Global membership in the United Methodist Church passed the 12.5 million mark in 2012, reaching a record number for the denomination, according to recently released statistics.
Despite continuing its decline in the United States, the UMC maintained a trend of growth in developing countries, which greatly contributed to reaching the record number.
A UMC spokesperson provided The Christian Post with a statement from Scott Brewer, associate general secretary of the UMC General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA). "In 2012, The United Methodist Church continued to see its greatest growth centered in Africa and the Philippines," said Brewer. "Although there are also conferences in the United States and Europe that also reported increases…the greatest growth is found in what's often referred to as the Global South." more >>
A United Methodist Church bishop in Texas has ruled that a lesbian's clergy candidacy in the denomination can proceed, reversing a preemptive rejection from officials.
Bishop James Dorff of the Southwest Texas Conference stated Thursday that Mary Ann Kaiser's candidacy could not be removed by the Board of Ordained Ministry without going through the proper process.
"Since the action of the Clergy Session was to uphold the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry was not in keeping with the Discipline, I rule that Ms. Kaiser remains a Candidate for Ministry and is due full examination, including an interview, by the Board of Ordained Ministry," stated Dorff. more >>
The United Methodist Church had its largest amount of funds donated online in a single-day during the #GivingTuesday observance, the denomination's leaders report.
About $6.5 million was donated to UMC missions on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the UMC General Board of Global Ministries. The idea of putting a focus on "giving" rather than "shopping" on the day after Cyber Monday and three days after Black Friday appears to have gained momentum this year thanks to social media.
A Massachusetts superior court judge has rejected a motion for an injunction against a program that would provide taxpayer funds to go to a restoration project for a historic church located in Martha's Vineyard.
Judge Richard T. Moses ruled earlier this week against a preliminary injunction being brought to halt the Community Preservation Coalition's funding of restoration work to Trinity United Methodist Church of Oak Bluffs Campground. "The court finds that there has been an insufficient showing of a likelihood of success on the merits and that granting of the injunction wouldn't be in the public interest," wrote Moses.
Established in 2000 by the Community Preservation Act, the CPC's stated purpose is to help Massachusetts communities preserve various sites and locales as well as help with growth. "CPA is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities," reads the "Overview" entry on its website. more >>
A United Methodist Church leader has been elected to the post of General Secretary/President for the National Council of Churches.
James E. Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, was elected earlier this week by the NCC Governing Board.
A Pennyslvania United Methodist clergyman who officiated his son's same-sex wedding has been suspended for 30 days by a church jury on two guilty counts.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer was sentenced Tuesday evening to the suspension after a 13-member jury ruled the day before that he had broken his pastoral vows. The two counts were officiating a ceremony for a homosexual union and being in violation of the rules of the United Methodist Church.
In addition to the suspension, Schaefer must agree to cease officiating same-sex marriages or else be compelled to lose his clergy credentials with the United Methodist Church. more >>