Methodists Make News

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UMC on ‘wait and see’ mindset after church court upheld Traditional Plan on homosexuality: bishop

Left-leaning congregations and LGBT activists within the United Methodist Church are looking to next year’s General Conference in the hopes they can change the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. Despite failing… Read more

Reading Eagle covers Bishop Johnson’s GC2019 report

Peggy Johnson speaks to about 100 members at West Lawn church Written by David Mekeel WEST LAWN — Bishop Peggy Johnson stressed unity on Saturday morning as she addressed more… Read more

United Methodist delegates defeat bid to ease LGBT bans

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The United Methodist Church, America’s second-largest Protestant denomination, faces a likely surge in defections and acts of defiance after delegates at a crucial conference Tuesday rejected… Read more

Local United Methodists grapple with denomination decision on gay clergy and same-gender weddings

by Kristin E. Holmes, Updated: March 1, 2019 In the years since she was stripped of her credentials by the United Methodist Church, Beth Stroud had hoped the denomination she calls… Read more

Girls who aren’t ‘girly’ find a fit in more rigorous activities of Boy Scouts

It’s Lily Rohner’s first time competing in the Klondike Derby at the Horseshoe Scout Reservation in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania. Think of the derby as a battle of the bands for… Read more

Chester County’s Troop 19 becomes one of first all-girl BSA troops in nation

MARSHALLTON — On Feb. 1, Troop 19 was formally launched as the first all-girl troop under Scouts Boy Scouts of America in Chester County. Troop 19 is the sister troop… Read more

Sacred Places in Transition

Faith and Form, Volume 51, Issue 3 :: Rachel Hildebrandt | Photographs by Chris Kendig

Philadelphia’s religious building stock is in transition, due in large part to the declining memberships and resources of many congregations, which echoes the situation in cities and towns across the country. The moment a building is sold by a congregation or its denominational office, a new user will likely decide its long-term fate. The numbers confirm this. Of the city’s 839 purpose-built religious properties, 17 percent are no longer in religious use. Half are no longer occupied by the original congregation. Since 2009, nearly 35 religious buildings have been demolished. Keep reading at

In Germantown, a sanctuary church resists the federal government – again

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jeff Gammage continues his revealing coverage of First UMC of Germantown’s recent decision to provide sanctuary to two undocumented immigrant families whose appeals for protective asylum were… Read more

Revived basketball league pursues a saintly mission

St. James United Methodist Church re-established its basketball league this month, an effort to give youth the opportunity to compete in their neighborhoods and bring the community together.

Dormant for about 10 years, the league was most recently led by James Otis Powell, the late husband of former pastor Margaret Marie Powell. The re-launch is a move by pastor John T. Brice Sr. to holistically address the needs of the community.

“We run the league; we pay for the league; we pay for the refs,” said Brice. “No child had to come out of pocket for anything. That’s from tithe and offerings. That’s what it’s supposed to be for.” Read the story…

Pastor hosts new, faith-based radio podcast program

The Rev. Mark Salvación, pastor of Historic St. George’s UMC Philadelphia, interviews faith leaders weekly on a new, hourlong, talk-radio podcast program on WWDB 860 AM.

“Faith to Faith with Pastor Mark,” produced by the Beasley Media Group, airs Sundays, from 3 to 4 PM. Salvación hosts weekly live interviews with diverse guests from various faith traditions. Recently he interviewed the Rev. William Brawner, Eastern PA Conference Coordinator of Urban Ministries and pastor of Haven-Peniel UMC Philadelphia.

Listen to that interview at

The interview is preceded by a 60-second ad for our conference’s Helping Puerto Rico Rise Again Special Love Offering in September. Communications director John Coleman, who wrote and recorded the ad, encourages all Eastern PA Conference churches to receive the offering and invites other churches and faith groups to join us in this fundraising effort.