The United Methodist Church in North Alabama announced the closing of nine churches on Monday just weeks after a Pew report found that the number of Americans identifying as Christian in the U.S. has decreased since 2007.
One of these locations, however, Lakeview Highland United Methodist Church in Muscle Shoals, could stay open if it's successfully taken over by a Hispanic congregation that moved into the church building last fall. Lakeview, now goes by the name Iglesia de la Puebla and is led by pastor Ruben DeLeon.
"It was an answer to prayer for them and it was an answer to prayer for us," Rev. Kelly Clem, the superintendent of the Northwest District of the UMC, told Al.com of the change. "They've renovated the building. They're leasing it for $1. They just got to work on the roof and painted the building. It looks great." more >>
The following article originally appeared in the American Spectator and has been re-posted with permission.
Recently a longtime United Methodist official, lamenting that Israel's Independence Day obscured the Palestinian "Nakba" or catastrophe, urged boycotting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. until the Palestinians have their own Holocaust museum.
Here's the quote from Janet Lahr Lewis, "Advocacy Coordinator for the Middle East" at United Methodism's General Board of Global Ministries in New York, and "Peace with Justice Associate" at the church's General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C., in an article originally appearing in but now seemingly removed from the online weekly newsletter of the latter agency: more >>
A United Methodist body approved proposed legislation that would, among other things, allow clergy to perform gay marriage ceremonies and local conferences to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.
The Connectional Table voted 26 to 10 in favor of proposed legislation that would allow clergy to perform gay weddings without concern of facing church discipline or to be "openly self-avowed practicing homosexuals."
While the proposal was passed by the Connectional Table, the General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking assembly, will determine if it becomes official policy when it meets next year in Oregon. more >>
The world's lone Jewish state must be singled out for punitive divestment campaigns, while we should at the same time promote economic investment in North Korea, whose government has done absolutely nothing in the area of human rights worthy of specific criticism. And we should take our broad support for sex outside of marriage one step further by advocating legalizing prostitution.
This was the moral vision offered by our United Methodist Church's apportionment-funded D.C. lobby office, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) at its Spring 2015 board of directors meeting.
The main business of this semi-annual meeting was adopting, rather hastily, dozens of petitions and resolutions that will be submitted for consideration at our denomination's 2016 General Conference. The GBCS's head staffer, since early 2014, is the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, while its board president is Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the Desert-Southwest Conference. more >>
A regional body of the United Methodist Church based in Georgia has been accused of bullying a pastor and her church over their support for traditional marriage.
Carole Hulslander, pastor at Still Waters UMC of Atlanta, has accused the UMC North Georgian Conference of removing her from her congregation over her decision to sign a statement calling for the denomination to maintain its views on homosexuality.
According to "The Erick Erickson Show" radio program, since expressing her support for the UMC to maintain a traditional definition of marriage, Hulslander found herself harassed by NGUMC leadership. more >>
The United Methodist Church is considering a new process for proposals given at General Conference for agenda items pertaining to the debate over the denomination's stance on homosexuality.
The Commission on General Conference, which plans the regular Church legislative gathering, proposed something called a "Group Discernment Process," according to Heath Hahn of the United Methodist News Service.
"Under the plan, the first stop of all sexuality-related petitions would not be legislative committees. Instead, all 864 delegates would review the petitions in small groups with no more than 15 members," reported Hahn. more >>