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Bishop Laurie Haller started her service to the church as an organist.  Photo courtesy Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Meet Bishop Laurie Haller

United Methodist bishop, musician, author, and endurance athlete shares about her life, call to ministry, and how she keeps her spirit in shape. Listen

United Methodist Bishop Frank Beard is an avid fisherman. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Meet Bishop Frank Beard

At 11 years old, he was asked to acolyte in his United Methodist church, “Lighting the candles. Firing up the church. I think that’s been my mantra ever since.” Listen

Bishop Lewis serves the Richmond Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy the Council of Bishops.

Meet Bishop Sharma Lewis

A United Methodist bishop shares about her roots in the church, her call from medicine to ministry, a love of shoes, and her rich prayer life. Listen

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT-USA and NWCU events

The Council of Bishops will offer scholarships to assist seminary students and other young adults who will be attending UMEIT and NWCU for the first time. Read More

Bishop Bruce Ough presides over Holy Communion during the Memorial Service on Nov. 5.

Overall: Bishops receive interim Way Forward report, elect new officers

During their meeting on Nov. 5-10, the bishops stressed the importance of the mission of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ. Read More

UMC Bishops call for respectful conversations in time of uncertainty

The bishops reminded United Methodists about Ephesians 4:1-2 which admonishes us “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called... Read More

The Council of Bishops prays for the bishops who are members of the Commission on a Way Forward.

Bishops uphold values of mission, unity, space, contextuality in interim report on Way Forward work

The Council of Bishops is exploring sketches of three models as possible directions for a way forward for The United Methodist Church. Read More

Florida Area Bishop Kenneth H. Carter has been elected as the next president of the Council of Bishops

Bishop Carter elected as president of Council of Bishops

Bishop Kenneth H. Carter will take over from Bishop Bruce R. Ough effective at the end of the May 2018 meeting. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward convened in Nashville, Tennessee, October 30 - November 1, 2017.

Commission on a Way Forward drafts interim report to the bishops

Commission members agreed on presenting an interim report that emphasizes the need for unity of the UMC, yet recognizing the different theological understandings on LGBTQ identity. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward gathers during its October 2017 meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Commission on a Way Forward working on interim report to bishops

The Commission began its sixth meeting on October 30, 2017, with a devotion that challenged the members to be as one in the body of Christ. Read More

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of an ecumenical organization, Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

United Methodist bishop to lead Congo ecumenical organization

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas Annual Conference spoke to worshipers at a United Methodist church in Matagorda, Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Video image by Andrew Jensen, United Methodist Communications.

Texas bishop assures church after hurricane

Bishop Scott Jones greeted worshipers with thanks and a strong message of support after Harvey devastated the area. View

Bishop Harald Rückert once studied food technology, speaks four languages and plays the saxophone. Photo by Volker Kiemle, Communications Germany United Methodist Church.

Meet Bishop Harald Rückert

In this conversation, we learn that the bishop of the Germany Central Conference once studied food technology, plays the sax, and speaks 4 languages. Listen

Volunteers wait to help recover bodies of those killed in flooding and a mudslide near Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

Church leaders visit Sierra Leone disaster area

United Methodist bishop prays for God to have mercy on Sierra Leone as he leads clergy group to visit two communities devastated by flooding and a mudslide. Read More

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer presents

UMC bishops ponder full communion with Episcopal Church

The United Methodist Church is studying a draft proposal to establish full Communion relationship with The Episcopal Church. Read More

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

Torio re-elected bishop in the Philippines

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

Women in the Southeastern Jurisdiction pray for Bishops-elect Sue Haupert-Johnson (in green-and-blue) and Sharma Lewis (in yellow-and-white) a day before their consecration. United Methodists already have elected a record number of women bishops this year. Photo by Jasmine Haynes, Mississippi Conference

New women bishops make history

U.S. delegates have elected more women bishops than in any previous class of United Methodist episcopal leaders. Four are African American. Read More

Leaders’ Summit to Focus on Cultivating Vital Congregations

U.S. episcopal leaders and their extended cabinets will gather in Jacksonville, Fla. November 2-4, 2016 to focus on building strong and vital congregations. Read More

Council launches prayer initiative: Praying Our Way Forward

As plans are underway for the establishment of a Commission on a Way Forward, the Council of Bishops is setting in motion a parallel prayer initiative called “Praying Our Way Forward.” Read More

Ken Carter is resident bishop of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of Bishop Ken Carter.

Why We Need Evangelicals: A United Methodist Perspective

Bishop writes, “I cannot allow a beautiful, life-giving word, “evangelical,” to be marginalized, scorned, scapegoated or neglected.” Read More

The Rev. Frank Beard, Indiana Conference, is escorted to the stage by Illinois Area Bishop Jonathan Keaton (left) and Indiana Area Bishop Michael Coyner (right) after the announcement that Beard was elected bishop by the North Central Jurisdiction July 13, 2016 on the sixth ballot. Photo courtesy of the North Central Jurisdiction.

Frank Beard elected bishop by North Central Jurisdiction

The Indianapolis pastor was elected on the sixth ballot at the 2016 North Central Jurisdictional Conference. Read More

The Rev. Tracy Smith Malone (left, Northern Illinois Conference) is introduced by Maggie Jackson, North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy chair, as a newly elected bishop of the North Central Jurisdiction. Smith Malone was elected July 13, 2016 on the sixth ballot. Photo courtesy of the North Central Jurisdiction.

Tracy Smith Malone elected bishop in North Central

The Chicago district superintendent was elected on the sixth ballot at the 2016 North Central Jurisdictional Conference. Read More

The Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson of the Florida Conference was the fifth elected bishop at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, meeting in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Photo by the Rev. Burt Williams, Western North Carolina Conference.

Southeastern elects Haupert-Johnson as bishop

The Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson is fifth bishop elected by the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. Read More

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner. Courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

After Brexit vote, German bishop offers support to British Methodists

United Methodist Bishop Rosemarie Wenner wrote, “In these challenging times, we are grateful for our connection in the Methodist family.” More

The Rev. Beth Jones, Susquehanna Conference, speaks May 18 on the motion to accept the Council of Bishops statement

GC2016 puts hold on sexuality debate

Bishops asked to defer sexuality legislation until a commission completely examines and possibly recommends revisions to Discipline paragraphs related to sexuality. Read More

Digital Lounge: Bishop Bruce Ough becomes President of the Council of Bishops

With a symbolic passing of the gavel from Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Bishop Bruce R. Ough became the new president of the Council of Bishops. View

United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck joined other national faith leaders and senators speaking on welcoming Syrian refugees during a Capitol Hill press conference on Dec. 8.

United Methodist bishop shares stories of Syrian refugees

National faith leaders and three senators held a press conference to call for mercy for asylum seekers. Read More

Bishop Marcus Matthews leads the Baltimore-Washington episcopal area. Photo courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Washington Area bishop meets with pope

Bishop Marcus Matthews was one of 11 ecumenical leaders invited for the first Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the U.S. Read More

Like many refugees, this Syrian girl photographed in front of Budapest Keleti Railway Station on September 3, 2015, is far from home. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

German bishop on migrants: ‘Meet people, not problems’

United Methodist Bishop Rosemarie Wenner shares how doing many little things together can make a big difference in ministry with Syrian refugees. Read More

Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

United Methodist Bishops reach out after Charleston shooting

After a tragic shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the Council of Bishops is reaching out to the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Read More

United Methodist Louise Baird Short, wife of minster Roy Short, has attended every General Conference since 1939. Photo by Samuel M. Simpkins, courtesy of the Tennessean.

109-year-old United Methodist lives life fully

The oldest living widow of a bishop, Louise Baird Short visited the Great Wall of China at 95 and has attended every General Conference since 1939. Read More

Bishop Rueben P. Job helped shape the church's understanding of Wesleyan teachings and influenced what congregants sing at worship. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop Job, who helped people deal with death, dead at 86

Job wrote more than 20 books including, “Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living.” He also left a mark on the United Methodist Hymnal. Read More

Oct. 2006 image shows graffiti reading

German bishop writes of fall and call of Berlin Wall

Rosemarie Wenner says dreams came true in November 1989, but 'the unification of my nation is also a call. There are too many walls in our world.' Read More

Volunteers place stickers on buildings they visit to show contact made in Ebola education. Friday, Sept. 19, was day one of a three day lockdown in Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu.

Letter urges compassion, not stigmatization in Ebola crisis

Representatives of the Council of Bishops and the Board of Global Ministries issued a letter in response to the Ebola crisis affecting West Africa. Read More

A conversation with Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.

United Methodist Communications sat down with Bishop Warner Brown as he prepares to give his first presidential address to the Council of Bishops. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Warner Brown gives the sermon during worship at Central United Methodist Church in Luanda, Angola. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Brown’s Presidential Address, November 2014

Watch video of Bishop Warner H. Brown giving the president's address at the Council of Bishops meeting on Nov. 3. View

Retired Bishop Jane Allen Middleton. Photo courtesy the New York Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Bishop Middleton named interim leader in New York

Retired Bishop Jane Allen Middleton tapped to be interim bishop for New York Annual (regional) Conference, from Jan. 1, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016. Read More

Bishop McLee. Photo courtesy of the Council of Bishops.

Bishop McLee, ‘champion’ for marginalized people, dies

The 58-year-old leader died Sept. 6. His funeral will be live streamed from Riverside Church in New York City on Monday, Sept. 15. More

United Methodist Bishop Rueben P. Job discusses his book,

Bishops seek to help church ‘find way’ on homosexuality

In a new book, 8 United Methodist bishops share their thoughts on various ways forward for the denomination in the longtime dispute. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Roy C. Clark. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Clark, theologian, relief leader, dies at 93

Clark pushed The United Methodist Church to help the marginalized globally and create vital congregations locally. Read More

Singer Lee Greenwood stands with Bishop James Swanson Sr. at the Duty to God breakfast held in Nashville, Tenn.  Photo by Rich Peck, UMNS.

Bishop urges national Scout leaders: Be loyal to God

Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. shared the stage with country star Lee Greenwood at the national Boy Scouts of America prayer breakfast. Read More

Photo courtesy of Korean Coast Guard/ Wikipedia Commons

Bishops offer comfort after ferry disaster

As hundreds remain missing after last week’s disaster, United Methodist leaders reached out to the people of South Korea. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Lloyd Knox dies at 85

A native of Florida, Knox devoted years of service to the church as missionary, episcopal leader. Read More

Bishop, churches respond to school stabbings

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton asks for prayers for the students and families of Pennsylvania high school where 19 students and one adult were stabbed. Read More

Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS

Chicago Area bishop to join immigration rally

Families separated by deportation “need to know… leadership of The United Methodist Church cares,” says Bishop Sally Dyck. Read More

Photo courtesy of the Council of Bishops

Bishop Morgan, ‘leader of leaders,’ dies

As an active bishop, he led the mergers of conferences in Mississippi and later Kentucky. He also mentored future bishops. Read More

Bishop Matthews asks for prayers, action after D.C.-area mall shooting

“A deep sense of tragedy hangs in the air,” Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference wrote as he called for prayers in the wake of the Jan. 25 shooting at the Mall in Columbia. Read More

Bishop Tuell, church law expert, dies at 90

Retired Bishop Jack M. Tuell died Friday, Jan. 10, at the age of 90. He was president of two general agencies and influential in The United Methodist Church’s ecumenical work. Read More

The Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell, executive secretary for the Native American and Indigenous Ministries at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, speaks to visiting members of the Council of Bishops at Cherokee United Methodist Church. At left is Bishop Larry Goodpaster. UMNS photos by Annette Spence.

Bishops visit Cherokee as part of repentance

"Immersion experience" for Council of Bishops begins at Trail of Tears. Churches can "choose to be a catalyst of healing and reconciliation." Read More

Bishops called to embrace ‘team spirit’

Despite differences, bishops urged to remember they 'depend on one another to be faithful to God's mission.' Read More

Bishop Wertz, uniting leader, dies at 97

Leaders credit him with helping forge the merger into today's United Methodist Church. Read More

The Ministry of Servanthood

We all are part of a worldwide servant community which is of particular importance now while many clergy are moving to a new appointment Read More

EU leaders meet church and faith leaders

Bishop Wenner was among 18 high-level religious leaders invited to meet with the President of the European Union. Read More

Forum of Bishops Meeting Continues

The second day of the learning forum for bishops serving annual conferences around the world focused on the strengths of The United Methodist Church. Read More

United Methodist Bishops to Experience Life at the Border

On Tuesday, May 7, beginning at 1:30 p.m. PDT, United Methodist bishops from all over the world will visit the U.S. Mexico border to immerse themselves in the reality of life at the Southern border of the U.S. and sharpen their focus on how the church can be in... Read More

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46,1

The Boston Marathon started as a celebration of life and ended as a time of mourning. Read More

A Message About Korea from Bishop Jung

As the situation on the Korean Peninsula raises concern throughout the world, Bishop Hee-Soo Jung calls for an end to threats of war. Read More

Bishop urges peace in Korea

As the situation on the Korean Peninsula raises concern throughout the world, Bishop Hee-Soo Jung calls for an end to threats of war. Read More

Easter message from Bishop Wenner

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner reminds us that death is not the final word. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcao is framed by the tightly-spaced mesh of the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, during the observance of Posada Without Borders. Today Carcao was among a group of religious leaders who spoke with President Obama about immigration reform.

President invites bishop to immigration meeting

Bishop Minerva Carcao among faith leaders invited to White House; immigration 'a moral issue we all share,' she says. Read More

The Rev. Cynthia Harvey participates in a prayer service in Cote d'Ivoire in 2009.

Women making history: Cynthia Fierro Harvey

March is Women's History Month. As part of a series about women leaders, Louisiana Area bishop says we Read More

The Lenten Journey

The Lenten journey is a risky trip. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, to take up the cross and to follow him. Read More

Church takes fresh look at Christian unity

New Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships begins with meeting to Read More

Council of Bishops opens ecumenical office

An important organizational transition in the denomination Jan. 1 by launching an Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships. Read More

Christmas Greetings from Bishop Wenner

A young girl in Germany reminds us of important message. View

United Methodists of note who died in 2012

Bishops, agency leaders, evangelists and political leaders among those United Methodists who filled their lives with contributions. Read More

Bishop Stokes, scholar and reconciler, dies

Stokes, 100, was a longtime professor at Candler and helped bring together previously segregated church in Mississippi. Read More

The priorities of 14 new bishops

Their challenges - from disaster response to malaria to global conflict - distinguish them, but reaching out to a world in need unites them. Read More

Help end killing, says Congo bishop to U.S.

"Rwanda is killing our people," United Methodist Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda tells U.S. House subcommittee at hearing. Read More

U.S. bishops elected, assigned for 2012-16

United Methodists also place a bishop on involuntary retirement and respond to shooting in Colorado. Read More

Bishop Leontine Kelly dies at 92

First African-American woman bishop is remembered as a trailblazer, spiritual mother and 'a gift to The United Methodist Church.' Read More

Wenner’s ‘stepping stones’ to bishop

German episcopal leader and new council president always felt welcome in the UMC. Read More

$90 million budget advised for bishops

The 2013-16 budget request for the Episcopal Fund represents about a 4 percent decline from the previous four years. Read More

Bishops vow to uphold same-sex union ban

Council of Bishops' letter is first response after statements by United Methodist clergy willing to bless such unions and by clergy opposed. Read More

Wenner, Brown win election to lead bishops

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of Germany will be the first woman from outside the United States to preside over the council. Read More

President’s Message: The Church’s One Foundation

Bishop Goodpaster frames the Council's meeting: Read More

Bishops called to reclaim church’s mission

Council of Bishops president urges church to be 'a community of faith active in love, alive as the body of Christ.' Read More

Retired Bishop Duecker dies in Fort Wayne

Involvement with Africa University and camping ministry kept bishop's ministry active long after his retirement. Read More

Former Nebraska Bishop Monk Bryan, 97, dies

Bishop Bryan served the Nebraska Area as bishop for eight years, remembered for his humor and spirituality. Read More

Leaders ponder funding, structural changes

Among the proposals is to combine general agencies into fewer groups and to change the denomination's funding formulas. Read More

Bishops seek change in presidency

The constitutional amendment would allow the Council of Bishops to elect one of its members to be a full-time, nonresidential bishop for four years. Read More

Bishops to change ecumenical agency

If General Conference approves, the agency will become part of the Council of Bishops. Read More

Bishops hear call to lead church’s future

But church leaders face a challenge in gauging what sort of guidance United Methodists need, bishop admits. Read More

Ecumenical commission considers its future

The general agency has proposed drastically shrinking its board or folding its work into the Council of Bishops. Read More

Bishops react to homosexuality statement

Some urge prayer and dialogue. Others express disappointment. Still others support a call to lift ban on gay clergy. Read More

Bishop Edwards, mission leader, dies

Edwards oversaw the North Carolina Conference and led the effort to establish a seminary in Russia. He was 71. Read More

Bishop Ammons, trailblazing leader, dies

Bishop Edsel A. Ammons was among the denomination's first African-American episcopal leaders. Read More

Bishops oppose racism, back immigration reform

United Methodist leaders call on Christians to advocate for humane reform and to recognize the sacredness of every person. Read More

African bishops urge theological education

Pastoral training is not keeping pace with church growth. Leaders hope $2 million will help change that. Read More

Bishops face challenge on same-sex unions

In states where gay marriage is legal, United Methodist leaders focus on upholding church law while encouraging dialogue and respect. Read More

Bishops support church reforms, accountability

Eighty active and retired bishops endorsed widespread reforms, including accountability for promoting church growth. Read More

Leaning into the Future: President’s Address to the Council of Bishops

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster challenges the bishops to focus attention on what is about to happen rather than what has always been. Read More

Bishops urged to embrace change

In his address to the council, Bishop Larry Goodpaster asked leaders to abandon structures that are not working or face further church decline. Read More

United Methodist Council of Bishops to Meet in Panama Nov. 2-6

More than 87 United Methodist bishops from Africa, Europe, Asia and the U.S. will gather in Panama City, Panama for the semi-annual Council of Bishops meeting Nov. 2-6, followed by a meeting of the Conference of Methodist Bishops and Presidents on Nov. 7-9 and CIEMAL on Nov. 10. Read More

Bishop Mathews, ardent missionary, dies

Friends say bishop combined Wesley's ideal of personal and social holiness. Read More

Bishop Dew, social justice advocate, dies

Church leader championed marginalized throughout ministry. Read More

Bishops seek justice in Philippines

Bishops condemn killings, urge prayer, activism for people of Philippines. Read More

Goodpaster becomes bishops’ new president

"I want to be where God wants me to be," new president says. Read More

Bishops experience, affirm ministries of love

People tell United Methodist leaders of Christ's power in difficult times. Read More