Hitting Pause: A Progressive Pastor Heads Home

By: Sherry Gragg, Photo by Brant Mills   The Rev. Hannah Terry, Community Pastor of Westbury UMC and St. Marks UMC Houston, considers herself an evangelical progressive who loves Jesus. With the Traditional plan passing at GC2019, she is finding that her multi-faceted identity at once comforting and shrouded in grief.   Terry is not a delegate. She felt drawn by the Holy Spirit from Houston to St. Louis to bear witness to what she terms “family business.” “The United Methodist Church is my ...

The Long Legacy of Methodism

By: Sherri Gragg   Reading the Same Book… Differently The Rev Dr. Chappell Temple has no doubt that regardless of tonight’s vote, Methodism will prevail. “Methodism has been here for a long time, 300 years,” he said, “it may have some different forms of expression going forward, but it will still be here.” According to Temple, the Methodist church has split no fewer than 13 times since its conception in 1784. Each time, the faithful Methodists found their way back into ministry. Terry suggests ...

The Process Protects the Mission

By: Sherri Gragg The Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner, associate professor of the practice of evangelism and Methodist studies at Duke University, believes the legislative process serves to protect the mission of the UMC.   The Book of Discipline is, at times, complicated and dense. The legislative process is lengthy and sometimes tedious. The Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner says that is a beautiful thing. We sat down with her on the fourth day of GC2019 to find out why.   Q: As a professor of Methodism, you ...

Video Updates from the TAC Delegation February 26


Plan Recommended by COB Rejected

Photo by Brant Mills During the third day of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, Legislative Committee approves Traditional Plan and two petitions for Disaffiliation. One Church plan fails to receive votes to advance.   Day three of the Special Session of the 2019 General Conference was devoted to the work of the legislative committee. Throughout the day, the committee methodically worked through the petitions before them as they had been prioritized on the second day of the ...

Video Updates from the TAC Delegation February 25


Court Rules Two GC2019 Petitions Unconstitutional

By Linda Bloom   Two General Conference 2019 petitions related to potential plans for the future of The United Methodist Church have been declared unconstitutional by the denomination’s top court.  The decision was in response to a petition for a declaratory decision received by the United Methodist Judicial Council Feb. 22 from the Council of Bishops. Petition 90052 is unconstitutional, the court said in Decision 1375 “because it infringes upon the right of the annual conference to vote on ...

GC Delegation Votes Tallied for February 24, 2019

Petitions meant to address pensions and the Traditional Plan topped the list of priorities for what General Conference delegates will work on in their legislative committee. The Traditional Plan received 459 high-priority  votes. The One Church Plan received 403 high-priority votes. The Simple Plan received 153 high-priority votes. The Connectional Conference Plan drew 102 votes. See UMNS Story for additional context.

Invitation to TAC Prayer Gathering Tuesday Morning

Friends, I will lead a group prayer time tomorrow morning at 7:30 am in section 115 of the visitors’ area. We will gather in the seats for 15 minutes. Please share this information with all members of the delegation and any persons from the TAC who might be here as observers. Scott J. Jones Update: See video of the prayer gathering

Lessons in Hope: Oscar L. Garza

Delegates Rev. Jessica LaGrone and Oscar Garza discuss legislation during General Conference 2019. Photo by Brant Mills. By: Sherri Gragg   While serving as a lay delegate at the 2012 General Conference, Oscar L. Garza, Cypress Trails UMC, Spring, received word that his wife’s ovarian cancer had returned. “If it comes back within five years, survivability drops to 15 percent,” Garza said, “So in the middle of General Conference, I jumped on an airplane and flew back home.”   For the next four ...

United Methodists Urged to Unite as 2019 General Conference Convenes

Bishop Kenneth Carter preaches Sunday during General Conference 2019. Photo by Brant Mills. Council of Bishops President Bishop Kenneth H. Carter today called on United Methodists to make every effort to maintain unity for the sake of God’s mission as the denomination’s top legislative body began its work in St. Louis, Missouri.    Preaching in the opening worship of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, Bishop Carter said that the unity of the body...

Video Updates from the TAC Delegation February 24


A Global United Methodist Church Seeks God’s Guidance for a Way Forward

Janice Gilbert, delegate from the Texas Conference, during the Feb. 23 morning of prayer at the 2019 Special Session of the United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. By: Sherri Gragg Unity through Prayer The 2019 Special Session of the General Conference began with a Plenary Prayer Service. The theme of the more than six hours of communal prayer was “Surrender to God’s Purpose.” Delegates were welcomed to the time of prayer by Bishop Debra ...

General Conference Information and Resources

"Remember to keep the main thing the main thing, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." Bishop Scott J. Jones General Conference 2019 - Special Session The Council of Bishops announced the call to a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.The special meeting of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly will be limited to acting on a report by Council of Bishops, based on the proposals from the Commission on the Way ...

Harry Denman Evangelism Award Accepting Nominations

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award, sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism, honors United Methodists in each Annual Conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.   What distinguishes a Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipient is the commitment to consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ in all ministry settings. Their ministry is exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit ...

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