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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

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

Doris Cooper, third from left, and Joyce Robins-Brown, second from left, joined thousands of other protesters, including United Methodists, who marched to oppose President Donald Trump’s executive order allowing construction on the Dakotas Access pipeline to resume. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, based in North Dakota, organized the Native Nations March.  Photo by Erik Alsgaard, UMNS.

United Methodists join protest against pipeline

United Methodists among thousands in D.C. marching against resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read More

Young clergywomen challenge evangelical group

The women addressed their letter to the Wesleyan Covenant Association, which wants to hold the line on the denomination’s homosexuality teachings. 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

Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition work together to host legal clinics for immigrants, like this one at Hillcrest United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., in 2012. The United Methodist Church and many other religious groups are supporting a bill called the BRIDGE Act. It would extend protection from deportation for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. File photo by Jan Snider, UMNS.

As deportations expand, ‘Dreamers’ have hope

United Methodists among those supporting bipartisan legislation to protect young people brought into U.S. illegally as children 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

St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas recently went on the National Register of Historic Places. The Collegiate Gothic Revival sanctuary was built from 1913 to 1927, as funds were available. St. Paul is the only predominantly African-American church left in a part of downtown Dallas that was a center of black life during segregation. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Historic black church determined to look forward

Dallas’ St. Paul United Methodist, under the Rev. Richie Butler, seeks growth, influence even as it goes on National Register of Historic Places. Read More

Humberto Barralaga, second from right, was arrested by officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Feb. 7. Barralaga, a member of the lay leadership at the House of Prayer United Methodist Church in Dodge City, Kansas, is shown with his family. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Raciel Quintana.

Immigration officials detain United Methodist leader

Humberto Barralaga is one of more than 600 people arrested in federal immigration raids. He and others are seeing their families divided. Read More

The Orchard, which denominational data lists as the 16th highest in worship attendance in the U.S., and another large congregation, Getwell Road United Methodist Church, have each begun steps to leave the denomination. Photo courtesy of The Orchard

2 big churches seek exit from denomination

Leaders of the Mississippi congregations expressed frustration with the denomination’s ongoing homosexuality debate. 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

Church supports release of Puerto Rican nationalist

United Methodists in the U.S. and Puerto Rican Methodists have long advocated for the release of Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López-Rivera, recently pardoned by President Obama. Read More

In this 1979 photo, Hoover (right) and Mai Gray (center), president of the Women’s Division, greeted Lee Tae-young, affiliated with Ewha University in South Korea.

Remembering Theressa Hoover, woman of firsts

Trailblazing African-American female became a top executive in the denomination and a mentor who was “larger than life…gentle as a dove.” Read More

Elizabeth Knotts, 6, collects the offering at New Hope Valley United Methodist Church in Valley Furnace, W.Va. For the third consecutive year, a record number of U.S. conferences paid full apportionments to support general-church ministries. 2015 File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Record number of conferences give 100 percent

The denomination in 2016 saw the highest total payout rate to general church funds on record. Giving is robust even as some worry about the church's future. Read More

At Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport, published reports state that 2,000 people gathered outside the international arrivals area to rally against the president’s executive order. Photo by Erik Alsgaard, Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Faith leaders urge all to welcome strangers, refugees

President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban refugees from seven Muslim countries countered by voices of faith leaders. 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

Pastor Rudy Rasmus preaches at his Houston United Methodist church. Image by United Methodist Communications.

Rudy Rasmus’ Church Growth Tips

Pastor Rudy's challenge: make the most of 52 Sundays a year. His church grew from 9 members to 9,000. The secret: View

Dallas Parker, left, the Rev. David Wilson and Tim Byington, right, present thermal coats to a camp volunteer at the Oceti Sakawin Camp at Standing Rock. The coats were donated by the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas. Photo courtesy of Dallas Parker.

Standing Rock Sioux to fight Trump’s pipeline order

Tribe urges supporters to contact congressional leaders over the decision, as nearly 800 remain camped out near Dakota Access Pipeline site. Read More

The editors of The CEB Women’s Bible are the Rev. Christine A. Chakoian, the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, the Rev. Jaime Clark-Soles, the Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli and the Rev. Rachel Baughman. Gaines-Cirelli and Baughman are United Methodists, and Clark-Soles teaches at United Methodist Perkins School of Theology. Photo courtesy of Abingdon Press.

Women’s edition of Bible offers new light

Eighty-member, all-female team, including United Methodists, did editing, commentary on edition that emphasizes women and social issues in Scripture 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

Image of Methodist Bishop Gilbert Haven. Courtesy: Archives and History.

Methodist History: Bishop Fought Slavery

Gilbert Haven lived in the 19th-century but was progressive in his stances to end slavery, allow interracial marriage, and grant ordination of women. View

Forty United Methodists who are members of the 115th Congress will be working in the U. S. Capitol in Washington. Photo by Kevin McCoy, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

40 United Methodists in new U.S. Congress

Overall number of United Methodists dips since last Congress. Republicans still outnumber Democrats. Read More

The General Council on Finance and Administration has released a guide for United Methodist churches considering using crowdfunding websites. Illustration by Dieter Scheppeit, courtesy of Pixabay; modified by UMNS

6 tips on crowdfunding for churches

The United Methodist Church’s finance agency has released a new guide for using sites like Kickstarter. The advice: User beware. Read More

President Barack Obama kisses Dorothy Height during a meeting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 18, 2010. President Obama met with a group of African-American seniors and their grandchildren on the legacy of the civil rights movement.

Dorothy Height stamp debuts Feb. 1

A leader in civil rights and women’s rights, United Methodist Dorothy Height is vividly depicted in U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. Read More

Bishop Sally Dyck (at left) and retired Bishop Jane Allen Middleton each released rulings of law in late December 2016 stemming from questions around homosexuality and ordination requirements. Photos courtesy of the Council of Bishops

2 bishops rule on ordination questions

As required by the Judicial Council, two bishops have ruled on questions stemming from issues around gay ordination. Read More

The Rev. Gary Brooks, lead pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Wichita, confers with the Rev. Nathan Stanton, new church development coordinator for the Great Plains Conference. Photo by David Burke

Emphasizing unity in Christ over divisiveness

Kansas church charts a middle course amid denomination’s theological divides, disagreements about homosexuality and the possibility of schism. 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