UMC World News

A compilation of faith stories beyond Hebron UMC

Judicial Council Decisions on Traditional Plan (April 23, 2019)

This past month, the Judicial Council met in Evanston, IL to rule on the constitutionality of the Traditional Plan and disaffiliation legislation from the Special General Conference in February. The Judicial Council ruled on the 17 petitions of the Tradition Plan individually. While some of the petitions were ruled unconstitutional, the Judicial Council upheld the petitions that continue to prohibit LGBTQ people in ordained ministry and upheld mandatory penalties for pastors performing same-gender weddings. Click here to read Bishop Sally Dyck’s message following the Judicial Council Decisions.  For the full Judicial Council Decision, click here.   For the rulings the Judicial Council made on the “gracious exit plan” for churches wishing to disaffiliate, click here.

A Deep Dive on Open Hearts.  Open Minds. Open Doors (November 11, 2018)

Read how local United Methodist Churches are applying the denomination’s brand promise.

Communion Quiz (October 9, 2018)

How much do you know about Holy Communion in the United Methodist Church?  Take the quiz.

Way Forward Plans Released (July 18, 2018)

The first public details of proposed legislation setting out three proposals for resolving the denomination’s differences over homosexuality are included in the United Methodist Judicial Council’s October docket.  Read the full docket on the Way Forward here.

Northern Illinois Conference approves resolution in support of One Church Model (June 17, 2018)

Ahead of next year’s Special Conference to consider a way forward in the church’s debate for inclusiveness of LGBTQ clergy and laity, the Northern Illinois Conference ratified a resolution in support of the One Church Model.  Read the resolution here.  Read what other conferences are doing here.

Recap of Northern Illinois Annual Conference 2018 Session (June 17, 2018)

Get caught up on NIC happenings from the recently concluded 2018 session.  Highlights included ordination of four elders and one deacon, a call to end gun violence, and a record special offering of over $74,000 for the Global Migration Advance fund.  Read about the conference here.

 Bishops’ proposal garners range of responses (May 5, 2018)

(l-r) Outgoing COB President Bishop Bruce Ough, incoming COB President Bishop Ken Carter and COB President-designate Bishop Cynthia Harvey address a press conference at the end of the Council of Bishops meeting on May 4, 2018.

In messages to their areas, United Methodist bishops are choosing to emphasize different parts of their motion for a proposed way forward. Advocacy groups also are making their thoughts known. Heather Hahn, Sam Hodges and Kathy L. Gilbert report on initial perspectives about what the bishops are submitting to the special General Conference in 2019. Read the Council of Bishops press release here.

Bishops propose plan for Way Forward (May 4, 2018)

To find a way forward on the denomination’s homosexuality debate, bishops are recommending the church allow more freedom at the conference and local church levels. Read the story here.

Church ratifies 3 constitutional amendments (May 4, 2018)

The Council of Bishops now has authority to handle complaints against fellow bishops under a newly ratified amendment to the denomination’s constitution. Read the story here.

Draft of revised Social Principles released (April 17, 2018)

A consultation on the social principles of The United Methodist Church held by the General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C. in 2015.

United Methodists are being asked to weigh in on a draft revision of the denomination’s Social Principles, released April 12 after years of listening and writing sessions. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.

Read draft and comment.

Uniting Conference sermon still talked about (April 17, 2018)

Fifty years ago on April 23rd The United Methodist Church was officially formed with the unification of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, along with the dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction, a segregated group of African American congregations.   For the key sermon of the 1968 conference, organizers turned to “Mr. Methodist,” the Rev. Albert C. Outler. The famed Wesley scholar, also a top-tier preacher, delivered an address that’s still talked about today.  Sam Hodges reportsRead the sermon.

 This Week’s Quiz:  Methodism By the Numbers (April 10, 2018)

How many United Methodist churches are there? How many hospitals are affiliated with the church? Check your knowledge of this and other numbers about the denomination with the United Methodist Numbers Quiz. Take the quiz here.


This Week’s Quiz:  What do palm branches symbolize? (March 23, 2018)

Did you know that Palm branches symbolized victory in the Roman Empire? Test your knowledge of Holy Week with a 10-question quiz.

Way Forward prepares final report to bishops (March 23, 2018)

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward participate in a letting-go prayer at the end of their four-day meeting at El Segundo United Methodist Church in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22.

The Commission on a Way Forward met in Los Angeles to prepare a final report for United Methodist bishops, who later this spring will determine what proposals to submit for the church’s future. Heather Hahn reports.

Way Forward Commission meets to prepare final report (March 14, 2018)

HUMCThe 32-member Commission on a Way Forward will meet in Los Angeles March 19-22 to prepare a final report to be submitted to the Council of the Bishops for consideration by the bishops at their April 20 – May 4 meeting.  Read the press release

This Week’s UMC Question:  When did the church first ordain women? (March 9, 2018)

Women served as preachers from the beginnings of the Methodist movement, and they were ordained as ministers as early as the late 19th century. The latest installment of Ask the UMC takes a look back at the first women granted full clergy rights.

Justifying grace:  A Wesleyan tenet (March 5, 2018)

The founder of Methodism taught that a person’s entire spiritual life is an act of God’s grace.  Here is John Wesley’s understanding of Justifying Grace.

Bishops see progress in unity effort, focus on 2 plans for Way Forward (2/28/18)

Michigan Area Bishop David Bard serves communion bread to Nordic-Baltic Area Bishop Christian Alsted during closing worship at the meeting of the Council of Bishops. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

The Council of Bishops wrapped up a four-day, closed-door meeting here, as leaders reported movement and progress in their deliberations about how to prevent denominational schism over homosexuality, with a focus on two possible church futures.  Read the story here.

This week’s UMC Question:  What is the Kingdom of God? (2/25/18)

Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God when he taught the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) What does it mean for Methodists today?

Bishops Meet in Dallas to discern “Way Forward” (2/25/18)

Council of Bishops Secretary Cynthia Fierro Harvey and Council of Bishops President Bruce R. Ough share the elements during Holy Communion, part of the Feb. 25 opening worship service for the council’s meeting in Dallas.Bishops meeting in Dallas to discern “Way Forward” (2/26/18)

More than 100 current and retired Bishops are grappling with how to avoid a breakup of The United Methodist Church over homosexuality. The council, meeting this week, is refining options from the Commission on a Way Forward and faces a July deadline for petitions to next year’s special General Conference. Sam Hodges reports.


Details shared on Way Forward models (2/12/18)

An international group of United Methodist leaders heard more details on three possible models for how the church ministers with LGBTQ individuals. Three participants in the Commission on a Way Forward briefed four denominational leadership bodies holding a joint meeting in this western African country. Heather Hahn reports.