United Methodist Church News Feed

Auschwitz survivor, United Methodist dead at 92
Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska was a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Warsaw for many decades.
Going a little batty at Ganta Hospital
But there were no bats in the belfrey or any area inside Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia.
Conferences near goal for Congo rape survivors’ center
Three United Methodist conferences are collaborating with the East Congo Conference to build the Mama Lynn Center.
United Methodists join in Trump rebuke
President’s reported characterization of African countries prompts strong response from bishops, others.
Bishops condemn Trump’s reported remarks on immigrants
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has condemned President Trump’s reported remarks about immigrants from Haiti and Africa.
‘Black Archives Matter’ campaign catches on
Archivist at United Methodist Perkins School of Theology goes all out to collect, process, publicize African-American materials.
Congo churches react to cholera epidemic
United Methodists in the South Kivu Province help with prevention efforts, including distributing water purification tablets.
Best news photos of 2017
Our News Service staff travels to cover important events for the church. Take a look at some of the images they shot to sum up the year 2017.
Way Forward Commission tops 2017 news stories
The work of the commission addressing the church’s debate over homosexuality topped news poll for second consecutive year.
Lay minister writes ‘turnaround story’ of small churches
Margie Briggs hopes book will rekindle faith in churches that have fewer than 100 members.

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Looking for Ancient African Religion? Try Christianity.

The African religious imagination already anticipates Christ.

It’s ironic that as I crossed the Walt Whitman Bridge to attend an urban apologetics conference in Philadelphia I encountered the very religious pluralism that makes conferences such as these a necessity. As my weathered SUV pulled up to the stoplight, I could see the Marcus Garvey–inspired Pan-African flag pirouetting in the wind, and I could hear the amplified, yet muffled, sound of a man’s raspy voice through a bullhorn. He, along with a group of other young men and women, stood on the median with their faces contorted like clenched fists yelling, “Black Power, Black Power,” while others bellowed, “the black man is God!” at passing pedestrians and vehicles.

At the next intersection, a well-groomed man in a fitted black suit, with a tightly-knotted black bow tie, walked up and down the dividing line of the highway selling bean pies and handing out Nation of Islam literature, an entrepreneurial practice that has existed since the early 1930s.

Finally, after parking and inserting some quarters into the meter, a voice behind me yelled: “As-Salaam-Alaikum” (which means “peace be unto you”). I turned around and an older Muslim man with a dyed, carrot-color beard beckoned me over to his table to see his merchandise. “Are you interested in buying some of these organic, scented body oils, beloved? I have ‘Black Coconut,’ ‘China Musk,’ and ‘Arabian Sandalwood.’” After listening to his sales pitch, I bought two scented oils for $10 before heading into the conference.

Traditional African Religions Have an Appeal

As an inner-city dweller, occurrences like these transpire on a consistent basis because our cities are hubs of ...

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Luis Palau Reveals Stage 4 Lung Cancer, Asks for Prayer

‘It would literally take a miracle,’ says renowned evangelist ready for heaven.

In a 12-minute YouTube video, international evangelist Luis Palau revealed yesterday that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

After Palau, 83, and his wife Patricia “had a super busy fall … traveling around the world sharing the Good News like they always do,” explained his son Kevin Palau, the evangelist returned from a long trip to the United Kingdom in December “with kind of a chest cold … that wouldn’t go away.”

“We finally got Dad to go into the doctor,” said Kevin, president and CEO of the Luis Palau Association. “And to our surprise, the early report we got, just before Christmas, was that there was some cancer in one of Dad’s lungs.”

A few days ago, the family learned that the cancer is in stage 4—the most advanced stage, which for lung cancer has (in general) a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent.

“That’s the reality we are dealing with now,” said Kevin. “[We’re] praying about what that means. … Mostly we are asking for people’s prayers.”

“It was a shock,” said Luis. “I haven’t been in a hospital one night, except when I broke a bone back in 1984 after Mission to London.”

“The first thing you do, in my case, is cry. I think, ‘oh wow, I could be gone in a few months,’” said the senior Palau. But he doesn’t feel “panic or horror.”

“Many people are praying that the Lord would do a miracle,” he said. “It would literally take a miracle. Medically speaking … stage 4 is big time.”

On the ministry’s website, Palau wrote in a health update:

As we seek the best medical advice ...

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Why Ralph Winter’s Missions Mobilizer Is Up for Sale

Shift in global evangelism prompts downsizing of US Center for World Mission’s famous Pasadena property—but not all alumni are ready to say goodbye.

The late missiologist Ralph Winter envisioned a place to “awaken” a million evangelicals to the world’s unreached people groups. It took nearly 10 years of fundraising, and donors big and small, to pay off the $15 million property in Pasadena, California, that became the US Center for World Mission (now Frontier Ventures) and William Carey International University (WCIU).

More than four decades later, with the missions landscape evolving and the Southern California cost of living continuing to skyrocket, Frontier Ventures and the university are in a non-binding agreement to sell the majority of the property their forebears had rallied to buy.

Frontier Ventures president Fran Patt and WCIU president Kevin Higgins confirmed to CT that they’ve been in talks with a potential buyer for the past month. Up for sale are roughly 15 acres of campus, a 2.5-acre soccer field near the Frontier Ventures office building, and a yet-to-be-determined portion of surrounding property, which includes homes, dorm-style residences, and office space owned by WCIU.

The partner ministries plan to maintain a smaller footprint in Pasadena, keeping the Frontier Ventures building known as Hudson Taylor Hall and, at this point, at least half the homes they own. Patt and Higgins declined to discuss the estimated value of the property or the amount of the offer.

“There are still a number of challenges: we need to agree on all the exact details, and that will take time,” Higgins wrote in a blog post in December. “Even once we get to that agreement, there will be significant time needed as the buyer would need to secure their funding.”

The ministries’ leaders have considered selling off a portion of the property ...

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