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Council of Bishops News & Statements

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

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

Pastoral letter from the Africa bishops

"We call on the entire African Church to continue to depend on this one Holy Triune God, the rock of ages, who has been our travelling companion throughout history..." 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

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

In love with union

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, welcomed and addressed the council as they began their "most critical and significant meeting," on November 6, 2017 in Lake Junaluska, NC. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough likened bishops to explorers of old as they seek a way forward for the denomination to stay together despite deep divisions around homosexuality. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops called to navigate ‘off the map’

Bishop Ough, Council of Bishops president, spoke as his colleagues were about to begin discussing a report by the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward 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

Special service on Capitol Hill to mark 500th Anniversary of Reformation

A special service on Oct. 25 in the Simpson Chapel at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill will mark the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Read More

John K. Yambasu speaks at the Africa College of Bishops retreat in Mutare, Zimbabwe, which was marked by in-depth conversations among serving and retired bishops. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

African bishops recommend 7 central conferences

Africa’s bishops also discussed how to maintain church unity amid divisions around how the church should minister with LGBTQ individuals. Read More

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. leads the Great Plains Annual Conference.  Photo by United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

In this podcast, United Methodist bishop of Nebraska and Kansas (Great Plains) talks about growing up, his call to ministry, and his devotional life. Listen

Bishop Minerva Carcaño

United Methodist bishops call for a ‘Clean Dream Act’

The bishops are praying and urging action for the young people affected by the U.S. government’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Read More

Bishop Susan Haupert-Johnson was called to ministry after an early career in law. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson

In this podcast episode we chat with Bishop Sue about her early career in law, her love of books and Broadway, and her daily practice of silence. Listen

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

Former COB President Bishop Rüdiger Minor of Germany dies

The Council of Bishops regrets to announce that retired Bishop Rüdiger (Ruediger) R. Minor of Germany passed away September 3, 2017. 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. "We're committed to being the hands and feet of Christ." View

Bishop John Yambasu gives the benediction at the end of a remembrance and thanksgiving service for the victims and survivors of a devastating landslide at the bottom of Mount Sugar Loaf, Sierra Leone, on Aug. 27. United Methodists — including entire families — are among the hundreds killed after torrential rains caused deadly mudslides and flooding near Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu. UMNS.

COB President appeals for prayers and disaster relief support

Bishop Bruce R. Ough urges all United Methodists to pray and offer support to survivors of Gulf Coast flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone. Read More

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

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Harald Rückert

In this podcast, we explore a bishop's faith journey as we talk with the church leader in Germany. He studied food technology, plays the sax, and speaks four languages. Listen

UMC Bishops: Stand up against racism and white supremacy

Bishop Bruce R. Ough has challenged United Methodists and all peoples of faith to be bold in the witness against racism and white supremacy. Read More

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

Image of Martin Luther

Call to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

"As we approach the fall and look toward the 500th anniversary of this event, I encourage United Methodists everywhere to mark this occasion," said Bishop B. Michael Watson. Read More

Council of Bishops moves May 2018 meeting from the Philippines

The United Methodist Council of Bishops will move its 2018 May meeting from Manila, Philippines, for security reasons. Read More

Commission on a Way Forward to meet in Chicago next month

The Commission on a Way Forward will convene in Chicago July 19-21 to continue its work concerning human sexuality and exploring options for the future of The United Methodist Church... Read More

South Congo Area Bishop Kasap Owan

South Congo Area Bishop Kasap’s fiancée dies in hospital

Ms. Miriam Mwenya Tshibind passed away in a hospital where she was admitted due to low blood pressure. Read More

Retired Bishop John Wesley Hardt Dies

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church regrets to announce the death of Bishop John Wesley Hardt, who passed away June 18, 2017. Read More

Churches Uniting in Christ council sets two-year goal

UMC ecumenical leaders attended the Coordinating Council of Churches Uniting in Christ to celebrate the mutual recognition of ministries and to set vision and goals for the next two years. Read More

UMC bishops ask Trump to reconsider decision to withdraw U.S. from climate accord

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking U.S. President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. 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