News


New Hmong ministry baptizes 18 in single day

New Hmong ministry baptizes 18 in single day

9/22/2016

Months after launching, one of the conference's new church starts baptized 18 in Long Lake; each adult vowed to bring one more person to Christ before winter.


United Methodists stand with Standing Rock

United Methodists stand with Standing Rock

9/15/2016

United Methodists, including Bishop Ough, have visited the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and offered support to the Standing Rock nation.


Grants, both small and large, help churches reach new people

Grants, both small and large, help churches reach new people

9/15/2016

Twenty-nine churches received an Investing in Congregations grant in 2016, applications are now being accepted for 2017.


Leslie Hobson becomes permanent Northern Pines director, reflects on summer

Leslie Hobson becomes permanent Northern Pines director, reflects on summer

9/8/2016

After spending the summer serving as interim director of Northern Pines Camp in Park Rapids, Leslie Hobson recently became its permanent director.


Readiness for revitalization

Readiness for revitalization

9/8/2016

Are you seeking a fresh vision, eager to become more vital, and looking for new ways to reach people? Maybe it's time to prepare for a revitalization process.


New models for ministry poise rural churches for growth and vitality

New models for ministry poise rural churches for growth and vitality

8/31/2016

Mergers and new ministry models are helping several rural churches in the conference to re-imagine their futures and “be” church in a new way.


Small groups help congregations grow ‘deep and wide’

Small groups help congregations grow ‘deep and wide’

8/31/2016

Two congregations that have strong small groups share what they're doing, and how participants growing in faith while becoming more connected to each other.


Six churches achieve big carbon footprint reductions

Six churches achieve big carbon footprint reductions

8/24/2016

Six churches share what they did to minimize their impact on the environment and achieve double-digit reductions in their carbon footprint.


Faith United Church donates health kits in memory of longtime member

Faith United Church donates health kits in memory of longtime member

8/18/2016

The church used part of a legacy gift from a longtime, mission-minded member to purchase supplies for 100 health kits, which they then assembled for refugees.


Love Offering to help local refugees secure housing

Love Offering to help local refugees secure housing

8/18/2016

Refugee Services will put its $31,000 Love Offering gift toward starting a housing fund to help refugees coming to Minnesota find a place to live.


Centennial UMC expands to second site, launches St. Anthony Park campus

Centennial UMC expands to second site, launches St. Anthony Park campus

8/10/2016

Centennial and St. Anthony Park are combining, with St. Anthony Park becoming a second campus of Centennial; worship there will launch later this year.


A heart for mission

A heart for mission

8/3/2016

Rev. Judith Banya returned to her hometown in Sierra Leone two years ago. With the support of OC Ministries she is making a substantial impact.


Connect to a Clergy Compass Group

Connect to a Clergy Compass Group

7/26/2016

Are you hungry for a community of peer support and learning? Then it may be time for a Clergy Compass Covenant Group.


Northern Light’s ‘love letter’ to Orlando reaches United Methodist pastor

Northern Light’s ‘love letter’ to Orlando reaches United Methodist pastor

7/22/2016

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Northern Light Church sent 200 "love letters" to Orlando—one of which arrived in the mailbox of a United Methodist pastor.


Conference sells historic Wesley building to nonprofit for $1M

Conference sells historic Wesley building to nonprofit for $1M

7/20/2016

“The building will continue to be a place of prayer, peace, and justice work in the inner city,” said Rev. Paul Marzahn, the nonprofit's president.


8 Minnesotans to serve jurisdiction, general church

8 Minnesotans to serve jurisdiction, general church

7/19/2016

Eight clergy and laity from Minnesota were elected to serve on various committees through 2020.


NCJ communicators work across conferences to provide coverage

NCJ communicators work across conferences to provide coverage

7/19/2016

The extensive coverage of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference was thanks to a first-of-its-kind collaboration among the jurisdiction’s communicators.


Retired Dakotas pastor crafts crosiers for bishops

Retired Dakotas pastor crafts crosiers for bishops

7/19/2016

Rev. Art Scanson has handcrafted more than 15 crosiers for bishops in the North Central Jurisdiction; the process; each crosier takes 100 hours.


Video: Bishop Ough on reassignment to Dakotas-Minnesota Area

Video: Bishop Ough on reassignment to Dakotas-Minnesota Area

7/19/2016

In a brief video message, Bishop Ough expressed joy after learning about his reassignment and talked about what's ahead for the next four years.


Bishop Ough stays put, Bishop Bard assigned to Michigan Area

Bishop Ough stays put, Bishop Bard assigned to Michigan Area

7/16/2016

Bishop Ough has been reassigned to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area through 2020, and newly minted Bishop David Alan Bard will go to the Michigan Area.


Four new NCJ bishops consecrated

Four new NCJ bishops consecrated

7/16/2016

Bishop Michael J. Coyner delivered a powerful message to the new bishops and gave them words of wisdom to take with them to their new assignments.


Becoming a bishop: Bard reflects on changes, what’s next

Becoming a bishop: Bard reflects on changes, what’s next

7/15/2016

David Bard reflects on what's changed since he was elected bishop, what's ahead, and what he'll take with him as he prepares to leave Minnesota.


Delegates listen, pray, approve budget and resolution

Delegates listen, pray, approve budget and resolution

7/15/2016

Delegates spent Friday praying and listening, and they approved a resolution related to human sexuality as well as a budget and a new budget process.


Fri. worship: Living together for ministry

Fri. worship: Living together for ministry

7/15/2016

At a time when actions are dividing our churches, our communities, our nation, and our world, “our gifts [from God] are to serve the whole and not the parts.”


NCJ elects fourth bishop and says goodbye to four others

NCJ elects fourth bishop and says goodbye to four others

7/14/2016

Delegates elected a fourth bishop and bid a fond farewell to faithful episcopal servants who are retiring.


Bishop Jung calls for unity amid diversity during worship

Bishop Jung calls for unity amid diversity during worship

7/14/2016

“Some of our blessings are seemingly in conflict with those of other sisters and brothers. Get over it! We’re part of the same faith community.”


Electronic voting reforms Jurisdictional Conference

Electronic voting reforms Jurisdictional Conference

7/14/2016

Handheld electronic voting devices have made plenary voting a much faster, simpler, and more efficient process.


Minnesota delegates celebrate Bard's election

Minnesota delegates celebrate Bard's election

7/13/2016

The delegation rallied behind Bard, working to spread the word about his gifts and qualifications, and his election was as much their victory as it was his.


Delegates elect 3 bishops, make other key decisions

Delegates elect 3 bishops, make other key decisions

7/13/2016

“I pledge with God’s grace and the help of God’s spirit and all of your help to work to make The United Methodist Church the best it can be...” said Bard.


NCJ opens with worship, Bishop Keaton issues plea for unity

NCJ opens with worship, Bishop Keaton issues plea for unity

7/13/2016

“Can we all get along is another side of Jesus’ command to love God and love neighbor. The behavioral question plagues our communion.”


Methodist Federation for Social Action hosts episcopal candidate forum

Methodist Federation for Social Action hosts episcopal candidate forum

7/13/2016

All 17 episcopal candidates were asked to describe the approach they would take if a complaint was brought against one of their pastors.


Black Methodists for Church Renewal host episcopal candidate forum

Black Methodists for Church Renewal host episcopal candidate forum

7/12/2016

The purpose of the forum was to provide insight on episcopal candidates’ understanding of racial and cultural relationships within the church.


Bishop Ough: Council of Bishops statement on shooting deaths

Bishop Ough: Council of Bishops statement on shooting deaths

7/8/2016

"We call upon the people of the United Methodist Church to enter into the challenge and complexity of this present moment."


Bishop Ough: Statement on Philando Castile shooting

Bishop Ough: Statement on Philando Castile shooting

7/7/2016

Let us use this tragedy as an opportunity to redouble our efforts to work for justice, stamp out institutional racism, and affirm the value of all human life.


Bishops, other leaders to be elected at Jurisdictional Conference

Bishops, other leaders to be elected at Jurisdictional Conference

7/6/2016

Representatives from 11 conferences, including Minnesota, will gather next week to elect bishops and others at the 2016 North Central Jurisdictional Conference.


Minnesotan elected national UMW director

Minnesotan elected national UMW director

6/29/2016

Cindy Saufferer, elected to a second term, said “UMW helps women find their voice and go out in the world to advocate for justice in God’s mission field.”


2016 conference highlights for churches to share with members

2016 conference highlights for churches to share with members

6/24/2016

Wondering how to summarize three packed-full days as you report back to your church?


Thurs. highlights: RRR reaches $3.7M goal, Love Offering tops $90K, celebrations, legislation

Thurs. highlights: RRR reaches $3.7M goal, Love Offering tops $90K, celebrations, legislation

6/23/2016

Among the legislation approved was a resolution in response to the recent Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida.


Conference approves budget above ceiling to preserve congregational grants

Conference approves budget above ceiling to preserve congregational grants

6/23/2016

Members of the 2016 Annual Conference Session voted Thursday to approve a 2017 apportioned budget totaling $6,106,460.


Individuals, churches recognized with awards

Individuals, churches recognized with awards

6/23/2016

Three individuals and two churches were recognized for the ways they have made a difference in their communities.


Conference celebrates milestones in ministry

Conference celebrates milestones in ministry

6/22/2016

Remembering friends and colleagues who have died, honored retiring clergy, and celebrating licensed local pastors and those being commissioned and ordained.


Planting seeds, going all in: 2015-2016 Missional Report

Planting seeds, going all in: 2015-2016 Missional Report

6/22/2016

A brief look at some of the key initiatives that the conference has been engaged in over the past year and the fruits of those efforts.


Sara Miles: 6 thoughts on evangelism, service, unleashing God’s generosity

Sara Miles: 6 thoughts on evangelism, service, unleashing God’s generosity

6/22/2016

Miles shared her perspective and experiences when it comes to evangelism, service, and unleashing God’s generosity.


Laity Session: Telling our stories, reaching new people

Laity Session: Telling our stories, reaching new people

6/22/2016

Evangelism and reaching new people are vital elements to the future growth of our churches, our conference, and our denomination.


The Manure Plan: 2016 Episcopal Address

The Manure Plan: 2016 Episcopal Address

6/21/2016

God has given us all great gifts to go forth and fertilize...to spread our manure around!


Tues. highlights: Open-space conversations, party in the park

Tues. highlights: Open-space conversations, party in the park

6/21/2016

Conference attendees spent much of day one discussing issues that are important to them and enjoying fellowship in a more laid-back atmosphere.


St. Paul designates June 12-18 “Urban CROSS Week” throughout city

St. Paul designates June 12-18 “Urban CROSS Week” throughout city

6/16/2016

This year, 35 Urban CROSS campers are working on 32 projects. On Wednesday, campers and area residents came together for a community powwow.


What it takes to be a vital church

What it takes to be a vital church

6/16/2016

Great leadership is the ability to contextualize. Here are six elements that, when combined, will produce results in nearly any size congregation.


Prayer for one-year anniversary of Mother Emanuel AME shooting

Prayer for one-year anniversary of Mother Emanuel AME shooting

6/16/2016

June 17 marks the one-year anniversary of this shooting. The conference Commission on Religion and Race wrote a brief prayer that churches are welcome to use.


What it takes to be a vital church

What it takes to be a vital church

6/16/2016

Great leadership is the ability to contextualize—it’s about how clergy and lay leaders focus their time and energies. Six key elements, when combined, will produce results in nearly any congregation.


Minnesota churches display ‘Blessed Ramadan’ signs to stand with Muslim neighbors

Minnesota churches display ‘Blessed Ramadan’ signs to stand with Muslim neighbors

6/9/2016

A number of Minnesota churches are displaying signs as one small way to change the negative conversations directed toward Muslims.


22 churches receive $10,000 in grants to form partnerships with schools

22 churches receive $10,000 in grants to form partnerships with schools

6/2/2016

Funded projects include a public art installation at a school, books and weekend food for children who may not otherwise have them, and a community garden.


Project AgGrad selects eighth student

Project AgGrad selects eighth student

6/2/2016

Emmanuel Adeyemo from Nigeria, the eighth student that Project AgGrad has supported, will pursue a master’s degree in plant breeding and molecular genetics.


14 highlights from General Conference

14 highlights from General Conference

5/26/2016

Ten days of worship, celebration, discussion, and business consolidated into one report.


Byron UMC youth shares God’s love through bike ministry

Byron UMC youth shares God’s love through bike ministry

5/26/2016

Isaiah Crossfield, 14, has collected more than 2,000 bikes and thousands of dollars to help others in need.


Bishops' letter to the church: Committed to staying united

Bishops' letter to the church: Committed to staying united

5/23/2016

Reviving a 200+-year-old tradition, the Council of Bishops sent a letter to the people of The United Methodist Church after the 2016 General Conference.


Friday wrap-up: Budget approved; no fossil fuels, illegal settlements divestment

Friday wrap-up: Budget approved; no fossil fuels, illegal settlements divestment

5/20/2016

Delegates approved a budget of $604 million for 2017-2020 and chose not to add a fossil fuels investment screen or divest from illegal settlements.


Bishop Ough: ‘Go where the wounds are’

Bishop Ough: ‘Go where the wounds are’

5/20/2016

“My charge to you is ‘Go, therefore…!’ Go to where the wounds are because that is where Jesus went and that is what Jesus did.”


Minnesota, Dakotas observe, prepare to host 2020 GC

Minnesota, Dakotas observe, prepare to host 2020 GC

5/20/2016

Members of the Minneapolis Host Committee were in Portland observing and volunteering so they're prepared to host General Conference in four years.


2016 is 10th General Conference for Naomi Bartle

2016 is 10th General Conference for Naomi Bartle

5/20/2016

Bartle serves on the Committee on Correlation and Editorial Revision, which edits and publishes The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions.


Thurs. wrap-up: Votes on reproductive choice, mission statement, respect for Native Americans

Thurs. wrap-up: Votes on reproductive choice, mission statement, respect for Native Americans

5/19/2016

Delegates voted to cut ties from reproductive choice coalition, add extension ministries to mission statement, raise awareness about disrespectful mascots.


Rev. Daniel Yang commissioned as missionary, headed to Laos

Rev. Daniel Yang commissioned as missionary, headed to Laos

5/19/2016

Yang, just commissioned as a global ministries missionary, will go to Laos to start new churches and to train and equip leaders to share the gospel.


Delegates accept bishops’ recommendation to delay human sexuality debate, create commission

Delegates accept bishops’ recommendation to delay human sexuality debate, create commission

5/18/2016

The bishops will create a commission that will examine human sexuality issues and may call a special two- to three-day gathering in 2018 or 2019.


Wednesday highlights: Sexuality dominates, INM celebration, lamenting Sand Creek

Wednesday highlights: Sexuality dominates, INM celebration, lamenting Sand Creek

5/18/2016

Lots of discussion about human sexuality, a celebration of what we've accomplished through Imagine No Malaria, and a lament of the Sand Creek massacre.


Bishop Ough: 4 thoughts on unity, trust, connection, and context

Bishop Ough: 4 thoughts on unity, trust, connection, and context

5/18/2016

During a Wednesday press conference after the Council of Bishops recommended a way forward, Bishop Ough talked about unity, trust, connection, and context.


Council of Bishops gives recommendation on way forward

Council of Bishops gives recommendation on way forward

5/18/2016

The Council of Bishops recommends deferring votes on human sexuality and referring the subject to a commission to examine and possibly revise the Discipline.


Tuesday votes and highlights

Tuesday votes and highlights

5/17/2016

Delegates considered whether to give $20 million to church growth consultants, eliminate lifetime tenures for U.S. bishops, and create a new hymnal.


Bishop Ough: 'Call us back to be your flock together'

Bishop Ough: 'Call us back to be your flock together'

5/17/2016

On Tuesday morning, Bishop Ough gave a powerful witness about his heartbreak amid talks of split and the Council of Bishops' commitment to maintaining unity.


Bishop Ough: 5 thoughts on unity amid division and talk of split

Bishop Ough: 5 thoughts on unity amid division and talk of split

5/17/2016

Bishop Ough answered questions about the denomination's future and the Council of Bishops' role amid division and talks of a split.


Monday votes, highlights, celebrations

Monday votes, highlights, celebrations

5/17/2016

Minnesota delegates weigh in on the decision to add five bishops after General Conference 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protest that interrupted plenary.


Bishop Ough on new role as Council of Bishops president

Bishop Ough on new role as Council of Bishops president

5/16/2016

Bishop Ough talks about the Council of Bishops--what it does, what his new role as president will involve, and his hope for the coming years.


Kathi Austin Mahle reflects on Judicial Council term

Kathi Austin Mahle reflects on Judicial Council term

5/16/2016

“I think my voice is an important voice,” said Mahle. “I carry a progressive leaning but I also have the gift of being able to change my mind.”


Minnesotan Kim Harris consecrated as deaconess

Minnesotan Kim Harris consecrated as deaconess

5/16/2016

Harris, a member of United Methodist Church of Anoka, is among 26 women who were consecrated to a lifetime service of love, justice, and service.


Delegates reflect on first week of General Conference

Delegates reflect on first week of General Conference

5/13/2016

Delegates Rev. Judy Zabel, Rev. David Bard, Sara Ann Swenson, and Faye Christensen share initial impressions.


Bishop Ough receives gavel, becomes Council of Bishops president

Bishop Ough receives gavel, becomes Council of Bishops president

5/12/2016

“God in Christ loves us beyond measure, made evident in Christ’s saving grace, and we have been called to help make that truth everybody’s everyday reality.”


3 MN pastors come to General Conference to advocate, serve

3 MN pastors come to General Conference to advocate, serve

5/12/2016

Revs. Rod Stemme, Elizabeth Macaulay, and Walter Lockhart talk about why they're at General Conference, what they're doing, and their hopes for the coming days.


Marj Evans-de-Carpio combines two passions as GC interpreter

Marj Evans-de-Carpio combines two passions as GC interpreter

5/11/2016

Evans-de-Carpio, a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Burnsville, is spending a week interpreting for delegates who are native Spanish speakers.


Assembling health kits helps congregations see Christ in refugees

Assembling health kits helps congregations see Christ in refugees

5/5/2016

Churches around the conference are assembling health kits for refugees as part of this year's Love Offering for Missions.


Arlington Hills UMC welcomes third refugee family in seven years

Arlington Hills UMC welcomes third refugee family in seven years

4/28/2016

Sponsoring a family involves making a commitment to the refugees for a four-month period that starts even before the family arrives.


Park Avenue UMC was part of Prince's life, faith journey

Park Avenue UMC was part of Prince's life, faith journey

4/28/2016

Prince has multiple ties to Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis. He married his first wife there and spent time there in his youth.


Northern Pines welcomes Deaconess Leslie Hobson as new interim director

Northern Pines welcomes Deaconess Leslie Hobson as new interim director

4/26/2016

Hobson, who has served the camping ministry in numerous ways over the past two decades, has spent the past 19 years at Park UMC in Brainerd.


New Earthkeepers program aims to commission 500 for creation care work

New Earthkeepers program aims to commission 500 for creation care work

4/21/2016

Earthkeepers are trained in creation care theology and community organizing, and commit to providing leadership for a community project or advocacy campaign.


Eight interns, host churches selected for 2016 ELI Project internship

Eight interns, host churches selected for 2016 ELI Project internship

4/14/2016

2016 intern Walker Brault and clergy mentor, Rev. Brenda North, talk about the upcoming internship and what they're looking forward to.


Through MCCI, Christ UMC discerns missional focus, prepares for vibrant future

Through MCCI, Christ UMC discerns missional focus, prepares for vibrant future

4/13/2016

Participating in a transformational process has given this Rochester church a new missional focus, increased participation, and created a fizz of possibility.


Bishop Ough issues statement following Jamar Clark decision

Bishop Ough issues statement following Jamar Clark decision

3/31/2016

"It is my urging and earnest prayer that all Minnesota United Methodists will embrace this tragic moment as an opportunity to work for justice."


New Hmong ministry reaches people in northwest metro

New Hmong ministry reaches people in northwest metro

3/30/2016

Northwest Minneapolis United Methodist Ministry, which launched worship on Jan. 10, has more than 30 in average worship attendance and is growing.


Prayers for General Conference

Prayers for General Conference

3/23/2016

Clergy and laity from throughout the Minnesota Conference share their prayers for the 2016 General Conference.


Preparing for Minnesota's 24-hour prayer vigil

Preparing for Minnesota's 24-hour prayer vigil

3/21/2016

On Wednesday, March 23, Minnesota United Methodists will come together to pray. There's still time to sign up.


How one pastor's God-sized dream helped kids be ready for school

How one pastor's God-sized dream helped kids be ready for school

3/15/2016

Soul Leaders and the Center for Courage & Renewal gave Rev. Carol Zaagsma courage to claim her dream of giving kids a safe place to learn and play during summer.


Trustees to pursue conservation easement on Star Lake property, will not seek sale in 2016

Trustees to pursue conservation easement on Star Lake property, will not seek sale in 2016

3/15/2016

The easements will preserve the land, generate resources for the camping ministry, and allow the conference to explore future uses for the property.


2 creative ways to invite young people to annual conference

2 creative ways to invite young people to annual conference

3/10/2016

Which youth or young adults will you invite to attend the 2016 conference, either as members or visitors, and how will you give them a place at the table?


Confirmation Gathering teaches youth about global UM connection

Confirmation Gathering teaches youth about global UM connection

3/10/2016

162 youth and 42 adults took part in the two-day event that drew people from about 30 churches. The theme was “Why United Methodist?”


Covenant group plays by the rules

Covenant group plays by the rules

3/2/2016

Rev. Matt Sipe's clergy covenant group began in seminary in 2005--and its members, now scattered across the country, still meet regularly.


Churches take the (polar) plunge, raise $16,000 for camp

Churches take the (polar) plunge, raise $16,000 for camp

2/24/2016

Five churches raised more than $16,000 to send their kids to Camp Minnesota this summer—and leaders of those churches did a polar plunge.


Minnesota churches’ apportioned giving up in 2015

Minnesota churches’ apportioned giving up in 2015

2/17/2016

Last year, congregations within the state collectively remitted 89.1 percent of the requested apportionments—up from 87.1 percent in 2014.


Annual Conference 2016: A different kind of conversation

Annual Conference 2016: A different kind of conversation

2/11/2016

At this year's conference session, we'll engage in "open space" conversations to explore how Minnesota United Methodists can be a good gift to the world.


Dakotas, Minnesota camp and retreat ministries unite to expand offerings, maximize effectiveness

Dakotas, Minnesota camp and retreat ministries unite to expand offerings, maximize effectiveness

2/10/2016

The Dakotas and Minnesota conferences’ camp and retreat ministries are combining their strengths and leadership and forming a joint governance team.


Church-school partnership grants help congregations bless, reach new people

Church-school partnership grants help congregations bless, reach new people

2/3/2016

Applications for 2016 grants are being accepted and are due April 1.


Embrace named fastest-growing United Methodist Church

Embrace named fastest-growing United Methodist Church

1/27/2016

Embrace Church’s average weekly worship attendance increased 1,437 percent between 2009 and 2014. Embrace launched a Minnesota campus in November.


Led by prayer, men's group blesses community member

Led by prayer, men's group blesses community member

1/26/2016

By becoming more sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit through prayer, the men of First UMC in Worthington blessed a woman in their community.


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