I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.

As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

-- John 17:20-21, NRSV

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The Korean Methodist Church Continues Its Legacy of UMC Partnership

Bishop Yong Jai Jun share about the importance of the partnership between

the Korean Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church.


By Judith Santiago*

New York, N.Y., June 26, 2015 — The historic mission partnership between the Korean Methodist Church (KMC) and The United Methodist Church (UMC) will grow even stronger as a result of a meeting held this week. 

Top-level leaders from the Korean Methodist Church, including Bishop Yong Jai Jun, president of the Korean Bishop’s Council, met in New York on June 23 with representatives of the United Methodist Council of Bishops and the denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries. The goal was to strengthen joint mission efforts in the future.  

“Today’s meeting is significant—to discuss theological matters, some mission strategies, and to set a strategic committee,” said Bishop Jun. “I hope and pray that we will have ongoing communication and connection to create a mission partnership, especially for our mission programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America,” he continued.  

“I think that this is the right time to advance conversations with the Korean Methodist Church on ways we can partner strategically and purposely,” said Thomas Kemper, chief executive of the UMC mission agency, who participated in the meeting along with other Global Ministries executives.

7628 Kemper and Bishop JunNEW

Photo: Global Ministries General Secretary Thomas Kemper receives a gift from Bishop Yong Jai Jun, president of the Bishop’s Council of the Korean Methodist Church, during their historical meeting on June 23, 2015. 

Also joining the discussion were representatives from the Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) of the US Council of Bishops, including Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, who chairs the Council of Bishops Leadership Team on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Sidorak, Jr., ecumenical staff officer.  (Read more …. )

Same-sex marriage ruling adds to church debate

By Heather Hahn

June 26, 2015 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)


United Methodists had varied reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that establishes same-sex civil marriage as a constitutional right.

But many United Methodists agree on one thing: The decision likely will escalate a longtime denominational debate on the church's position on homosexuality. Church law bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages and forbids churches from hosting such ceremonies.

The 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges dealt with two questions: Does the U.S. Constitution allow states to prohibit same-gender marriage and can states refuse to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in another state? To both questions, the majority said states must recognize same-sex marriage.

“The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest,” said the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The decision combines four cases brought by 14 couples and two men whose partners are deceased. The announcement came on the anniversary of two other landmark decisions — the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas, which effectively decriminalized same-sex behavior, and the 2013 Windsor v. United States, which established that same-sex married couples must receive equal treatment under federal law.

The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. (Read more …. )

Bishop Christian Alsted, Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, on the tragedy in Charleston, S.C.
Norway 18th June 2015 
Dear Fellow Methodists,  
Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in this time of pain and mourning.
The Norway Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in session in Halden join you in prayer grieving the murders of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight parishoners during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.
There are no words to adequately describe the brutality and evil of this crime, or to express the immense pain it is causing to the victims’ families, the congregation and the community. We voice the hope and faith of David “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.”
We call upon our Methodist people to support and care for victims of hate and racism, and to take active and prayerful part in ending all expressions racism and hatred with words and acts of justice and peace.
Much prayer is needed for the Emanuel AME Church and the Charleston community – be assured that the Methodist people in Norway as well as in the other Nordic and Baltic countries join you in those prayers.
In Christ
Christian Alsted
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, United Methodist Church in Germany, on the tragedy in Charleston, S.C.
To the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Bishop John R. Bryant – Senior Bishop
Bishop Richard F. Norris – Seventh District
June 19, 2015 
Dear Bishop Bryant, dear Bishop Norris, dear Brothers and Sisters in the AME Church and the Emanuel congregation,
We, the United Methodists in South Germany are gathered at our Annual Conference meeting in Fuerth near Nuernberg, Germany. We were shocked when we learnt that Methodist brothers and sisters were killed by the shooting in a worship place at a bible study meeting. We stand at the side of the families of those who are killed and of the whole congregation and the members of our sister church and we pray for healing and strength as you are facing a terrible act of racist violence. Be assured that your United Methodist sisters and brothers in Europe are on your side as you are mourning because you have to live with this traumatic expe-rience. With gratitude we receive reports telling us that you seek to overcome evil with good. Since racism exists all over the world, we join you and all people of good will in the United States of America and else-where in prayer and action so that we learn to embrace differences, to love our neighbors, welcome the strangers and to work for justice.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Connected in Christ's love,
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner
United Methodist Church in Germany
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