Thursday, July 6, 2023

News Roundup July 2023

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

Bishop Bickerton Invites United Methodists to “Reclaim, Revive, and Renew”: Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chair of the Council of Bishops, issued a video inviting United Methodists to “reclaim, revive, and renew” their identity and mission as United Methodists:

Global Ministries and GBHEM Call for "A Season for Renewal": Global Ministries and GBHEM issued a joint statement promising "to work together to support our worldwide connection" during "a season for renewal" in the church:

Estonian Methodists Leave UMC: Methodist churches in Estonia have finalized a process for leaving The United Methodist Church to become their own autonomous Methodist denomination:

United Women in Faith Selects New Leader: United Women in Faith announced Sally Vonner as their new General Secretary and CEO: Meanwhile, UMNS profiled retired UWF leader Harriett Olson:

Methodists Celebrate International Partnerships: Methodists in several countries reaffirmed international partnerships, including Methodists in the following places:

European Methodists Promote Sustainability: The Austria Annual Conference passed a resolution at their June meeting calling upon the Austrian government to advance the cause of environmental sustainability:, English translation: The Switzerland-France-North Africa Annual Conference voted to create a Creation Care group:, English translation:

2 Churches in Louisiana Become Solar-Powered Relief Centers: Two New-Orleans area churches have partnered with others to install solar electricity generation so that they can serve as community relief centers in the case of catastrophic loss of power:

Reports on IAMSCU Meeting: International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU) met in England in April. UMNS reported on that meeting:, and Adriana Murriello, newly elected president of the body, also offered reflections:

Africa University Graduates Largest Class Yet: Africa University graduated over 950 students on June 10th, including the first deaf student with a theology degree in Ghana ( and the first PhD graduates in Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance: and

Czech United Methodists Support Hospital in Ukraine: As part of their response to the war in Ukraine, Czech United Methodists have been supporting a volunteer surgical hospital in Western Ukraine:, English translation:

Swiss Methodist Retirement Center Wins Mediation Prize: Haus Tabea has won the 2023 Swiss Mediation Prize for its work with elder mediation:, English translation:

Michigan United Methodists Welcome Refugees: The Michigan Annual Conference and the Immigration Law & Justice Network have shared stories of Michiganders welcoming refugees from Haiti ( and Ukraine ( In related news, applications for Global Ministries’ Mustard Seed Migration Grants are open until Oct. 1st:

Woman Leaves Sanctuary at UMC Church: After receiving a Stay of Removal, Maria Chavalan Sut has left sanctuary at Wesley Memorial UMC in Charlottesville, VA:

Bishop Dyck Chosen as WCC Committee Head: Bishop Sally Dyck, the ecumenical officer of the UMC, has been selected as co-moderator of the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration (PCCC) of the World Council of Churches:

Hawxhurst Elected President of Churches Uniting in Christ: Rev. Jean Hawxhurst, Ecumenical Staff Officer for the UMC Council of Bishops, has been elected as president of the multidenominational ecumenical group Churches Uniting in Christ:

Avitia Legarda Mourned: Longtime Global Ministries staff person Rev. Edgar Avitia Legarda, known for his work with Latin America, was mourned after his sudden passing on June 27. Global Ministries statement:, UMNews story:

Commission on General Conference Meets: The Commission on General Conference, which is responsible for planning that meeting, met to continue to make preparations for the 2024 General Conference: They referred a question about petitions submitted by those who are no longer United Methodist to its Rules Committee:

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