Tuesday, August 1, 2023

News Roundup 8/1/2023

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

Groups Work on Regionalization Legislation: The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and the Connectional Table have been working together to develop legislation for the delayed 2020 General Conference that would regionalize the church. The legislation is being called the “Christmas Covenant 2.0”: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/efforts-for-regionalization-move-forward

Mark Holland Calls for Regionalization of UMC: Rev. Mark Holland of the advocacy group Mainstream UMC published an opinion piece calling for greater regionalization in the church: https://um-insight.net/in-the-church/umc-future/umc-has-tremendous-urgency-to-regionalize-its-structure/

Bishop Mande Muyombo Calls for Missional Collaboration: In an opinion piece, Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area reflects on the state of United Methodism in Africa and calls for continued missional collaboration across geographic areas in the denomination: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/bouncing-forward-as-african-united-methodists

Agencies Issue Joint Statement on Renewal: Global Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry issued a joint statement on John Wesley’s birthday calling for continued faithfulness to the Methodist tradition and increased cooperation: https://www.gbhem.org/news/a-season-for-renewal-and-a-joint-commitment-to-our-worldwide-connection/

Mozambicans Form Pan-Methodist Council: Methodists from eight different Methodist denominations in Mozambique have joined together to form an ecumenical Methodist council: https://www.umnews.org/pt/news/igrejas-de-tradicao-wesleyana-formam-um-novo-conselho-metodista-em-mocambique, English translation: https://www-umnews-org.translate.goog/pt/news/igrejas-de-tradicao-wesleyana-formam-um-novo-conselho-metodista-em-mocambique?_x_tr_sl=en&_x_tr_tl=es&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Estonian Methodists Complete Process of Leaving UMC: At their annual conference in June, Estonian Methodists voted to conclude the process of separating from the UMC to form an autonomous church: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/estonian-churches-leave-united-methodist-fold

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

African United Methodists Serve Others: In various ways and places across the continent, African United Methodists continued their heritage of service to others:

Africa University Creates College of Engineering and Applied Sciences: The UMC-affiliated university in Zimbabwe announced the new College of Engineering and Applies Sciences, its fourth school: https://aunews.africau.edu/?p=2848

Fred Vanderwerf Appointed New In Mission Together Coordinator for Ukraine: Vanderwerf, who has long-term connections to Ukraine, will be responsible for helping church in the United States partner with UMC churches in Ukraine: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/planting-churches-in-war-torn-ukraine

UMC Bishops Continue #DismantlingRacism Campaign: A video from UMC Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton provided an update on the bishops’ work to dismantle racism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcIg7JypKG4

Methodist Annual Korean Peace Rountable: The Korean Methodist Church, United Methodist Church, and World Methodist Council will collaborate in sponsoring a roundtable on peace on the Korean Peninsula at the end of August: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/korean-methodists-continue-work-for-reunification

Why United Methodists Should Care About Climate Change: Commenting on recent weather events, United Methodist Insight editor Cynthia Astle explains why United Methodists should care about climate change: https://um-insight.net/in-the-world/disasters-and-climate-change/why-should-united-methodists-care-about-climate-change/

Wespath Reports on Sustainable Investing: Wespath, the pension and benefits agency for The United Methodist Church, has issued a report on the impact of its work in several areas of sustainable investing: https://www.wespath.org/assets/1/7/5987.pdf?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=wespathinvests&utm_content=Organic+Social

Global Ministries Opens EarthKeepers Applications: Global Ministries is accepting applications for the EarthKeepers program, which is focused on promoting local environmental projects, through August 23: https://umcmission.org/earthkeepers/

UMC Annual Conferences Pass Creation Care Motions: Several annual conferences in the UMC passed similar motions on creation care, as UMC Creation Justice reports: https://umcreationjustice.org/2023-annual-conference-season-updates/

German UMC Central Office Gets Renewed Green Certificate: The central church office for the Germany Central Conference of the UMC has again won the “Grünen Gockel” (“Green Rooster”) award for eco-friendliness: https://www.emk.de/meldung/einladung-zum-mitmachen; English translation: https://www-emk-de.translate.goog/meldung/einladung-zum-mitmachen?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Cote d'Ivoire Seminary Runs on Solar: Thanks in part to support from the Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF), the Higher Institute of Theology of Abadjin-Doumé (ISTHA) in Cote d'Ivoire has been running on solar power since 2019: https://www.gbhem.org/news/wealth-of-the-sun/

Local Churches Act to Care for Climate: Local churches in California: https://um-insight.net/in-the-world/disasters-and-climate-change/california-nevada-united-methodist-church-takes-on-climate-a/ and Iowa: https://um-insight.net/in-the-world/disasters-and-climate-change/iowa-s-grinnell-umc-goes-solar/ have taken steps to care for creation by combatting climate change.

Lovers Lane UMC Hosts Climate Conference: Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas hosted a recent conference on "Resilience for Congregations" in the face of climate change. The conference also explored the need for action to mitigate climate change: https://um-insight.net/in-the-world/disasters-and-climate-change/conference-on-congregations-climate-resilience-turns-to-spea/

Mark Davies Calls for Fossil Free UMC: Rev. Dr. Mark Davies published an opinion piece calling on the next meeting of General Conference in 2024 to move the UMC toward becoming fossil free: https://um-insight.net/in-the-church/umc-future/general-conference-2024-should-move-umc-to-be-fossil-free/. Davies' piece prompted a further discussion by the Swiss UMC: https://emk-schweiz.ch/2023/07/28/weiter-in-fossile-energie-investieren-ein-no-go-fuer-die-methodistische-kirche/; English translation: https://emk--schweiz-ch.translate.goog/2023/07/28/weiter-in-fossile-energie-investieren-ein-no-go-fuer-die-methodistische-kirche/?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Florida Fresh Expressions Launches Podcast: Fresh Expressions, the movement to reach “new people in new ways” is spreading in the US UMC. The Florida Annual Conference, which has been supporting Fresh Expressions for years, has now launched a podcast on the topic: https://www.freshexpressionsfl.org/podcast

East Ohio Shares Stories of Missionaries, Deaconesses: The “Storyboard” podcast of the East Ohio Annual Conference has published recent episodes featuring deaconesses and home missioners: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/storyboardeoc/episodes/Disciple-Making-Laity-Called-to-Ministries-of-Love--Justice--and-Service-as-Deaconesses-and-Home-Missioners-e206ph0 and missionaries: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/storyboardeoc/episodes/Disciple-Making-Making-Disciples-Around-the-World-e26d8p5

Edgar Avitia, Long-time Global Ministries Staffer, Dies: Edgar Avitia, who helped promote mission connections in Latin America and throughout the world through his work with Global Ministries, died unexpectedly at the end of June. See more from Global Ministries: https://umcmission.org/news-statements/global-ministries-grieves-at-the-death-of-rev-edgar-avitia-legarda/ and UMNews: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/global-ministries-staffer-mourned-near-and-far.

Connexio hope and develop Issues Annual Report: The Swiss United Methodist mission agencies released their annual report on their work with partners around the world, including in Cambodia, DR Congo, and Latin America: https://connexio.ch/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Connexio-Jahresbericht-2022_23_web3.pdf (in German)

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