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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

United Methodist Bishop Jane Allen Middleton speaks during a protest in Washington calling for an end to a U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their parents. President Donald Trump signed an order to end the policy of forced separation. Photo by Erik Alsgaard, UMNS.

Order ending family separations welcomed

Still, United Methodists cautioned that details of any policy shift are important and stressed that the executive order isn’t enough. Read More

Kim and Donna Hines of Rockport, Texas, who lost their home in Hurricane Harvey, accept a quilt from Zelina Alvarado, a case management worker from the Rio Texas Conference. The conference was able to find financing and volunteer labor that helped the couple make a new home from their garage and a second structure on their property. Photo courtesy of the Rio Texas Conference.

Rio Texas offers hurricane recovery tour

United Methodist conference notes progress made, but need for volunteers continues nine months after Harvey. Read More

Sessions criticized for ‘zero tolerance’ Bible quote

Fellow United Methodists among those faulting attorney general for immigration policy, rhetoric. Read More

A person standing in the United States reaches their hand toward Mexico along the border fence at El Faro Park in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2012. United Methodists are joining opposition to a new “zero tolerance” policy that is separating immigrant families. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

United Methodists fight separation of immigrant families

A new “zero tolerance” policy which takes children away from their families is inhumane, faith leaders say. Read More

United Methodist Insurance, a part of the General Council on Finance and Administration, has put together a free, downloadable booklet on how churches can prepare for natural disasters and extreme weather. Artwork courtesy of GCFA

Help for churches in preparing for disaster

United Methodist Insurance has produced a free e-booklet to help churches prepare for emergencies even before it looks like we're in for nasty weather. Read More

Worshippers, many of whom voted to withdraw from The United Methodist Church, join in a service May 27 at the Porter Funeral Home Chapel in Louisville, Miss. The Mississippi Conference is seeking to keep First United Methodist Church property in United Methodist hands.

Conference claims property of exiting church

The Mississippi Conference says departing members of First United Methodist Church in Louisville can’t take the property with them. Now the matter heads to court. Read More

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling preaches on unity during worship at the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 30. Photo by Tony Richards.

Bishop rules 2 LGBTQ clergy candidates ineligible

Baltimore-Washington bishop rules two clergy candidates approved by the Board of Ordained ministry are not eligible because they are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) greets Bishop Scott Jones prior to the May 22 oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council in Evanston, Ill. The two argued different positions before the court. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Court ruling spurs competing interpretations

Focus now turns to how the special General Conference will determine which pieces of legislation are “in harmony” with its stated purpose. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward converse with each other as they complete their final commission meeting on May 23 at the Upper Room chapel in Nashville, Tenn. Many commission members credit the book “The Anatomy of Peace” with helping them work together. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Can a book help the church stay together?

A number of delegations to special General Conference are reading “The Anatomy of Peace” to prepare for their work. Here's why. Read More

The Rev Alicia Coltzer-Besser, superintendent of the Texas Conference's Southeast District, and her mother, Margaret Heck. Heck was substitute teaching at Santa Fe High School, near Galveston, Texas, when a mass shooting occurred there May 18. She was unharmed. Photo courtesy Texas Conference.

United Methodists, bishop respond to school shooting

United Methodists in the Santa Fe, Texas, area and Bishop Scott Jones have responded to a deadly school shooting. Read More

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. Gaston Warner and Reegan Kaberia of the nonprofit ZOE, which works with orphans and other vulnerable children in Africa and India, lead a workshop at the Beyond These Walls mission conference at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Making a statement about missions

Conference stresses empowerment, sustainability in United Methodist mission work. 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

An abandoned sandal lies just across the border from Mexico near Friendship Park in San Diego. 2012 file photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church ready to welcome asylum seekers

Christ United Methodist Ministry Center in San Diego, California, is preparing to accept some of the hundreds of migrants seeking asylum who are gathered at border. 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

North Texas Conference Bishop Mike McKee leads discussion about the Commission on a Way Forward. McKee has been holding a series of meetings across the conference, and this was one held April 12, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Hitting the road for Way Forward

Bishops take different approaches to sharing about effort to hold the church together amid conflict over homosexuality 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

Tess Junger, a student at Monroe Elementary, Oklahoma City, participates in a demonstration of support for the teachers asking for better wages and conditions. Photo courtesy of Whiney White Junger.

United Methodists support students, protesting teachers

In Oklahoma and West Virginia, United Methodist churches offered spiritual food and support to educators in the midst of struggle. Read More

Kay Schecht, standing with Bishop Mike McKee, accepts the Foundation for Evangelism’s Distinguished Evangelist Award during the April 8 worship service at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, in Irving, Texas. Photo by Bill Fentum.

Laywoman honored as ‘Distinguished Evangelist’

Foundation for Evangelism gives major award to Kay Schecht for work with at-risk children and youth, including bringing them to church. 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

Bishops (from left) LaTrelle Easterling, Bruce R. Ough, Hope Morgan Ward, Bob Farr and Karen Oliveto carry a United Methodist banner. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS

United Methodists stand, act to end racism

United Methodists joined thousands at a rally on the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s death. Those at the rally pledged anew to combat the sin of racism. Read More

First United Methodist Church in Louisville, Miss., is one of two congregations whose members voted to withdraw from The United Methodist Church in March. Photo courtesy of First United Methodist Church.

2 churches vote to leave denomination

Two Mississippi churches exited The United Methodist Church last year, and now two more want to withdraw. The pastor cites ongoing homosexuality debate. Read More

Funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo courtesy of Keystone Pictures USA / Alamy Stock Photo.

United Methodists on 50 years without King

Those who walked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were young — pastors and college students — when they met the man who would change the course of their lives. 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

Panelists discussed the core work of practical theology and religious communities today during a conference on practical theology at United Methodist Candler School of Theology. Shown, from left, Abdullah Antepli, Diana Butler Bass, the Rev. Brian McLaren and moderator Robert Farley. The discussion was part of the “Practical Matters Conference,” March 22-24. Photo by Taylor Burton-Edwards, UMNS.

Conference celebrates 15-year collaboration

A three-day conference on practical matters facing churches celebrated a 15-year collaboration among Candler School of Theology, the Lilly Endowment and Emory University. Read More

Liberians in the U.S. through a humanitarian program and their allies rallied in favor of a permanent pathway to citizenship at the Minnesota State capital. The rally was the day before President Donald Trump terminated the Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberia program effective March 31, 2019. Photo by Nelima Sitati-Munene.

Liberians in U.S. anxious after DED termination

After fleeing war and disease, Liberians now living in U.S. fear job loss and deportation as 20-year-old humanitarian program ends. Read More

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lined bleachers at a March for Our Lives rally held in Parkland, Fla., March 24. Adults have the power to change gun laws if they get out and vote, students emphasized. “Policy change is not as difficult as losing a loved one,” one student said. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS.

Marching in the shadow of death in Parkland

Parkland, Florida, has become ground zero for gun control activism after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead on Feb. 14. Read More

Hannah Beamish, an 11th grader from Rochester, New York, came to the lock-in at National United Methodist Church in Washington, March 23 with her youth group. As thousands of people streamed into the nation’s capital for a rally to end gun violence in schools, several United Methodist churches in and around Washington opened their doors to offer youth groups and their leaders a place to stay, eat, sleep and prepare for the rally. Photo by Erik Alsgaard.

Churches offer lodging for youth marchers

United Methodist churches in Washington fed and housed youth groups who came for the March for Our Lives rally against gun violence. Read More

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, the episcopal leader of the Baltimore-Washington Conference (center), along with other members from Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, stand in front of the United Methodist Building before the rally. Photo by Sheila George.

Marchers call for new gun laws

Marchers in 800 cities joined a group of students from a school where a gunman killed 17 people in saying “enough is enough” when it comes to gun violence. 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

Bishop Scott Jones speaks at Dallas meeting with leaders of church-related institutions to discuss the denomination's future. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Looking at Way Forward’s institutional impact

Bishops heard from institutions that could see their ministries harmed if the church splits. Institutional leaders said they left feeling more hopeful about the church’s future. Read More

Evelyn Hall (1890), an outstanding example of Queen Anne architecture, is among the public buildings at Bay View, a United Methodist-affiliated summer community in northern Michigan.  Bay View is embroiled in a lawsuit overs its requirement that only practicing Christians can own a cottage there. Photo courtesy Bay View Chautauqua Inclusiveness Group.

‘Christians only’ cottage ownership challenged

United Methodists among those backing suit to lift restriction on who can own at Bay View, a United Methodist-affiliated summer community in northern Michigan. Read More

David Ivey mucks out the second floor of a damaged home in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, a town known for having as many cows as people. Photo by Matt Brodie.

United Methodists help Puerto Rico rise

A South Carolina mission team helped the storm-battered island begin recovery through UMCOR, Home Depot and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico partnership. Read More

A man and a youth killed in separate package explosions in Austin, Texas, both had family connections to the city’s Wesley United Methodist Church. Neither victim attended Wesley, said the pastor of the historic African-American church. Photo by Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bombing victims had family ties to church

Pastor of Austin’s historic Wesley United Methodist sees no reason to think church was target. 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

Anna Golladay, seen here participating in the 2017 Women’s March, was fired for performing a same-sex wedding of two congregants. Golladay was a licensed local pastor serving at St. Marks and St. Elmo United Methodist churches in Chattanooga, Tenn. Photo courtesy of Reconciling Ministries Network.

Local pastor loses license for officiating at same-sex wedding

Anna Golladay was serving as associate pastor at St. Marks and St. Elmo United Methodist churches in Chattanooga, Tennessee, until her dismissal on Feb. 28. Read More

Eurasian Area Bishop Eduard Khegay (left) was without his wallet at New York's LaGuardia Airport when he got unexpected assistance from the Rev. John Wimmer, a United Methodist clergyman who noticed Khegay's bishop's lapel pin. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Wimmer.

Hungry bishop gets help from stranger

Bishop Eduard Khegay’s anxious airport layover was eased by fellow United Methodist pastor. Read More

Multiple winter storms with large amounts of snow, high winds and subzero-Fahrenheit temperatures have buried communities around the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish and Blackfeet Nation in northwestern Montana. Photo courtesy of Whitefish United Methodist Church.

Churches help in Montana snow emergency

The Blackfeet United Methodist Parish, Yellowstone Conference and UMCOR collaborating with Blackfeet Nation, which is buried under record snowstorms. 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

Work is nearing completion on the Sebring, Fla., home of Nirmala Narayan. Hers was the first case opened by the Florida Conference’s case managers in Central Florida. Photo by Gustavo Vasquez, UMNS.

United Methodist Irma recovery work continues

“After the news forgets about what’s happening, there’s still need,” said one Florida pastor. Read More

Thousands of students converged on the state capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, on Feb. 21. Chanting “Vote Them Out,” and carrying signs like “Enough is Enough,” the young people demanded change in gun laws that would prevent future school shootings. Among the protesters were students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Photo by the Rev. Andy Oliver.

United Methodists support teens lobbying Florida lawmakers

A United Methodist elementary teacher says the survivors of the school shooting will be “change agents.” Read More

Writer and photographer Ken Garfield shakes hands with the Rev. Billy Graham. Garfield, who wrote a book, “Billy Graham-A Life in Pictures,” is the director of communications at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Triumph Books/The Charlotte Observer.

Graham influenced many United Methodists

Evangelist famed for televised revivals also took ecumenical approach in spreading the gospel. Read More

The sign at the United Methodist Building in Washington, where the Board of Church and Society’s offices are, was changed after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. Photo courtesy of United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

Pastors, churches respond to Florida massacre

As pastors and churches near a mass school shooting respond, one church leader says United Methodists must do more than pray about gun violence. Read More

Luella Krieger portrays Priscilla from the New Testament, often thought to have been the first female preacher or teacher in early church history. Krieger travels the U.S. as an evangelist doing first-person dramatizations of biblical heroines. Photo courtesy of Luella Krieger.

Evangelists aim to bring Bible to life

Evangelists who proclaim the good news for a living have found new ways to lead revival. Still, it’s a challenging career path. Read More

Denzel Washington talks about his film

Denzel Washington continues support of black colleges

The Hollywood star directed a film about United Methodist-related Wiley College and has given two million dollars to its debate team. 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

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