Implicationsof the Approved Petition Relating to the Human Sexuality Discussions Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon, a motion put forth by Adam Hamilton in support of the Council of Bishop’s “A Way Forward” proposal was not approved. After that decision, the Conference continued with a discussion about the Council of Bishop’s report. George Howard from West Ohio Conference then moved to accept and approve all of the recommendations included in the Council of Bishops’ report. This motion was approved.

There are a few implications to this decision:
1. For the remainder of this General Conference, there will be no debate on petitions regarding most human sexuality petitions.
2. A commission will be named by the Council of Bishops "to include persons from every region of our UMC, and that will include representation from differing perspectives on the debate. We commit to maintain an on-going dialogue with this Commission as they do their work, including clear objectives and outcomes."
3. A special General Conference session in 2018 or 2019, lasting two or three days, may be called if the commission completes the assigned work. If so, current delegates would serve.

Click here to watch the press conference with Bishop Ough following his statement yesterday. Click here to read more from UMNS.

Imagine No Malaria Celebrated; Abundant Health Initiative Announced

United Methodist members and leaders, global health innovators and an “American Idol” star took the stage May 18 to celebrate the success of Imagine No Malaria (INM) over the last four years. To date, $68.5 million has been raised worldwide for INM. The 12-minute celebration, a collaboration between United Methodist Communications and the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), featured a highlights video of the grassroots campaign that has showcased the impact of the initiative on the continent of Africa. “Able,” a song commissioned by Imagine No Malaria as a gift to United Methodists across the globe and performed by Jeremy Rosado, a Top 12 contestant on Season 11 of “American Idol,” was also debuted. “Today has been an incredible celebration of what God has done through the unified effort of the people of The United Methodist Church,” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chair of the Global Health Initiative. “Imagine No Malaria has been successful because of how it energized people who got excited about saving people’s lives. And today, we rejoiced in that success and the people who have made it possible.”

Seeking to build on the success of INM, The United Methodist Church also affirmed its commitment to positively impact the lives of children everywhere through the next phase of its global health work. Coordinated by GBGM, “Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children” aims to reach 1 million children with lifesaving interventions by 2020 and will be The United Methodist Church’s primary global health initiative for the next four years. It will focus on four core areas impacting the health of children throughout the world. The initiative aims to ensure safe births, address nutritional challenges and promote breastfeeding, advance prevention and treatment of childhood diseases, and promote children’s health and wholeness. Click here to download the media kit for Abundant Health and click here to read more from UMNS about both the celebration and announcement. Click here to watch a clip of a press conference with INM and GBGM leaders yesterday afternoon.

U.S. Ethnic Ministry Plans Continued

The Portland General Conference continued four U.S. ethnic ministry plans administered by Global Ministries. Those plans are:

  • Asian American Language Ministry Plan
  • Korean Ministry Plan
  • National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry
  • Pacific Islander Ministry Plan

Connectional Table Chair Passes to Bishop Christian Alsted

On Tuesday, the Connectional Table welcomed their new chairperson, Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, who was appointed by the Council of Bishops for the 2017 – 2020 quadrennium. The outgoing chair, Bishop Bruce Ough, assumed the presidency of the Council of Bishops on Thursday May 12. During the meeting of the Connectional Table on the morning of Monday, May 16, 2016, the members of the board thanked Bishop Ough for his leadership and service over the last quadrennium. Click here to read more from umc.org.

May 18 Wrap-Up: Sexuality Dominates Debate

Delegates to General Conference spent most of the day deciding whether to move forward on dozens of petitions regarding the denomination’s stance on human sexuality, but they also heard a report on the church’s response to the Sand Creek Massacre and celebrated the Imagine No Malaria campaign. Read more and post a comment,

Mandatory Clergy Penalties Ruled Unconstitutional

Imposing a mandatory penalty during the “just resolution” process for a clergyperson admitting to committing a chargeable offense is unconstitutional, The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled. Linda Bloom has the story. Read story and post a comment.

Sand Creek Massacre Remembered at GC2016

Concerns about legislation and the future of The United Methodist Church got set aside for a half hour at General Conference 2016 on Thursday, May 18, as delegates focused instead on the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, a historical tragedy with deep Methodist involvement. Sam Hodges reports. Read story and post a comment.

Ecumenical Day Marks New Relationships

United Methodists celebrated new relationships with the Moravian Church and the United Church in Sweden as they marked Ecumenical Day on May 17 at General Conference 2016. The denomination also hosted numerous ecumenical guests, bestowed three ecumenical awards and received an award from Church World Service. Linda Bloom reports. Read story and post a comment. Blog: Ecumenism is about unity.

GC2016 Celebrates Higher Education

The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry reported to General Conference 2016 on three new leadership initiatives created in 2012: The Central Conference Theological Education Fund, the Seminary Indebtedness Task Force, and the Young Clergy Initiative. Later that evening, more than 2,000 General Conference delegates and others attended a celebration of United Methodist-related higher education. Read story.