain, just off the Appalachian Trail near Pearisburg, Va. Hall serves as a United Methodist chaplain appointed to the trail community. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Appalachian Trail chaplain nears end of ‘2,200 miles of ministry’

From Maine to Georgia, the Rev. Matt Hall shares faith, offers encouragement, provides hospitality — even wedding vows — to fellow hikers. Read More

Lisa Mentges (center) works with a United Methodist volunteer team in October 2013 to repair her home in Long Beach, N.Y. after it was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. The volunteers are from the California-Pacific Conference. United Methodists have continued to help with recovery in the five years following the storm. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

5 years later, Sandy cleanup continues

Churches in areas hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy celebrate what’s done — but see much still to do. Read More

The Rev. Jackson Henry, member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, joined several hundred others in Murfreesboro, Tenn., to protest a white-supremacist rally that was planned but later canceled Oct. 28. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS.

Praying, singing as white supremacists rally

As the same hate groups that descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, came to Tennessee, United Methodists bore witness to a different message. 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

The Rev. Caesar Rentie, who once played offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears, now serves as vice president for pastoral services at Methodist Health System in Dallas. He’s also an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Texas.  Photo by Carter Rose, for First Mansfield United Methodist.

United Methodist chaplain played in NFL

After football, the Rev. Caesar Rentie found a vocation in pastoral care, and now is top chaplain at Dallas’ Methodist Medical Center. 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

Students in the Perkins School of Theology Th.M. program in Spanish led worship in Perkins Chapel on Oct. 12. Perkins, part of Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, is the first United Methodist seminary to offer an advanced theology degree in Spanish. Photo by Connie Nelson.

Going deeper with theology, and in Spanish

Perkins’ Spanish language Th.M. degree program is a first for a United Methodist Seminary. Read More

Debra Kelley walks out of her house preparing to go to work. She says having a key to her own front door is a precious gift. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church partners with ex-offenders

Tennessee Take One program matches faith-based groups with returning citizens. Read More

At a speaker’s request, members of the Wesleyan Covenant Association raised hands in prayer during the group’s Oct. 14 gathering at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, near Houston. Photo by Shannon Martin.

Evangelical group in ‘place of waiting’

Latest gathering of Wesleyan Covenant Association features lots of preaching, little strategizing. Read More

The U.S. court ruling striking down the housing-allowance tax exemption for clergy is not the final word. United Methodists leaders offer insights on the case. Photo illustration by BeyondJ, Pixabay

Responding to court ruling on clergy housing

A federal judge’s ruling striking down the law that provides tax exemption on clergy housing allowances is not the final word. Read More

A view of Senikau Momoka’s house shows the extent of damage to her property after wildfires swept through California on Oct. 9. Momoka is a member of First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa, which opened its doors to people left homeless after the blaze. Photo by Kelly Vaughn, courtesy of First United Methodist Church.

United Methodists help, struggle amid wildfires

United Methodists were there to help amid the deadly wildfires, which destroyed the homes of some church members. Read More

Delegates consider legislation during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. In 2020, the faces at General Conference may change, but the numbers will likely be the same. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

GC2020 delegate count holds steady

The Commission on the General Conference also is looking at how to make the lawmaking body’s proceedings more accessible digitally. 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

Text and art from country music star Jason Aldean’s Twitter and Instagram posts following a mass shooting in Las Vegas at an outdoor concert where Aldean was performing, Oct. 1. Image courtesy of Jason Aldean’s social media accounts.

After mass shooting, churchgoers offer help

Even as they pray for Las Vegas, United Methodists are preparing to respond to the long-term trauma. Read More

A view of First United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas, with the state capitol dome rising behind it. Photo by J.M. Hicks, courtesy of First United Methodist Church.

Church votes no weddings until all can wed

The Austin, Texas, church sees its vote as a way of showing solidarity with LGBTQ people even as the denomination does not allow same-gender marriage. Read More

An image of only the top paragraph of a press release issued by the North Texas Conference announcing that just resolutions had been reached among three parties after complaints following a same-gender wedding ceremony. Graphic courtesy of the North Texas Conference; cropped by UMNS.

Same-sex wedding complaints reach resolution

Two North Texas clergy faced complaints under church law — a retired pastor for officiating at the wedding and another for hosting it. Read More

Some 1,500 United Methodists and other Christians in the Wesleyan family attended the New Room Conference on Sept. 20-22 in Franklin, Tenn. The gathering aims to teach practices that can lead to Christian revival. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

New Room: Banding together for great awakening

The New Room Conference is trying to recover the Wesleyan method of band meetings. It’s just one way the event seeks to promote revival. Read More

The Sept. 19 earthquake in Mexico damaged tile roofs and plaster walls at the Tree of Life Center, in the village of Tlancualpican. The center is part of the United Methodist-supported Give Ye Them to Eat ministry. Photo courtesy Muriel Henderson.

Earthquake hits Methodist churches, ministry

Methodists in Mexico assess damage while joining relief efforts after their country’s second major temblor this month. 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

Survey seeks feedback on sexual harassment issues

United Methodist Commission on Status and Role of Women needs responses from clergy, laity to update data from 2005. Read More

Fifth- and sixth-graders at Monroe Academy donate supplies for a relief bucket drive sponsored by First United Methodist Church in Monroeville, Ala. Photo courtesy of Alabama-West Florida Conference.

Churches helping one bucket at a time

United Methodists rally to help survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma cleanup. Read More

Larry Magee, who is a homeless artist, asked the Rev. Vicki Walker of Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Fla., to keep safe paintings he had created during Hurricane Irma. She did. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Vicki Walker.

Waiting to assess impact of Hurricane Irma

As Hurricane Irma continued its meandering path from the Caribbean to the Southeastern U.S., United Methodists provided shelter and prepared for relief work. Read More

While children enjoy the playground, the adult congregation of Lake Houston United Methodist Church in Huffman, Texas, reacts to the message of the Sunday sermon by the Rev. Frank Coats. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Harvey survivors mindful of those in Irma’s path

United Methodists in southeast Texas continue to face big challenges from ruinous floods. Read More

Volunteers board up windows at East Naples United Methodist Church in Naples, Fla., in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Photo courtesy of East Naples United Methodist Church via Facebook.

United Methodists prepare for Irma to hit U.S.

From Florida to the Carolinas, conferences and churches in the hurricane’s projected path are taking precautions. Read More

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

‘God moments’ spur pastor’s Harvey relief efforts

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

Hundreds march for DACA and the Dream Act leaving from Centennial Park and ending outside the offices of Senators Corker and Alexander in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Churchgoers stand with immigrant Dreamers

United Methodists are calling for Congress to act on behalf of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Read More

Pastors preach comfort to Harvey survivors

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

Volunteers from Houston’s Bear Creek United Methodist Church used boats to help residents evacuate from Tropical Storm Harvey’s rising floodwaters. Photo by Michele Sibley, courtesy Bear Creek United Methodist Church.

Churches shelter many as Harvey damage spreads

Beyond Houston, communities and United Methodist churches cope with flooding and displacement from lingering tropical storm. Read More

Commentary: 5 Harvey things you don’t expect

The Rev. Eric Huffman, who is leading a new United Methodist church in Houston, reflects on what he’s learning from his first hurricane. Read More

A fallen sign at the First United Methodist Church in Aransas Pass, Texas, on the Gulf Coast, indicated the force of winds from Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast town on Aug. 25. Photo courtesy Rio Texas Conference.

Churches pitch in as Harvey crisis continues

Relief officials prepare for long-term response in Houston and other parts of south Texas. Read More

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

Harvey floods hit Houston churches

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

Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey engulf the home of the Rev. Andrew Wolfe, associate pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Andrew Wolfe.

Texas floods force rescue of many

United Methodist churches prepare for long-haul recovery as catastrophe continues. 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

The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, leads a a discussion at the National Immigration Gathering on ways churches can offer sanctuary to those facing deportation.  The event was held March 12-14, in Washington, and Church and Society was a co-sponsor. The agency has worked to broaden the definition of sanctuary. Photo courtesy Board of Church and Society.

Sanctuary as more than shelter

United Methodist advocates say there are many ways to help those at risk of deportation. Read More

Mika Sam, 15, studies a display of Native American leaders inside the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C.  A member of the Choctaw tribe, he attends Great Spirit United Methodist Church in Bogue Chitto, Miss. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Native Americans share stories, songs at conference

Gathering included a ‘Cherokee Immersion,’ with visits to a Native American museum and village in Cherokee, North Carolina. Read More

Women weave a loom of prayer at Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson, Mo. The prayer loom was among the ways United Methodists across the United States addressed the violence in Charlottesville, Va. Photo courtesy of the Rev. F. Willis Johnson.

At Sunday worship, pastors decry racism

After witnessing the white supremacy that led to deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, United Methodists across the U.S. spent Sunday proclaiming a different way in Christ. Read More

Bishop Minerva Carcaño and Bishop Mande Muyombo offer communion during opening worship at the 46th MARCHA Assembly in Dallas. MARCHA, the denomination’s Hispanic/Latino caucus, met at a Dallas hotel but held worship services in Perkins Chapel, at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Prophetic speaking a given at MARCHA

The church’s Hispanic/Latino caucus discusses Trump effect and celebrates 25th anniversary of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry. Read More

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

Louisiana needs flood-recovery volunteers

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

The Rev. Kirk VanGilder, a Deaf United Methodist elder, communicates in sign language during the Aug. 1, 2017, opening worship service at the Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf in Waxahachie, Texas. Photo by Sam Hodges, United Methodist Communications.

Deaf ministry moves toward empowerment

Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf offers makes history with certified lay servant course. Read More

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

Rallying against Texas ‘bathroom bill’

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

The Rev. J. Phil Wogaman (right) and Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling greet each other during the 233rd session of the Baltimore-Washington Conference in Washington, D.C. Wogaman handed in his clergy credentials during the clergy session over the case of T.C. Morrow, a lesbian who was not approved for ordination as a deacon in 2016 or 2017 and for others he feels have been excluded. Photo by Dawn M. Hand, Foundry United Methodist Church.

Conferences take on immigration, sexuality

The denomination’s long-running debate about LGBTQ people was on display, as was many conferences’ commitment to the sojourner. 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

Many United Methodist Men units in the United States struggle to reach younger men. The group’s National Gathering at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis featured advice for how these groups can become fishers of millennials. Photo illustration by Lucas Allmann, Pexels

Becoming fishers of young men

United Methodist Men during their national gathering heard ideas on where to cast their nets to draw in millennial disciples. Read More

United Methodist Men join in worship during the group's 12th National Gathering, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. More than 620 men from across the United States registered for the event. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Making discipleship a ‘contact sport’

United Methodist Men at their 12th national gathering heard frequents calls to get off the bench as Christ followers. They also put that call into action. Read More

Musicians perform at Revival on the River 2017 in Greenwood, Mississippi. The worship event, which featured praise bands and family gospel groups from area churches, was started by teenager Ethan Oltremari to help with racial reconciliation and break down denominational barriers. Photo courtesy of Revival on the River, Greenwood.

Teen leads revival for racial reconciliation

Ethan Oltremari, a Mississippi United Methodist, started Revival on the River not only to bring people to Christ but also to help them worship as Christ calls — as one. Read More

Members of Embrace Church in northern California’s Bay Area pose for a group selfie. The new church, which launched officially in July 2015, began as a small group of Oakland Korean United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of Embrace Church.

How to reclaim the church-planting tradition

Methodists once planted at least a church a day. Today’s United Methodists are recovering their heritage — with a modern twist. Read More

Worshippers join in prayer at Impact Church, a United Methodist church in the Atlanta suburb in East Point, Ga. The church is one of the fastest-growing Protestant churches in the United States, and is an example of the strength of United Methodist new church starts. Photo courtesy of Impact Church.

Growing impact of new churches

In all the news of shrinking U.S. church attendance, it’s worth noting that starting new churches is an area where The United Methodist Church shows strength. Read More

The Rev. M Barclay, at left, kneels at the Northern Illinois Conference’s commissioning of provisional deacons on June 4 in St. Charles, Ill. Barclay is the first openly “non-binary trans person” to become a United Methodist deacon. Photo by Anne Marie Gerhardt, Northern Illinois Conference.

Transgender person commissioned as deacon

The United Methodist Church has no official position on transgender clergy. M Barclay is believed to be the church’s first non-binary trans person to be commissioned. 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

Chubb Chapel United Methodist Church was founded in 1870 by the Chubb family and other black residents of Chubbtown, Georgia. Before and during the Civil War, the Chubbs were free blacks, something rare in the rural South at that time. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Little church looms large in black history

Chubb Chapel United Methodist’s remarkable story gains attention thanks to Nick Chubb, college football star. 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

Veteran Bill Shugarts volunteers at the Wall in D.C. Video image by United Methodist Communications.

Vietnam Vet’s Military Ministry

United Methodist Bill Shugarts is a U.S. vet whose work at D.C.'s Vietnam memorial inspired him to support today's troops too. View

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

The San Antonio, Texas brothel run by Mary “Madam” Volino would in 1895 become a rescue ministry for young women in prostitution. The change came after Volino’s dramatic conversion. The Methodist-supported ministry would soon shift its focus, arranging adoptions of babies born there to young women pregnant out of wedlock. This undated photo shows the infant room. Photo courtesy of Providence Place.

From brothel madam to Methodist mission founder

United Methodist's research sheds light on Mary `Madam' Volino, whose conversion yielded a Texas ministry now in its 122nd year. 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

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

Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend. Photo by Anthony Massey, Wikimedia Commons.

Ideas for observing Memorial Day

Churches in the U.S. find a wide variety of ways to honor fallen veterans. 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

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

Family Fosters 100 Children: Ralph and Sue Hillman

Sue Hillman felt a call to help those in need. View

Earth Day Every Day At Church

United Methodists set an example as good stewards of the planet. View

Bikers exercise while generating electricity at the green gym at Cass Community Social Services, part of Cass Community United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit. UMNS photos by Jess Warnock. Accompanies UMNS story #023. 1/10/12.; A UMNS photo by Jess Warnock

UMTV: Green Gym At Church

A United Methodist pastor is leading a revolution - a green revolution. Donated exercise equipment and discarded tires provide jobs and power. View

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

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

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