The Light shines at Saganing
Senior Editor/Writer MIConnect
Is it an Advent story? Or is it an Easter story? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
Hope is springing forth from an abandoned site. Rebirth is anticipated.
Over 100 years ago God initiated a Methodist presence in Standish and the Saganing Indian Mission was born. A congregation grew. Children were baptized and tribal elders were buried in the cemetery grounds.
Recently the congregation disbanded and the Detroit...
Women now 1 in 4 of UMC clergy in U.S.
Despite a slight decline in the number of United Methodist clergy in the U.S., the percentage of women is growing.
As of 2011, the most recent figures available, women were 25 percent of U.S. UMC clergy. Some of the local percentages were much higher — in ten of the 56 annual conferences studied, women were at least a third of all clergy, according to an analysis by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.
The Michigan Area fell in the upper-middle range of all...
Facts on Health Care Reform
There are new restrictions on tax-favored health coverage.
One of the most frequent questions received in the offices of our annual conferences from both clergy and local churches regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is, “Beginning January 1, 2014, can a clergyperson waive our conference health care coverage, purchase an individual plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and just have the local church reimburse the clergyperson for the premium without it having tax...
Michigan young people explore God's call
"Exploration 2013" was a gathering of 429 young adults from about 500 ministry sites throughout United Methodism.
Both the Detroit and the West Michigan annual conferences sent delegations of students who participated in moving services of worship, small groups, workshops, and table fellowship. Speakers from around the Connection inspired the gathering with their personal perspectives.
The event began Friday evening, November 15 and ended with...
Fill your stocking with ministry tools
Software, graphic design tools and music licenses can cost churches thousands of dollars. However, many programs have a free and open source equivalent. Check out these resources recommended by United Methodist Communications and start saving today!
1. Free Website Design Tool
WordPress is Web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. Thousands of plug-ins and themes are available. WordPress Driven Church has tutorials on how to use WordPress and offers many themes...
Council of Bishops elects leadership
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., who leads the California-Nevada Annual Conference, will be the next president of the Council of Bishops.
Germany Area Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, now the council president, said Brown “really sees church unity as very challenging but also very important as a sign of hope to the world.”
“He will help us to move on and journey together,” Wenner said. “He has a high sensitivity for the differences among...
2.3 million meals on way to Philippines
Stop Hunger Now was in the process of setting up an office in Manila when Typhoon Haiyan struck in November.
Using already established relationships has made it easier for the United Methodist partner and hunger relief agency to respond, says the Rev. Ray Buchanan, Stop Hunger Now founder.
As of early December, Stop Hunger Now was in the process of shipping more than 1.8 million meals from the U.S. and its office in Malaysia, the agency announced. Hundreds...
ABC to broadcast from St. Mark's UMC
The people of The United Methodist Church are showing the world the light of Christ through a broadcast on ABC-TV. “RETHINK CHRISTMAS: Unwrap the Gift” is a worship service from Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. United Methodist Communications collaborated with the church to produce the event that will be seen December 24th.
The Christmas Eve service will be an hour in which people can sing along to familiar Christmas hymns with a Gospel twist; see...
Feasting at God's Table
Senior Editor/Writer MIConnect
Each family, all communities, and every church have holiday traditions. Two congregations in Michigan are among the manythat express their gratitude by opening up their hearts and their tables at Thanksgiving.
Livonia Newburg UMC just hosted its third annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Held on Thanksgiving Day, there were two seatings, at 1 pm and 4 pm, that served around 250.
The original intent of the event was that no...
Remembering Nelson Mandela
Throughout his life, Nelson Mandela had many connections to Methodism.
A graduate of a Methodist boarding school where many future African leaders were educated, the anti-apartheid champion was mentored by Methodist preachers and educators and formed a bond with a Methodist chaplain while in prison.
As president of South Africa, he worked with church leaders in shaping a new nation and eventually married Graça Machel, a United Methodist,...
Michigan Hispanic Plan is Spirit-powered
Missionary Sonya Luna has been developing Latino-Hispanic Ministries for the Detroit Conference for the past six years. Five months and $50,000 ago, her ministry extended to the West Michigan Conference, as well. That recently announced $50,000 grant from the National Hispanic Plan will enable more rapid planting of Latino-Hispanic ministries on the state's west-side. The Detroit Conference is currently in its third year of a similar...
Zero deaths or zero dollars for AIDS prevention?
If countries in Asia and the Pacific provided early anti-retroviral treatment for those with HIV, says a medical professor from India and the son of a rural Methodist pastor, “Lives could be saved.”
That was the plea from N. M. Samuel, M.D., who served as president of the eleventh International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific and opened the Nov. 18-22 event in Bangkok.
Early treatment, he pointed out, also acts as...
Advent is a season for making room
Advent is upon us! Perhaps you were not aware that the church has a season dedicated to waiting? Well it does and it is here!
The church calendar is different from the Roman calendar that begins with January because it follows the life of Christ. Here’s the logic: If Church = Body of Christ, then the Body of Christ orders the life of the Church. And what does Christ begin with? Birth. Well, pre-birth to be exact. The new church year begins...
Journey to Life starts in Lent 2014
Field Coordinator, Imagine No Malaria
Are you planning ahead for 2014 Season of Lent? We would like you to know what is coming!
Bishop Deborah Kiesey is offering a Lenten series to all of the Michigan Area churches. The theme is: Journey to Life.
She says about this study:
“As Christ journeyed to Jerusalem – as he taught his followers on the journey – as he met one last time in the upper room – as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane...
Court makes new ruling on tax-free housing allowance
UNITED METHODIST NEWS SERVICE
On Nov. 21, 2013, a federal district court judge in Madison, Wis., held that a portion of Section 107 of the tax code is unconstitutional. Section 107 is the provision dealing with tax-favored housing benefits for clergy. Specifically, the court held that Section 107(2), which permits clergy to receive a tax-free cash “housing allowance,” is unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of...
Ministry study continues with focus on theology
Bd of Higher Education & Ministry
For those looking for ground-breaking decisions early in the quadrennium from the 2013-2016 Study of Ministry Commission, the Oct. 28-30 meeting would hold no interest. Those looking for open, honest dialogue; a deeper assessment of ministry; and plans for further theological inquiry with other commissions of The United Methodist Church, however, would appreciate the foundation laid for later meetings and...
Typhoon in Philippines sparks climate conversation
United Methodists have responded swiftly and generously to the devastation in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm ever recorded.
In the wake of this disaster, it is important for us to go beyond simple relief efforts. We must heed the warnings of climate scientists who point to present disasters and future dangers, including sea level rise and increasingly deadly storms linked to climate change.
In November, in the...
Some gifts hurt, some gifts heal
On November 17 tornadoes ripped through the Midwest. Among the hardest hit areas was Gifford, IL. Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton, of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, visited "ground-zero" and talked with people of all ages who are recovering and helping others recover from loss of property, possession and peace.
It is natural to want to help when we hear people like these talk of putting life back together after the storm passes. We...
Global malaria milestone celebrated
United Methodist News Service
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Pittsburgh Area Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton told the Council of Bishops last week that the Imagine No Malaria campaign is nearing $60 million in its goal to eradicate the disease in Africa.
“It is all good news,” said Bickerton, who leads the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.
The United Methodist Church hopes to raise $75 million for the effort by 2015.
“We have the end of this...
Winkler to head National Council of Churches
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Jim Winkler’s move from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society to the National Council of Churches is a big one in some ways. But he’ll still be in the United Methodist Building in Washington, where both organizations are based.
“I’ll move from having a beautiful view of the Supreme Court building and the Capitol to having a beautiful view of the United Methodist Building parking lot, in an...