Remembering the Dream

                                                            True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.       Martin Luther King Jr.   I wonder where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would place his hard and diligent work today?  I think about this question every year this month when we stop to honor Dr. King.  I think about it every time racism raises its ugly head.  I thought of Dr. King daily through the recent Presidential campaign and especially now ...

San Ramon Valley UMC – Alamo, CA

"We understand that the church is made up of more than the local congregation…We are connected to churches around the world…This is one way we can support the church's mission throughout the world by tithing," says the Rev. Luke Ham, associate pastor of San Ramon Valley UMC.  Ham, in his sixth year appointed to the congregation says a commitment to the Conference tithe starts with good leadership from laity because pastors come and go.    "It comes out of a spirit of being thankful for all that...

Christmas Message from Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,   As I write to you it is raining in Sacramento.  Having lived with you these past years of drought that have affected all of our area, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.  God does not forget us or forsake us.  On this day our thirst is quenched and the groaning earth is comforted as the windows of heaven are opened and God’s grace pours out upon us.  All around us the signs of God’s eternal love for all of God’s children and creatures abound!   There is no ...

Durham UMC – Durham, CA

"It (Conference Tithe) demonstrates the strength of our faith and the commitment of our service," says Pastor Lance Smith of Durham UMC in Durham, CA.  He says, "It's important to tithe because it's critical to give back, and to sacrifice…You have to give joyfully…It's part of our cheerful obligation.  We know that as we do that we're going to get so much more back."   Smith says 10 to 12 years ago the church had about eight members, now they average 49 in worship.  He says, "We've taken in 16 ...

Letter from Conference CFA Chair to Pastors, Church Treasurers, and Lay Members of ACS about Conference Tithe

The Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) continues to hear pleas from local churches that we clarify how to calculate the exact amount which will complete your tithe for 2016. CFA requires all 2016 tithes and second-mile giving payments be received in the Conference Treasurer, Diane Knudsen's, office by noon, January 13, 2017. CFA also applauds that as of December 15, 2016’s total tithing was more than the total for December 15, 2015.  Also, more churches are completing their annual ...

Centenary UMC Modesto

"We live in covenant with one another based upon our Book of Discipline. The Conference tithe is part of that covenant," says the Rev. Bob Collins, pastor of Centenary UMC in Modesto.  Centenary fully tithed last year, and is on track to do so again this year.  "We do our very best to send in our tithe because of that covenant.  That covenant says 'I've got other brothers and sisters around the world who are depending on me."   Centenary is an active church, involved in ministry (activities for ...

Wesley UMC Bakersfield

"We all share in ministry to the world…It's not just the local church it's the connection," says the Rev. Anne Schlesinger, pastor of Wesley UMC in Bakersfield, about the church's commitment to the conference tithe.  She says, "It's biblical and we want to feel connected. We love God."   In addition to the conference tithe, the church participates in extra mile giving.  Their ministry includes a food pantry and yearly pumpkin patch in which they give away coats to anyone who need them.  The ...

First Taulanga-U UMC Sacramento

"Go deep into your hearts and see how much Go has loved you, and return love to God," says the Rev. Kataii Tapa, pastor of First Taulanga U-UMC in Sacramento. In 2016, this Tongan congregation has gone beyond the 10 percent conference tithe and is at 26 percent.    "Traditionally we come from the island and we do tithing annually…it is returning our love to God from our individual and family life," says Tapa.  "We call it Misinale," she says.  The term comes from Tonga where they would select a ...

UMC #GivingTuesday - November 29, 2016

  Download Bulletin Insert Dear Friends, As we approach the holiday giving season, UMC #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of cheerful Christian giving by making a donation through The Advance. Nov. 29, United Methodists once again are invited to extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. When you make an online donation Nov. 29, you will “GIVE LIGHT. GIVE LOVE. GIVE LIFE.” Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United ...

a Post-Election Message from Bishop Carcaño

Brothers and Sisters, We have lived some difficult months in this country; months of growing hostility among political leaders, with the lashing out at others in extreme ways, and not just at political opponents.  Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, a disregard for the economically poor, and all too often a lack of honesty, have characterized the race for the presidency.  It brought out the worst in us for all to see. During this year as I traveled across the country and to other parts of the world, ...

Pioneer UMC Auburn

Pioneer UMC in Auburn anticipates being at 100 percent of their 2016 conference tithe by the end of December.  "This represents an amazing transformation," says the Rev. Dave Samelson, Great Northern District Superintendent. Three years ago Pioneer UMC was severely in the red financially and unable to pay practically any of their conference tithe.  "The church also had to move from their pastor being full-time to three-fourths time," says Samelson.    Samelson says, "The church had a long and ...

First UMC Tracy

"If you want to serve just your community, you should join a congregational church…we're (United Methodists) able to affect not only our community, but the world through our connectional system," said the Rev. Kim Brown Montenegro, pastor of First UMC Tracy. When Montenegro arrived four years ago, the church did not have a history of doing a stewardship campaign.  They now base their budget off of the stewardship campaign.   "We switched from giving what we had left over, to tithing first," said...

The Conference Tithe

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house. And thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need…… Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.  Malachi 3:10, 12   Brothers and Sisters,   Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus.  What a joy it is to be in ministry with you!  You are a...

Bursting Out Of the Tomb – WJC2016 Memorial Service

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

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

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”

“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

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...

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