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Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Following the February 2019 session of General Conference, many United Methodists returned to their Sunday School classes, worship services and small groups asking the same question: "Where do we go from here?" In Where Do We Go From Here?: Honest Responses From Twenty-Four United Methodist Leaders, four bishops, several pastors, laypersons, campus ministers, students, general board directors and others share their honest responses to the question, "Where do we... continue reading
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The Council at church asked him, "Can you help?" A Congolese family came to church every week for five months, walking across a field from their apartment. They bought an SUV, only to find the rear latch would not release. They needed help. Ken is semi-retired, raised by parents who reminded him consistently that God made him to be a blessing. One of his blessings is fixing things. Ken also has concerns about immigration. Despite the concerns, Ken said yes to h... continue reading
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Safe Sanctuaries policies prepare your congregation and its ministries to provide safety and care to children, youth, and vulnerable adults, as well as to those who serve them. In 2014, the West Ohio Annual Conference adopted a recommendation stating that every church would have a Safe Sanctuaries policy... Does your church have a policy?  When was it last updated?  Do you follow the policy? Can your church be doing more? We know that many churches nee... continue reading
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Nearly 700 clergy gathered at Otterbein University for the 2019 Clergy Session this week. This annual meeting, which focuses on the Business of the Annual Conference, included welcoming newly credentialed colleagues, celebrating those moving into retirement, and memorializing those who have died since July 1, 2018. Rev. Brian Milford, President and Chief Executive Officer of The United Methodist Publishing House, served as the featured preacher. In his opening... continue reading
Friday, May 10, 2019
West Ohio Pastor, Rev. Ryan Grace, was raised in a small White town, where he was taught that racism is dead. But, after hundreds of years of slavery, segregation, and separation, many Black people say the American Spirit has not fully moved beyond racial division, and their lives are still shaded by the color of their skin. So, as a White Christian pastor, Rev. Grace took his family on a road trip into history to see if our culture really has risen above the r... continue reading
Friday, May 10, 2019
Esther Karimi Gitobu, a West Ohio-supported missionary in Cambodia, will be visiting The West Ohio Conference next week, along with Missionary Andrew Lee, who serves as the country coordinator for the Methodist Mission in Cambodia. Esther and Andrew will make two presentations at John Wesley UMC in Cincinnati, one at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 9, and another at 2:00 pm on Friday, May 10. The evening of May 10, they will present at Milford First UMC at 7:00 pm. Su... continue reading
Friday, May 10, 2019
CHICAGO – (May 09, 2019) The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church completed its May 2019 meeting held outside Chicago with a pastoral and prophetic word in response to the decisions of the Special Session and the codification of some of those decisions in the Book of Discipline. “Bishops are not judges or legislators. Bishops are preachers, teachers, shepherds, mediators, and missional strategists who appoint clergy and lead annual conferences to m... continue reading
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you in the name and Spirit of Jesus the Risen Christ. As I write to you, I am attending the Spring meeting of the Council of Bishops. This is our first time being together since the called General Conference in St. Louis. As you might imagine, we are spending significant portions of our time reflecting on the General Conference and the recent rulings of the Judicial Council. The conversations are robust, frank,... continue reading
Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019
Dear Ones in Christ Jesus: All of us are acutely aware of many, though not all, of the recent assaults on human dignity with words and acts of hatred and violence. May this prayer often attributed to St. Francis summon us one more time to connect our prayers to action and our worship to work. This is a prayer that asks the Triune God to help us to get off our duffs and do the work of sowing the things that make for life for all. Our failure to live peaceably a... continue reading