The main proposal for restructuring the UMC’s general agencies has found fans but also many critics. As General Conference approaches, alternatives have emerged, including one called simply Plan B. Our story tries to sort out where things stand with roughly a month to go before the big legislative gathering in Tampa, Fla.
A mission team from the Yellowstone Conference recently went from Montana to Angola to understand the lives of United Methodists there, and to show support. Kristen Cates is a Montana newspaper reporter and a United Methodist. She was on the trip, and it’s her report, first published in the Great Falls Tribune, that we are happy to share.
Recent congressional testimony by law student Sandra Fluke brought criticism, then an apology, from radio host Rush Limbaugh. Both Ms. Fluke and Mr. Limbaugh are United Methodists. UMNS has the story of how they ended up making news together.
A more independent future awaits the United Methodist Women, if General Conference gives its approval. Staff writer Mary Jacobs reports on the organization’s hopes and tentative plans.
In commentaries, the Rev. Suzanne Duchesne argues that real repentance for crimes against Native Americans will take more than the scheduled service at General Conference. And the Rev. Donald Haynes devotes his “Wesleyan Wisdom” column to new and old techniques that he has found work in building or re-building a vital congregation.
Elsewhere in this issue, the Rev. Kenny Dickson offers a DVD review of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, with a focus on what it can teach Christians who have responsibility for someone with autism. And C. Michael Hawn devotes his History of Hymns column to “Ah, Holy Jesus,” including the English translation of its lyrics by British writer Robert Bridges.
And please check our website for more General Conference coverage, including many of the stories and commentaries that appear in our 24-page special supplement previewing the big event.
We welcome your story tips, comments and brief, civil letters to the editor. Send to email@example.com.
Thanks, as always, for keeping the faith with us.
Sam Hodges, managing editor