Today was another very meaningful day. United Methodists from our beloved California-Nevada Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness. Rev. Linda Caldwell and I traveled to Napa where we met with clergy and lay leaders from our churches in Napa, St. Helena, and Vallejo. We learned new things about the impact of the fires. Our youngest participant at any of our pastoral itineration visits this week was little Adeline who with her friends had made "Thank You" posters for first responders and then delivered them.
Every four years, The United Methodist Church brings youth and young adults together from across the denomination for the Global Young People's Convocation. Each jurisdiction sends five youth, five young adults and two adults. Participants are elected by people from across the jurisdiction - primarily youth and young adults.
The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a program that will allow girls to advance to the rank of Eagle.
“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “The values of scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women.”
The United Methodist response to the devastating 2017 hurricane season is getting a boost through new grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
During their Oct. 12-14 meeting, directors of the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries and UMCOR approved more than $7 million in grants for hurricane and other disaster-relief work and $1.86 million for global health projects.
United Methodist bishops are urging the United States Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act that would allow undocumented young people the opportunity to work, receive an education and serve in the U.S. military. In a statement released today, the bishops said they are praying and urging action for the young people affected by the U.S. government's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The young immigrants, also known as Dreamers, had an October 5 deadline to renew their permits one last time.
Years ago, laity began a movement of mutual mission around the globe called United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM). Today, we continue the work of missional partnership with locations where we are invited to serve and with people we call sisters and brothers. UMVIM trainings prepare Mission Team Leaders and Spiritual Guides to lead teams of people called to serve in mission.
Preaching takes the time and occasion seriously. The preacher exercises a public ministry; it is expected that the sermon will address common crises, desolation, and grief with the Word of God. Catastrophes come in all sizes; some, like the burning of a church or the wreck of a church-school bus, are local and have a direct impact on the congregation; others, like war or the assassination of a president are national or global.
“Lord, teach us to pray,” the disciples request of Jesus (Luke 11:1 CEB). Many of us who lack confidence in our prayer lives ask the same of our pastors and others who seem to have a better handle on that spiritual discipline.
With his rapidly flooding town needing an emergency shelter, the Rev. John Mooney of First United Methodist in Vidor, Texas, opened the church gym on the evening of Aug. 29.When that quickly filled, he kept going. “We had to open up the sanctuary and put them on the pews and everything,” Mooney said. “We’ve got about 150 people here, all walks of life, babies, toddlers. We’re depending on church members and the community for food. We don’t have any power.”