BlogPosts

Bursting Out Of the Tomb – WJC2016 Memorial Service

7/15/2016
1 Corinthians 15:51-52   — “Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (Read more)  

Episcopal Ballot #3

7/15/2016
There is no election on the third ballot of the Western Jurisdictional Episcopal Ballot. There were 93 votes cast and 62 were needed for an election.   Result of the third Western Jurisdictional Episcopal Ballot: Rev. Karen Oliveto – 37 votes Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank –27 votes Rev. Walter "Skip" Strickland –12 votes Rev. Donna Pritchard –7 votes Rev. Frank Wulf –5 votes Rev. Siosifa Hingano -4 votes Rev. Lyda Pierce –1 vote The Rev. Bener Agtarap withdrew prior to the ballot.  

Museum tour a step in healing relationships with indigenous peoples

7/15/2016
On July 14, delegates of the 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference experienced an “Act of Repentance” as part of The United Methodist Church’s commitment to build healing relationships with indigenous peoples. Attendees toured the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix to learn about ancient practices and current issues related to the treatment of Native Americans in the United States. The emphasis of this museum is the heritage and living culture of the peoples of the Southwest ...

Western Jurisdiction Challenged to “Not Grow Weary”

7/15/2016
“For it is church that we are called to be, not the church that includes some of us, but the church that includes all of us,” said Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., California-Nevada Annual Conference resident bishop, during the Episcopal address opening the Western Jurisdictional Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Scottsdale, Arizona meeting July 12 to 16. Brown’s sermon was entitled, “Do Not Grow Weary,” based on Luke 9:23-26, and Galatians 6:7-10. (Read more)  

California-Nevada Conference Episcopal Nominee

7/8/2016
The Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco, is the Episcopal nominee from the California-Nevada Conference. For more information about Oliveto, click here.  

Episcopal Candidates for the Western Jurisdiction

7/8/2016
For a list of the episcopal candidates for election in the Western Jurisdiction who have been endorsed by one of the annual conferences of the Jurisdiction, click here.  

Episcopal Elections 2016

7/8/2016
Jurisdictional conferences meet to elect new bishops to serve the denomination. The 2016 episcopal elections will take place across the U.S. from July 13-16, 2016. For more information, and to follow the elections, click here.  

Western Jurisdictional Conference Stream

7/8/2016
The Western Jurisdictional Conference to be held July 13 to 16 in Scottsdale, AZ, will be live streamed. To view the stream, click here.  

What is a Jurisdiction?

7/8/2016
In the United States of America, The United Methodist Church is divided into five areas known as jurisdictions: Northeastern, Southeastern, North Central, South Central and Western. These provide some program and leadership training events to support the annual conferences.  Every four years the jurisdictional conferences meet to elect new bishops and select members of general boards and agencies. Annual conferences located outside the United States are organized into central conferences, much ...

What is a Jurisdictional Conference?

7/8/2016
The quadrennial meeting of clergy and lay delegates from the annual conferences within the boundaries of one of five U.S. jurisdictions: North Central, Northeastern, South Central, Southeastern and Western. Jurisdictional Conferences convene every four years. The business includes the election and assignment of bishops.  

Church ends membership in reproductive health coalition

5/20/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The 2016 General Conference voted to withdraw United Methodist membership from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The church was a founding member of the organization in 1973. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story. Read story and post a comment  

Day of service at General Conference

5/20/2016
As thousands of United Methodists inside the Portland Convention Center were in General Conference sessions, some took a chance to travel to another area of the city and be in service. Watch the United Methodist News Service Video.  

Delegates react to holding human sexuality petitions

5/20/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The decision to accept the report from the Council of Bishops to refer all legislation on human sexuality to a yet-to-be named commission was met with joy and trepidation. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. Read story and post a comment  

Expecting the Unexpected

5/20/2016
By Emily Allen   Serving on the Committee on Agenda and Calendar this General Conference has been an interesting experience. The committee first met the day before General Conference to organize and orient ourselves to our work and has met every morning before the day’s worship begins – that means at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m! The committee is made up of one delegate from each Central Conference and each Jurisdiction. We are assisted by several General Conference staff members, including Coordinator of ...

GC2016: How much does the bishops’ plan cost?

5/20/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates, for now, are leaving questions in the church’s longtime homosexuality debate up to the bishops. But another question remains: How much will the bishops’ next steps cost? Heather Hahn reports on the cost estimates. Read story and post a comment  

Liberian is new Judicial Council president

5/20/2016
United Methodists from Norway and Mozambique are among the new members of the denomination’s Judicial Council. Delegates to General Conference 2016 filled open positions for two clergy and three lay members on the nine-member council during elections on May 16. The new clergy members are the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen of Norway and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, California. Elected as lay members were Ruben Reyes of Manila, Philippines; Deanell Reese Tacha of Lawrence, Kansas, and Lídia Romão ...

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

5/20/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — A day after tabling potentially contentious legislation on human sexuality, General Conference 2016 moved through its calendar at a steady clip, possibly noticing that time to finish its task is running short. They passed legislation to oppose Native American mascots, voted to stop supporting the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and created a new provisional central conference in Asia. And the Judicial Council declared a $20 million plan for church growth ...

Seeing a New Perspective

5/20/2016
By Rev. Myrna Bernadel-Huey   Tomorrow is the last day of General Conference.  When it started with two days of senseless and, at times, mean-spirited bickering about what rules we would follow during this Conference, I knew we were in trouble and in need of a lot of prayer.  And I know that many people prayed.   Those prayers may have taken a while to work, but I felt a different spirit fall upon us as our work for the day started under Bishop Hoshibata's leadership.  After over a week of ...

California-Nevada Missionary Among 29 Persons Commissioned

5/19/2016
Josh Van from the California-Nevada Conference was commissioned a missionary with Global Ministries and will be placed in a ministry with Vietnamese migrant workers for the Methodist Church in Malaysia.  He is a member of First UMC Vietnamese, San Jose. For Van’s bio, click here. For the commissioning story, click here.  

Imagine No Malaria celebration rocks the house

5/19/2016
“Our God is able!” Celebrating the success of the Imagine No Malaria initiative, launched in 2008, speakers, singers and dancers offered even more for United Methodists attending General Conference 2016 to imagine – Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children. “Health is the ultimate design of God for humanity,” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, Imagine No Malaria chair. “Health and wholeness have been a hope for Methodists since John Wesley got on a horse in 18th-century England to preach about the ...

May 18 wrap-up: Sexuality dominates debate

5/19/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — 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  

NPR Does Interview with California-Nevada Conference Delegate

5/19/2016
California-Nevada Conference delegate, the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, was on National Public Radio’s (NPR), “To The Point.” To listen to the interview, click here.  

Sand Creek Massacre remembered at GC2016

5/19/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — 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  

Video Interview with Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.

5/19/2016
Conference communications director Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. interviews Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., during General Conference 2016, click here.  

Video Interview with the Rev. Dr. Greg Bergquist

5/19/2016
Conference communications director Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. interviews delegate Greg Bergquist on the floor of General Conference 2016, click here.  

Video Interview with the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto

5/19/2016
Conference communications director Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. interviews delegate Karen Oliveto on the floor of General Conference 2016, click here.  

Cal-Nev Delegate Champions LGBTQI Acceptance In UMC

5/18/2016
The Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, clergy delegate from California-Nevada Conference and senior pastor of Glide UMC, was among more than 100 clergy members last week who defied church rules and came out to the denomination’s top church officials as LGBQTI the day before the General Conference was set to begin, making human sexuality a key issue at the 10-day event held every four years. Oliveto spoke with San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, click here.  

Conference pleads with bishops for leadership

5/18/2016
Delegates asked the Council of Bishops to lead the church out of the “painful condition” it is in after an address by Bishop Bruce Ough that called for unity but did not address full inclusion of LGBTQ people. The Rev. Mark Holland, a delegate from Great Plains, said the May 17 call for unity did not provide a path forward. He asked the Council of Bishops to meet today and bring back a report tomorrow. His motion passed 428-364. The bishops do not have a vote at General Conference, but they can ...

GC2016 proposal calls for new panel on growth

5/18/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates are asking the Judicial Council about the constitutionality of a plan to reallocate $20 million from general church ministries to a new committee on U.S. church growth. Proponents say the plan is needed while others question its ethics or effectiveness. Heather Hahn reports. Read story and post a comment  

General Conference, May 17th, 2016 Interview with Emily Allen

5/18/2016
Conference communications director Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. interviews delegate Emily Allen on the floor of General Conference 2016, click here.  

Give Us Heart With Love Alone

5/18/2016
By Gayle Shearman   Arriving in Portland and entering the convention center was a home coming as well as a realization of time of transition for many reasons in my life. I was back in a place where I had been many times for work up to a few years ago, and back in Portland for another General Conference having been a part of the 1976 General Conference held in Portland, where there was the first attempt to remove the incompatibility language that had made its way in to an emerging set of Social ...

The Parable of the Two Dogs

5/18/2016
By the Rev. Schuyler Rhodes   One day, two puppies were basking in the sun the back yard sleeping fitfully and enjoying the sweet smells of summer and the warm embracing air.   While they were dozing, their Master placed a beautiful stuffed animal on the ground between them.    Soon, the puppies awoke and noticed the stuffed animal.    Assuming it to be a toy meant for him, one of the dogs grabbed it in his mouth and began to prance around the yard with it hanging from his mouth.     The other ...

The Parable of the Two Dogs

5/18/2016
By the Rev. Schuyler Rhodes   One day, two puppies were basking in the sun the back yard sleeping fitfully and enjoying the sweet smells of summer and the warm embracing air.   While they were dozing, their Master placed a beautiful stuffed animal on the ground between them.    Soon, the puppies awoke and noticed the stuffed animal.    Assuming it to be a toy meant for him, one of the dogs grabbed it in his mouth and began to prance around the yard with it hanging from his mouth.     The other ...

Why I Support the Bishops’ Way Forward

5/18/2016
By the Rev.  Dr. Karen Oliveto   Today, the delegates of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church received and adopted a plan from the bishops of the church for a process to discern how (or if) we can move forward as a united church.   I support this plan. As a church, we are at a biblical, and theological impasse, and it has had a negative impact on our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.   We have differing views on faithfulness, and ...

Bishop Ough says Council of Bishops does not support split

5/17/2016
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, said the bishops are not supporting any plan for a split of The United Methodist Church, but admitted they are not fully united on how the church should go forward in the face of differences over full inclusion of LGBTQ people. (Read more)  

General Conference Reflections one week into the experience (May 16)

5/17/2016
By the Rev. Kathy La Point-Collup   This morning I was struck by the incredible contrast between the inspiring and spirited messages of our Bishops, the love and justice oriented music presented in every genre possible, and what I have heard on the floor in legislative sections. Samples from our Bishops and musicians:  Mercy, not sacrifice; there should be no category of humanity declared incompatible with Christian teaching; all are invited to the great feast, no one is left out, won't you come...

The Body of Christ is in Pain

5/17/2016
By the Rev. Elizabeth Brick   My sisters and brothers in Christ, "Pain is the doorway to the here and now. Physical or emotional pain is an ultimate form of ground, saying, to each of us, in effect, there is no other place than this place, no other body than this body, no other limb or joint or pang or sharpness or heartbreak but this searing presence." -David Whyte The Body of Christ is in pain. There is no other way to describe General Conference. By our action and through our inaction ...

Five elected to Judicial Council

5/16/2016
United Methodists from Norway and Mozambique are among the new members of the denomination’s Judicial Council. Delegates to General Conference 2016 filled open positions for two clergy and three lay members on the nine-member council during elections on May 16. The new clergy members are the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen of Norway and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, California. Elected as lay members were Ruben Reyes of Manila, Philippines; Deanell Reese Tacha of Lawrence, Kansas, and Lídia Romão ...

GC2016 plenary pauses for Black Lives Matter demonstration

5/16/2016
Chanting “Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter,” close to 150 United Methodists swarmed the plenary floor at General Conference May 16 to voice concern for the oppressed and marginalized. Clergy and lay men and women of all races — many wearing the rainbow stoles that signify full inclusion for LGBTQ — carried a banner proclaiming, “All #BlackLivesMatter: bisexual, transgender, poor, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, disabled, women, men, youth and children.” (Read More)  

Glide UMC Member Consecrated Deaconess

5/16/2016
Robin Ridenour was among twenty-six deaconesses and home missioners who were consecrated this morning on the plenary floor of the United Methodist General Conference. Ridenour is a member of Glide UMC in San Francisco, California, and is a registered nurse anesthetist, Kaiser Permanente, and clinical coordinator for student nurse anesthetists. (Photos by the Rev. D J del Rosario) (Read More)  

Immigration rally calls for end to deportations

5/16/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — For United Methodists gathering for lunchtime witness on May 13 at the Oregon Convention Center plaza, the phrase "Stop deportations" was a rallying cry. As the Rev. Rosanna Panizo, academic dean of the Methodist seminary in Peru, pointed out, faith both inspires and demands that Methodists take a stand on immigration rights. Linda Bloom reports. Read story and post a comment  

Indigo Girls call on church to love, support all people

5/16/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Calling their concert "one big love-fest," indie folk rock duo the Indigo Girls headlined a Reconciling Ministries Network benefit concert May 13 during The United Methodist Church's General Conference. Jessica Brodie reports. Read blog  

Lack of youth delegates leaves General Conference commission slot unfilled

5/16/2016
(Pictured, California-Nevada Reserve Delegate, Emily Bennett)   The lack of youth delegates among the 864 delegates to General Conference 2016 means that for the second time in a row, the commission that runs the denomination’s top legislative assembly won’t have a youth delegate. Only one voting delegate and one reserve delegate are 18. That makes both too old to serve on the Commission on General Conference as youth representatives, according to the Book of Discipline. (Read More)  

Laity urged to share Jesus with the world

5/16/2016
Lay members of The United Methodist Church admonished their peers who are delegates to General Conference to remember that they share in the responsibility of making disciples of Jesus Christ in the world. The May 13 laity address included lay leaders from the Upper New York, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Zimbabwe and Great Plains conferences, with each sharing a sense of urgency for the people in local churches around the world to do more to share the love and mercy available to all through ...

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

5/16/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — After several days where General Conference delegates were clearly divided over Rule 44, on Day Four, they were urged repeatedly to work together, and shown examples of the good the church can do when it heeds that advice. In other news, demonstrations surrounding climate change, immigration and the church's stance on homosexuality were held. Joey Butler reports. Read story and post a comment

May 14 wrap-up: Sermon, protest, committee work

5/16/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Worship, an address by young people and a silent protest for LGBTQ inclusion began Day Five of General Conference 2016, which ended with final legislative committees. Barbara Dunlap-Berg has the story. Read story and post a comment  

Prayers, paper lanterns at climate vigil

5/16/2016
In South Pacific island nations like Tonga, children are learning firsthand about the impact of global warming as they prepare for the reality that they eventually may have to evacuate their homes. “Some of them may be the last generation to grow up in some of these islands,” said the Rev. Ikani Fakasiieiki, an elder in the Methodist Church in Tonga who teaches religious studies at Eastern Washington University in the U.S. (Read more)  

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