Thursday, June 1, 2023

News Roundup - June 1, 2023

Below is a run-down of significant (United) Methodist stories from the past month.

Council of Bishops Recommended 2026 General Conference: At their May meeting, the Council of Bishops recommended the UMC hold a five-day General Conference in 2026. That session would count as a regular General Conference and also be focused on making significant changes to the denomination: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/bishops-call-for-general-conference-in-2026.

Much Lower UMC Budget Proposed: GCFA and the Connectional Table agreed to send a much lower denominational budget proposal to General Conference: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/as-church-exits-rise-proposed-budget-drops.

United Methodist Africa Forum Organizes: The United Methodist Africa Forum held its first meeting in Johannesburg in April, where it organized itself, elected leaders, and adopted policy positions, including support for greater regionalization in the church: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/new-caucus-supports-african-bishops-regionalization.

Global Ministries and East Africa Episcopal Area Announce End to Embargo: Global Ministries and the East Africa Episcopal Area announced the end to a decade-long embargo of funds from Global Ministries to East Africa. The embargo arose out of disputes over audit issues, which have been resolved: https://umcmission.org/may-2023/joint-announcement-the-general-board-of-global-ministries-and-east-africa-episcopal-area-restore-relationship/.

UMC Council of Bishops Meets: The United Methodist Council of Bishops met for its first in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The council sought to set a forward-looking tone amid church conflict and disaffiliations: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/amid-rupture-bishops-called-to-renew-church.

Connectional Table Reconsiders Restructuring: The Connectional Table voted at an April 27th meeting to reconsider an earlier proposal for restructuring itself and reducing the number of members of the body: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/leadership-body-reconsiders-restructuring-plan.

Global Ministries Africa Consultation Promotes Mission Partnership: Global Ministries’ African Mission Partners Consultation, held in April, brought together African UMC leaders and Global Ministries board members and staff to strengthen mission partnerships in Africa: https://umcmission.org/may-2023/consultation-charts-way-for-missional-church/ and https://umcmission.org/may-2023/partnership-in-mission-with-mutual-respect-and-accountability/.

BMCR Forges Connections with Africa: Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Black caucus in the US UMC, worked to develop closer ties with Africa during its annual meeting, inviting Dr. Peter Mageto of Africa University to address the group: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/black-caucus-draws-closer-to-african-partners.

Irish Methodists and Polish United Methodists Continue Partnership: Polish United Methodist leaders visited Ireland to continue a partnership with the Methodist church there: https://irishmethodist.org/world-mission-news/visit-from-world-church-family.

North African United Methodists Affirm Connection: United Methodist pastors and a church leader from UMC congregations in Algeria and Tunisia met with UMC Bishops Patrick Streiff and Stefan Z├╝rcher to reaffirm the role of those congregations in the future of the church: https://www.umc-cse.org/en/liste_552612-1028104/when-uncertainty-gives-way-to-new-courage-of-faith.html.

Korean-American UMCs Support Mongolia Amid Divisions: The Mongolia Mission held a recent summit for its Korean-American supporters. Despite the decision of some supporting churches to disaffiliate, the event stressed unity in mission: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/korean-churches-hope-to-continue-shared-mission-work-in-mongolia.

Czech United Methodists Vote to Become Autonomous: At the annual conference of the Czech UMC, participants voted to leave the denomination to become autonomous. They will follow the autonomy process laid out in the Book of Discipline, which requires General Conference approval: https://www.umc-cse.org/en/liste_552612-1030316/setting-the-course-in-czechia.html.

United Methodists Prepare for Changes to Migrant Ministries in the United States: After the end of the Title 42 migrant regulations, United Methodists involved in ministry with migrants have been preparing for possible increases or changes to the flow of migrants to the United States: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/amid-policy-changes-church-keeps-faith-with-migrants.

Chilean Methodists Support Migrants: With help from Connexio develop, the Swiss United Methodist development agency, Chilean Methodists have been working to support migrants to Chile: https://connexio.ch/index.php/2023/05/17/als-kirche-fuer-migrantinnen-da-srf-1-zeigt-reportage-aus-chile/.

Global Ministries Celebrates Historic Ministry of Asian and Pacific Islander Immigrants: In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Global Ministries has been shared stories of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants who have contributed to United Methodist mission: https://umcmission.org/asian-american-and-pacific-islander-contributions-within-methodist-mission/.

Philippines UMC Promotes Conversations about Religion, Race, Gender, and Ability: The National United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines, the Philippines Board of Women's Work, and the General Commission on Religion and Race are launching an initiative called #CloseTheGap to promote conversations about religion, race, gender, and (dis)ability: https://www.gcorr.org/news/closethegap-initiative-launches-in-the-philippines.

Yambasu Agricultural Initiative Reinvests in Second Season: The various projects across Africa associated with Global Ministries’ Yambasu Agricultural Initiative are planning to reinvest profits from their first growing season into a second season: https://umcmission.org/may-2023/reinvestment-in-yambasu-initiative-projects-leads-to-growth/.

UMC Ministers to the HIV-Positive in Congo: The United Methodist Church in the Kivu Annual Conference, with support from Global Ministries, is supporting women living with HIV/AIDS as part of the Maternal and Child Health Program: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/church-gives-hope-to-people-living-with-hiv-in-congo.

United Methodists in Zimbabwe Combat Drug Abuse: At UMC-run high schools in Zimbabwe, church and school leaders have worked together to discourage drug abuse by students: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/united-methodists-join-fight-against-drug-abuse.

East Congo UMC and UMCOR Respond to Flooding: The Disaster Management Office of the East Congo Episcopal Area and UMCOR have begun responding to significant flooding in South Kivu, which killed several people: https://umcmission.org/may-2023/united-methodists-killed-in-congo-flooding/.

UMNS Supports Press Freedom: In an editorial published on World Press Freedom Day, May 3, Tim Tanton, Director of United Methodist News, explained what press freedom means to the church and why the church should support it: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/why-church-should-care-about-press-freedom.

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