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GC2016: News Archives

Bishop Bruce R. Ough reads a Council of Bishops statement about sexuality and the church at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

Bishops approve plan for sexuality panel

The bishops’ executive committee also acknowledged the church’s fast-changing landscape as it plans the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

Bishop Marion Edwards kisses newly elected Bishop Paul Leeland during the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference's service of consecration in 2008. Edwards died in 2011. The five U.S. jurisdictions will elect 15 new bishops and assigned its new and continuing bishops July 13-16, 2016. File photo by Bill Norton, UMNS

July conferences to elect 15 U.S. bishops

The new class of episcopal leaders will have at least some influence on the bishop’s planned commission on human sexuality. Read More

5 conferences join faith coalition on reproductive rights, abortion

After General Conference 2016 told two general agencies to end membership in the faith coalition that supports reproductive health and abortion, the Oregon-Idaho Conference voted to join. Read More

Louise Short, 106, (center) visits with Bishop Benjamin Chamness on May 1 during the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. At right is Jo Ann McClain, administrative assistant for the Council of Bishops. A file photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Louise Short, General Conference stalwart, dies at 110

Until this year, the widow of Bishop Roy Short, attended every General Conference going back to 1939 ─ 18 assemblies. Read More

Two conferences vote for full inclusion of LGBTQ

The Desert Southwest and California-Pacific conferences call for a halt to judicial actions related to church law that discriminates against LGBTQ people. Read More

The Revs. Will Green (left) and John Blackadar offer a resolution that the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church

New England Conference passes ʽact of non-conformity’

New England delegates overwhelmingly say conference won’t honor church law regarding homosexuality. Read More

General Conference has authorized a study of the areas bishops serve in the United States.  Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

U.S. Northeast keeps bishops — for now

The 2016 General Conference voted to leave the number of U.S. bishops unchanged as church leaders consider changing the denomination’s map. Read More

Forty years after the Soweto uprising, leaders of churches in conflict-torn countries gathered in South Africa to study the ways of peace and reconciliation. The ecumenical gathering in Johannesburg was organized by the World Council of Churches and the South African Council of Churches. Photo courtesy of the World Council of Churches

Finding peace from conflict, post-Soweto

South African, ecumenical church leaders use 40th anniversary of Soweto uprising as backdrop for consultation on peace building, reconciliation. Read More

The Rev. Anne Gatobu from the Global AIDS Fund speaks during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference May 18 in Portland, Ore. In the background are the Rev. Donald Messer and the Rev. Joan Carter-Rimbach. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

AIDS goal: Ending the public health threat

In a Q&A, leaders of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund outline plans to keep the denomination involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Read More

Isaac Broune (left) and Joe Tueche Ndzulo handle the French desk during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. News reports from General Conference were transmitted via text message in four languages to almost 4,000 recipients in Africa.

Thousands of Africans received GC2016 news via text

A new texting program kept African United Methodists in the loop as General Conference was happening. Read More

Plan UMC agency restructuring got a chilly reception at the 2016 General Conference. Church leaders still are looking for how agencies can better serve the global connection. Wordle by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

After GC2016, future murky for agency reform

Plan UMC got a cool reception at this General Conference, but proponents still hope some form of agency restructuring will come back in four years. Read More

Protestors in support of LGBTQ clergy line the entryway to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference May 18 in Portland, Ore. Many wore or carried  clergy stoles of defrocked clergy.

Conferences react to ‘Way Forward’ on sexuality

The Council of Bishops’ proposal to put the sexuality debate on hold doesn’t end complaints or charges. Read More

Delegate Pierre Kasongo (right) and other members of the Tanganyika delegation vote on legislation while supporters of full rights for LGBTQ persons in the life of The United Methodist Church stand with their mouths taped shut outside the bar of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., to symbolize the way LGBTQ people feel they are silenced by the church. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016 commentary: We can’t legislate church

Church can’t be legislated, but a clear mandate for denominational unity would help the next General Conference. Read More

United Methodist bishops listen to morning worship from the stage of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.  Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishops in no rush to form sexuality panel

Church leaders want the right people for the task of finding a way forward. Meanwhile, bishops still must deal with current church law. Read More

Musicians lead singing on May 12 during morning worship at the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016 wrap-up: Farewell, Portland. Thanks for the doughnuts.

General Conference 2016 skirted division over human sexuality and focused on a wide range of matters. Read More

Bid to divest from settlements fails

Israel-related amendment on socially responsibility investing fails, but General Conference supports advocacy letter for Palestinian village. Read More

The Rev. L. Fitzgerald “Gere” Reist II (center) is honored for his years of service as secretary of the United Methodist General Conference during the denominational meeting May 20 in Portland, Ore. Presenting him with a blanket are Cynthia Kent (left) and Raggatha Calentine. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

May 20 wrap-up: Budget passes, with increase

The last day of General Conference 2016 began with passing a budget, ended trying to beat the clock. Read More

LGBTQ people gather for final demonstration

Circling the plenary floor, clergy, advocates and allies of queer people offer support to each other as global gathering ends. Read More

Marie Kuch-Stanovsky presents the report recommending divestment from fossil fuel companies. Photo by Maile Bradfield, United Methodist News Service.

GC2016 rejects divestment on fossil fuels

Delegates favor having pension board engage with companies on climate change. Read More

Bishop Sally Dyck, Chicago Episcopal Area, presides over the May 20 plenary session of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Behind her are Bishops Gregory Palmer and Janice Riggle Huie. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

GC2016 passes $604 million general church budget

Delegates voted to increase budget to boost support of United Methodist theological education in Africa, Asia and Europe. Read More

Court rules on question of authority

General Conference 2016 had requested a review of constitutional paragraphs and past Judicial Council decisions for potential conflict. Read More

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky preaches during worship May 20 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service.

Stanovsky: ‘We will not leave divided’

Mountain Sky Area bishop calls on General Conference delegates to “get out of that tomb.” Read More

The Cherokee Choir from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference sings during morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

May 19 wrap-up: New missionaries, special GC costs

On the penultimate day of General Conference 2016, delegates picked up the pace. Read More

Bishop John Yambasu gives the sermon during morning worship May 19 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Go … with passion and compassion, says Bishop Yambasu

Sierra Leone bishop urges prayer and honest engagement with sisters and brothers. Read More

Church ‘growth committee’ fails constitution test

General Conference responsibilities cannot be delegated, the United Methodist Judicial Council rules. Read More

The Rev. Beth Ann Cook, Indiana Conference, introduces a petition from the Church and Society legislative committee regarding The United Methodist Church's association with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The vote took place May 19 at the denomination's 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Church ends membership in reproductive health coalition

The United Methodist Church was one of the founders of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, presides over the May 19 afternoon session of the 2016 United Methodist General Church in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

GC2016: How much does the bishops’ plan cost?

Finance agency executive says church has the funds to cover the recommended commission and possible special General Conference. Read More

Top court rules on Congo inquiry

Once a central conference meets for first time, the college of bishops cannot change its regular meeting dates or places. Read More

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung commissions Leo Garcia as a missionary May 19 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. In the background are Catherine Whitlatch and Thomas Kemper from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

29 new missionaries commissioned at General Conference

For the first time, a new missionary class was commissioned at church’s top legislative gathering. Read More

Theon Johnson III (at right) and others in support of LGBTQ clergy line the entryway to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference May 18 in Portland, Ore.  The demonstration was carried out in silence as attendees walked past to enter the Oregon Convention Center. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Delegates react to plan to defer human sexuality petitions

The decision to accept the report from the Council of Bishops to defer all votes on human sexuality was met with joy and trepidation. Read More

Cynthia Kent, chairperson of the Native American International Caucus, speaks on a petition that asks The United Methodist Church raise awareness of the harm caused by some sports teams by mascots and/or symbols promoting expressions of racism and disrespect of Native American people. She spoke during the May 19 plenary session of the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

GC2016: Oppose mascots that demean Native Americans

But resolution does not call on United Methodist agencies to move meetings as protest. Read More

Members of the United Methodist Judicial Council for 2016-2020 met briefly during General Conference 2016. From left are the Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell, Beth Capen, the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko, N. Oswald Tweh Sr., Ruben Reyes, the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen, and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, Calif. Not pictured are Deanell Reese Tacha and Lídia Romão Gulele. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Liberian is new Judicial Council president

Top court for 2016-20 will take office at the conclusion of General Conference 2016. Read More

Activists support each other following a silent march through the May 18 plenary session of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. They are protesting what they believe is an attempt to silence LGBTQ voices. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

May 18 wrap-up: Sexuality dominates debate in unexpected ways

Tense debate on whether to discuss sexuality legislation leads to authorizing a new commission to study the issue. Read More

Representatives of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes are recognized May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., where delegates received a tutorial on the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, in which U.S. troops led by a Methodist preacher-turned-cavalry officer attacked unsuspecting Indians. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016 recalls, laments Sand Creek Massacre

Cheyenne, Arapaho survivors of descendants join in observation of 1864 attack led by a Methodist pastor-turned-soldier. Read More

Bishop James Swanson, Jr., preaches on May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Bishop Swanson: ‘Evil is going, too.’

Bishop reminds there are disagreements within the church, but the church should not be in disagreement about God. Read More

Mandatory penalties ruled unconstitutional

United Methodist Judicial Council says action by legislative committee on chargeable offenses denies right to trial and appeal. Read More

Jeremy Rosado sings Able during a celebration of The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Imagine No Malaria celebration rocks the house

Noting how a mosquito bite led to a global health movement, Bishop Thomas Bickerton introduces new initiative. Read More

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson introduces representatives from Pan-Methodist Churches during a May 17 worship service at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Ecumenical Day marks new relationships

United Methodists form new bonds with Moravians, Uniting Church in Sweden; awards honor ecumenical service. Read 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

Term limits for bishops fails at GC2016

Petition enjoys clear majority support, but not the two-thirds needed to change the church constitution. Read More

An African visitor uses his mobile phone to record protestors, their hands bound to protest the denomination's policies on human sexuality, as they demonstrate May 17 on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.

GC2016 Slideshow: Monday, May 17

Another protest, an address from the Council of Bishops president on unity and a plea from delegates made up the images of May 17 at General Conference 2016. View

An African visitor uses his mobile phone to record protestors, their hands bound to protest the denomination's policies on human sexuality, as they demonstrate May 17 on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

May 17 wrap-up: Schism rumors quashed

Delegates plow into a full day of petitions as the Council of Bishops denied rumors of a pending schism. Read More

United Methodists Celebrate Imagine No Malaria, Launch Abundant Health

United Methodist members and leaders, global health innovators and an "American Idol" star took the stage to celebrate the success of Imagine No Malaria and to launch Abundant Health during... Read More

The Rev. Will Green lies on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., with his hands and feet bound to protest the denomination's policies on human sexuality. Delegates returning from their lunch break passed by protestors on the floor and lining the entry to the meeting area. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Conference pleads with bishops for leadership

Delegates ask Council of Bishops to consider calling a special General Conference session on LGBTQ full inclusion. Read More

Green light for new hymnal project

United Methodist agencies plan Internet cloud-based, print-on-demand song book. Read More

A proposal going before General Conference delegates would remove $20 million from general church ministries and reallocate it to a new panel devoted to church growth. Critics wonder about the plan’s effectiveness and ethics. A UMNS file photo by Kathy L. Gilbert

GC2016 proposal calls for new panel on growth

Idea for new committee on church growth faces questions about whether it’s constitutional and meets ethics guidelines or is effective. Read More

Bishop Ivan Abrahams top executive of the World Methodist Council, gives the sermon May 17 during morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop Abrahams urges Wesleyan commitment to the marginalized

Jesus of Palestine has always been accessible to all, says World Methodist Council top executive. Read More

The Rev. Dan Bryant (center) leads fellow delegates from the East Ohio Conference in prayer May 17 following a speech by Bishop Bruce Ough in which he said the bishops are not supporting any plan for a split of The United Methodist Church during the denomination's 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Church hanging onto unity despite cracks in the walls

Council of Bishops supports church unity, despite divisions and talks of schism. Read More

Cristina Manabat of the Philippines (front) joins a United Methodist Women's rally for the right to clean water for all outside the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Hearing the plea: Safe water for all

From Michigan to Liberia, Portland to Philippines and Honduras, communities are denied clean water. Read More

Faced with glitches in the electronic voting system, delegates use colored cards to vote on May 16 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.

May 16 wrap-up: Week Two begins with elections, celebrations, protests

Before hearing legislation, delegates filled vacancies for Judicial Council, University Senate and Commission on General Conference. Read More

The Africa University choir sings during the presentation of the Africa University report May 16 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

GC2016 celebrates Africa University

As 25th anniversary nears, delegates paused to honor ‘transformative ministry’ of Zimbabwean school. Read More

The Rev. Ken Nelson serves on the Ministry and Higher Education/Superintendency Committee at General Conference 2016. The panel last week worked on clergy-related petitions dealing with guaranteed appointment and early ordination, among other issues. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Clergy-related petitions pass GC2016

Delegates approve some legislation, but ‘early ordination’ and effort to end guaranteed appointment die in committee. Read More

The Rev. John Auta of the Central Nigeria Conference speaks at General Conference 2016 for immediately adding two bishops in Africa. Delegates decided instead to add five bishops, but not until after 2020. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

More bishops for Africa, but not until 2020

GC2016 delegates vote to wait until a comprehensive plan is in place. Read More

Members of the Black Lives Matter movement disrupt the May 16 proceedings of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The demonstrators marched into the plenary session chanting slogans and gathered around the central communion table. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016 plenary pauses for Black Lives Matter demonstration

General Conference plenary halted briefly by Black Lives Matter marchers. Read More

Rights activists march on May 16 around the Oregon Convention Center, the site of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Using the theme of Jericho in which walls were brought down, the demonstrators were demanding that the church be more inclusive of LGBTQ people in its ministries. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Clergy offer support to LGBQT pastors despite GC2016 action

Supporters of full inclusion in the church are vocal and visible as the 2016 United Methodist General Conference enters its second week. Read More

Mountain Sky Episcopal Area Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky presides over the Judicial Council elections at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Five elected to Judicial Council

General Conference body chooses three lay and two clergy for new terms on The United Methodist Church’s nine-member top court. Read More

The Rev. Stephen Wende made a motion that everything but opening and closing prayers be set aside so delegates at General Conference 2016 could focus on dealing with legislation. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Delegate asks for legislation first, presentations later

Concern is petitions that cleared committee will not get floor vote. Read More

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area gives the sermon during morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Harvey: ‘Wear the robe like it matters’

Bishop Harvey tells General Conference delegates that God wants us to come as we are, but not stay as we are. Read More

The United Methodists bishops extended the “60 Days of Prayer” initiative by pledging to pray continuously throughout the conference and with the delegates. Harrisburg Area Bishop Jeremiah Park (left) offered prayers during a break in the May 12 plenary session at 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Bishops vow to work toward unity, accountability

At a time when debates over human sexuality grow heated, bishops also vow to work toward “orderly” General Conference. Read More

Members of the Worship in Motion dance ensemble process out during the May 14 worship service at the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. The group is from Federal Way United Methodist Church in Auburn, Washington. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

May 14 wrap-up: Young ambassadors share hope, committee work finishes

As legislation challenges delegates, Sabbath offers opportunities to refresh spiritually, mentally and physically. Read More

Bill Shillady rests his hand in prayer on the shoulder of Dorothee Benz. Both are from the New York Conference. United Methodists in support for LGBTQ stood in a silent demonstration in support of Dorothee Benz who was called out of order when she tried to speak on Rule 44 on May 12 during the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

GC2016 Slideshow: Monday, May 16

A Black Lives Matter protest, a debate over more bishops for Africa and a number of celebrations made up the photos from Monday. View

Bill Shillady rests his hand in prayer on the shoulder of Dorothee Benz. Both are from the New York Conference. United Methodists in support for LGBTQ stood in a silent demonstration in support of Dorothee Benz who was called out of order when she tried to speak on Rule 44 on May 12 during the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

GC2016 Slideshow: Saturday, May 14

Images from Saturday’s General Conference include the young people’s address, a protest over full inclusion for LGBTQ people and Lumad farmers. View

Peter Cibuabua of the Central Congo Conference (left) and Chelsea Spyres of the Peninsula-Deleware Conference (second from left) celebrate with other presenters at the conclusion of the young people's address at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Two ambassadors of God’s love share young people’s address

Young speakers strive to help delegates and the church understand how deeply engaged young people are. Read More

Norma Capuyan and Monico Cayon, indigenous leaders from the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, answer questions in the news area at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Indigenous Filipinos bring pleas for justice

A small group of Lumads will address General Conference on May 16 about the discrimination and violence they face in the Philippines. Read More

Carlene Fogle-Miller passed up her commencement from the University of Mississippi Law School to be in Portland, Oregon, as a delegate to General Conference 2016. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Passing up commencement to be at GC2016

Young delegates face a choice and side with delegate responsibilities. Read More

Delegate Fred Brewington (at microphone) asks the 2016 United Methodist General Conference meeting in Portland, Ore., to apologize to fellow delegate Dorothee Benz (second from right) after she was ruled out of order while trying to speak about issues of human sexuality in an earlier session. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Delegates, supporters stand with LGBTQ people

Protesters, many with rainbow duct tape over their mouths, stood outside the plenary floor to symbolize the silent treatment they feel LGBTQ people get from the church. Read More

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar preaches on May 14 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, United Methodist News Service.

Bishop Devadhar: Listen to each other and God

New England bishop urges General Conference delegates to find “a new epiphany.” Read More

Families arrive for the Easter Sunday service at New Hope Valley United Methodist Church in Valley Furnace, W.Va. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Remember rural churches, advocates say

United Methodist Rural Advocates try to give voice to concerns of 2.9 million members who live in rural U.S. Read More

Morning worship by delegates Ande Emmanuel, Eunice Iliya, Joyce Madanga and Habila Bala, delegates from Southern Nigeria Conference, react to the morning worship music at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference at the Portland Convention Center. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

May 13 wrap-up: Laity address, State of the Church Report

Laity and agency leaders challenge delegates to work together to make disciples. Read More

The Rev. Mike Tupper (left) and the Rev. Frank Schaefer hold a press conference to speak about their call for sleeping outside on May 13 as part of National Tent Night

Schaefer, son join campout for LGBTQ rights

The Rev. Frank Schaefer and his son will join the Rev. Mike Tupper in a tent to symbolize how they say LGBTQ people are kept outside the doors of The... Read More

Bishop Peggy Johnson leads a communion service during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

GC2016 Slideshow: Friday, May 13

See highlights of the day, including a climate vigil, the Laity Address, finance and Connectional Table reports, and an immigration rally. View

The Rev. Bob Zilhaver of the Western Pennsylvania Conference speaks May 13 at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Oregon. Zilhaver voiced concern that the use of iPads, as opposed to placards, was putting some delegates at a disadvantage in getting the attention of the presiding bishop. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Bumpy start for GC2016

Rules conflict extends to Day Three as some see low level of trust among delegates. Read More

Bishop Sally Dyck delivers the sermon during morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop Dyck says pope inspired her

Northern Illinois bishop said she wants to be part of a church that has a year of mercy, a decade of mercy, a millennium of mercy. Read More

The United Methodist Church officially is in “support of just and fair immigration policies that benefit and allow the family to preserve and maintain its unity.” Methodists in support of immigration reform marched down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard outside the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Immigration rally calls for end to deportations

United Methodists deplore separation of families during May 13 lunchtime vigil for immigrant rights. Read More

Hannah Foust talks about her efforts to raise money for water wells in Burkina Faso during a report on the work of the Connectional Table at 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016: What can churchgoers do together?

Throughout the morning, delegates heard good news from the Connectional Table and General Council on Finance and Administration. Read More

Children get a closer look of a large inflatable globe during the May 12th General Conference Climate Vigil at Oregon Convention Center Plaza in Portland. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Prayers, paper lanterns at climate vigil

Across the connection, United Methodists are experiencing the effects of climate change and some are calling General Conference 2016 to act. Read More

Scott Johnson of the Upper New York Conference helps deliver the laity address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Laity urged to share Jesus with the world

Laity shares responsibility for making disciples, General Conference told. Read More

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward watches as votes are tallied showing the defeat of

May 12 wrap-up: Rule 44 voted down

Three days of speculation ended when delegates elected not to adopt Group Discernment Process. Read More

Women bishops pray over Bishop Hope Morgan Ward during a recess in the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Ward presided over an emotional debate on proposed Rule 44, which would place deliberations over sensitive issues into small discussion groups. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016 delegates say no to Rule 44

The much-debated process supposed to foster greater consensus around tough issues couldn’t get consensus. Read More

Women visit the display for United Methodist Women in the Exhibit Hall of the 2016  United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. UMW Day will be observed on May 16. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

UMW Day: water and witness

United Methodist Women marks an upcoming anniversary on May 16 at General Conference 2016. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) receives the gavel as incoming president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops from outgoing president Warner H. Brown, Jr. during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Dakotas-Minnesota bishop is new President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church

Bishop Bruce Ough became president of the Council of Bishops of the 12.3 million member global United Methodist Church on May 12. Read More

Bishop Carter recovering in Portland

Accident occurs just before organizing session. Read More

Douglas Palmer, a lay delegate from the Rocky Mountain annual conference, speaks to the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., on May 12. Palmer spoke to defer the adoption of Rule 44, which would have introduced small group discussions for sensitive issues. The proposed rule was not approved. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016 Slideshow: Wednesday, May 12

See highlights of the day, including the final vote on Rule 44. View

Bishop Christian Alsted preaches on May 12 during the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

GC2016: Alsted calls for humble submission

Bishop’s sermon notes Western ‘privilege’ as impediment to authentic faith. Read More

The United Methodist Book of Discipline allows clergy under complaint to be suspended. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

500 clergy support gay United Methodist clergy who came out

The act is part of a series of moves raising the stakes as United Methodists begin their top lawmaking assembly, which meets every four years. Read More

Members of Signatur, a choir from Norway, sing during morning worship on May 11 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS. #UMCGC

May 11 wrap-up: Episcopal address, more Rule 44 debate

Debate over how to debate dominates Day Two of General Conference 2016. Read More

Bishops Patrick Streiff and Minerva Carcaño discuss Christian conferencing and  the worldwide nature of the church at a May 11 press conference held during the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Leaders hope Christian conferencing will set tone

The goal of Christian conferencing is to discern God’s voice through conversation with each other. Read More

The Revs. Tom Herring and Mike Mahaffey are at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Oregon, representing the National Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Local pastors in background at General Conference

Leaders of growing non-ordained clergy group monitor legislation that could affect them. Read More

The Rev. Forbes Matonga, a clergy delegate from the West Zimbabwe annual conference, speaks to the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., on May 11. Matonga spoke in opposition to proposed Rule 44, which would allow small discussion groups to be used to handle sensitive themes. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

At GC2016, Rule 44 still a question mark

Delegates will take up the possible adoption of a new Group Discernment Process after the Rules Committee considers amendments. Read More

Bishop Albert Mutti and his wife, Etta Mae Mutti, observe a moment of silence during an AIDS Vigil held May 11 at the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Vigil was sponsored by the UMC Global AIDS Fund Committee. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Vigil remembers 35 million who died from AIDS

According to UNAIDS estimates, 2.2 million children live with HIV, and the disease remains a threat to people of all ages and nationalities. Read More

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer delivers the episcopal address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Palmer: Trust God’s promise and go forth

Bishop Palmer reminds delegates that everyone at General Conference 2016 is a child of God. Read More

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer delivers the episcopal address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

GC2016 Slideshow: Wednesday, May 11

See highlights of the day, including the Episcopal Address and AIDS vigil. View

Religion and Race sponsors briefing for delegates of color, friends

“For those who say the issues of religion and race are no longer relevant,” says Erin Hawkins, “turn on the television.” Read More

Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. helps lead opening worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

May 10 wrap-up: Opening worship, rules debate

General Conference 2016 gets underway with opening worship, a rules debate and a Judicial Council ruling. Read More

General Conference 2016 officially begins

Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. challenges delegates truly to “listen to one another” and “build each other up.” Read More

Supporters gather around Susan Laurie (center) during a service of Holy Communion on the first day of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Laurie, a lesbian, was ordained in an unauthorized service in the lobby of the Oregon Convention Center. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Grassroots group declares lesbian ordained

Lesbian unofficially ordained as United Methodist pastor by grass-roots group in defiance of church law. Read More

Plan UMC’s fate still up to GC2016

Petitions before the United Methodist top lawmaking body would eliminate three general commissions and alter the boards of other agencies. Read More

Delegates will use tablet computers to ask to speak during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

ʽDigital divide’ concern arises with African delegates

Some say use of tablet computers for gaining floor recognition puts them at a disadvantage. Read More

Committee upholds plan for 5 new African bishops in 2020

Central Conference Standing Committee holds to need for studying when to add new bishops in Africa and how to pay for those episcopal areas. Read More

Members of the United Methodist Judicial Council pose for a group photograph during their Oct. 22, 2014 meeting in Memphis, Tenn. The men, from left, are: Ruben T. Reyes, the Rev. Dennis Blackwell, the Rev. Belton Joyner, N. Oswald Tweh Sr. and the Rev. William B. Lawrence. The women, from left, are: Sandra Lutz, the Rev. Kathi Austin Mahle and Beth Capen. Not pictured is the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko. Photo by Mike Dubose, UMNS

Plan UMC Revised still partly unconstitutional

GC 2016 legislation still needs fixing, United Methodist top court advises; another decision lets language on formation of episcopal areas stand. Read More