19 Arkansas Women in Desperate Need of Adoption Aid After Lawyer’s Lies

19 Arkansas Women in Desperate Need of Adoption Aid After Lawyer’s Lies

At least 19 Marshallese women in Northwest Arkansas are in desperate need of immediate assistance after an Arizona lawyer falsified information about adoption plans for their soon-to-be-born children.

Paul D. Petersen — an adoption attorney from Mesa, Arizona — brought at least 19 pregnant women to Arkansas from the Marshall Islands, a former territory of the United States located in the central Pacific Ocean, under the assumption that their infants would be adopted by willing parents in the U.S.

Petersen was arrested Tuesday, Oct. 8 in Arizona, and faces 19 counts of illegally bringing pregnant women to the U.S. for adoptions, as well as 32 felony charges in Arizona, and 11 illegal adoption counts in Utah.

According to news reports, these women are in desperate need of financial support to help pay for their transportation and living expenses.

The Arkansas Conference for the United Methodist Church is accepting donations to support the Marshallese Mothers.

To donate online, visit bit.ly/arumc-donate or send a check by mail to ARUMC c/o Marshallese Mothers, 800 W. Daisy Bates, Little Rock, AR, 72202.

Volunteers needed for General Conference

Volunteers needed for General Conference

Nashville, Tenn.: Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2020 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which will meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 5-15, 2020.

At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: recorders, channel “B” identifiers and verbatim transcribers/copy editors.

Recorders will serve as members of the staff of the secretary of the General Conference and work in direct support of their assigned legislative committee. Recorders are responsible for entering data such as the time, date, and results of committee votes, as well as making changes to pre-entered petition text to reflect the amendments approved by the committee. This information is prepared for the recorder by the legislative committee secretary, who manually tracks this information as it happens. The recorder is not responsible for taking minutes or tracking the discussion of the legislative committee.

Channel “B” identifiers will serve as members of the staff of the editor of the Daily Christian Advocate (DCA), the official record of the activity of the General Conference. Channel “B” identifiers will follow action of the plenary, repeating delegates’ names, annual conferences and vote tallies into a microphone.

Verbatim transcribers/copy editors also serve as members of the staff of the editor of the DCA. They are responsible for using Microsoft Word to create transcriptions of the plenary session. They will listen to audio files and transcribe the recordings.

Travel, double occupancy housing, and food per diem provisions will be provided. Those interested can apply here now through November 21, 2019.


About General Conference
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church, which meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues.

Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (office) 615.483.1765 (cell)

Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.

In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling of Baltimore-Washington Conference and Bishop Leonard Fairley of Kentucky Conference, the Ebony Bishops said the voice of the Black church has, within its spiritual, historical, and theological DNA, a word that needs to be spoken into the current conversations being held throughout The United Methodist Church.

“Our witness is grounded in our experience of deliverance from enslavement, Jim Crow, the exclusionary practices of The Central Jurisdiction and the on-going discrimination in our world,” the statement said, adding:

“The Black church understands the prophetic witness required in liminal spaces, spaces of the already and the not yet. Our faith, praise, stewardship and disciple-making focus did not and has not wavered, even as we yet await full justice and righteousness both within and without of the church. The brokenness of our world and denomination can benefit from this steadfast experience and voice. “

The statement by the Ebony Bishops was written after a recent forum that the bishops hosted for key leaders in the Black Church in the United States. The Ebony Bishops also released five points and issues that were identified as cardinal to black leadership at the forum.

Click here to read to full statement from the Ebony Bishops.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Hendrix to Award Odyssey Medals to Clark, Miles, MillsNovember 14 ceremony and reception to celebrate achievements of three alumni

Hendrix to Award Odyssey Medals to Clark, Miles, Mills
November 14 ceremony and reception to celebrate achievements of three alumni

CONWAY, Ark. (October 18, 2019) – Hendrix College will award its 2019-2020 Odyssey Medals on Thursday, November 14, during a special reception in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. Alumni receiving this year’s honors are Patterson Clark ’77 for Artistic Creativity; Dr. Rebekah Miles ’82 for Research; and Mike Mills ’74 for Professional and Leadership Development. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., with the presentation of medals at 6 p.m.

The Odyssey Medal is presented to alumni whose life achievements exemplify the ideals of the Hendrix Odyssey Program. Medalists are selected by the Hendrix Board of Trustees for their accomplishments in one of the six Odyssey categories: Artistic Creativity, Global Awareness, Professional and Leadership Development, Service to the World, Research, or Special Projects.

Artist and journalist Patterson Clark produces data visualizations and informational graphics related to energy and environmental policy for the news organization Politico. His journalism career began at The Arkansas Gazette in the 1980s and continued at The Miami Herald. For 20 years, Patterson served as science graphics editor for The Washington Post and highlighted unusual details about D.C.’s flora and fauna in Urban Jungle, a weekly natural history column he wrote and illustrated. As a National Park Service volunteer, he removes invasive vegetation from a park near his Washington, D.C. home and converts the harvest into art that spotlights the hidden value inherent in alien weeds.

Native Arkansan and sixth generation United Methodist Dr. Rebekah Miles is Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She teaches and writes in the areas of ethics and theology, shepherds students through their theological education, and works to strengthen ties between theological school and church. A moral theologian, she is an author, co-author, and editor of numerous articles, books, essays, and papers. Miles is currently working on a book on death and several essays on political theology. She and her husband, Len Delony ’81, are United Methodist clergy members of the Arkansas Conference where they once served as co-pastors for two rural churches.

For more than four decades, Mike Mills has been the Natural State’s foremost tourism ambassador and entrepreneur. In 1976, he founded Buffalo Outdoor Center on the Buffalo National River, and later developed the state’s first log cabin resort and first zip line canopy tour. He has served on numerous organizations devoted to conservation, economic development, hospitality, and outdoor recreation. A 2018 Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame inductee, Mills has appeared in National Geographic among many other state and national publications, and has received numerous awards and honors for his tireless advocacy of Arkansas’ outdoors and tourism.

Established in 2004, the Odyssey Program requires all Hendrix College students to complete three Odyssey experiences or projects during their undergraduate careers, in three of the six Odyssey categories. The program ensures that students look beyond the classroom to experience educational opportunities in the liberal arts and sciences.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.

UMC bishops honor, remember Rev. Dr. Felder

​WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Methodist bishops are honoring and remembering the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Cain Hope Felder, a distinguished scholar and first executive director of the Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), who passed at his home in Mobile, AL on October 1, 2019.

In a letter to his spouse Dr. Jewell Richardson Felder, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church thanked the Rev. Dr. Felder for his work that touched millions of people through his work as a pastor, scholar, professor and advocate.

Rev. Dr. Cain Hope Felder

“We especially acknowledge the work he did as the first Executive Director of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), working as God’s servant for millions of marginalized people in the church and throughout the world. Through his work, Dr. Felder personified the call to serve all of God’s people,” said the letter signed by Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the Council of Bishops. 

Click here to read the full letter from the Council of Bishops

Funeral Arrangements:

 Family Visitation Saturday October 19, 2019, 9:30am to 11:00 am Cramton Auditorium, Howard University 2455 Sixth St., Washington, DC 20059.

 Funeral Service Saturday October 19, 2019, 11:00am Cramton Auditorium, Howard University 2455 Sixth St., Washington, DC 20059.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Communications – Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church



South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops Join Texas Bishops in a Call to Address the Humanitarian Crisis Along U.S. Southern Border

South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops Join Texas Bishops in a Call to Address the Humanitarian Crisis Along U.S. Southern Border

For Immediate Release

October 11, 2019

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We continue to watch with increasing distress the unfolding immigration crisis taking place along our southern border. And while much of the debate centers on the states of Texas and New Mexico, the reality is that immigration policy impacts the lives of many thousands of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers throughout our South Central Jurisdiction. Many of our communities are blessed with the gifts and contributions of first-generation, nonwhite, foreign-born populations.

Christian teaching tells us that realities that forcibly displace and dehumanize people must spur us to practical concern and action. Our actions must be more than just words and prayers, but rather care that hospitably tends to their wounds, needs, fears and hopes. As bishops of The United Methodist Church, we call on all people of goodwill to pray for and work toward:

Ending policies that separate families;
Ensuring compassionate care for the health and welfare of children;
Providing safe and humane care for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence in their native countries;
A common solution that respects, cares for and offers tangible assistance to those immigrants and asylum seekers who are living in fear, hurting and homeless;
Working with officials in other countries to address root causes of violence and poverty, which threaten the health and safety of their citizens and force our sisters and brothers to flee their countries of origin.

Amid economic and national security concerns, we ask all who follow Christ to remember that our Savior was himself a homeless refugee fleeing violence (Matthew 2:13-14). As God’s people of hope and light in the world, let us not succumb to the fear that hardens hearts; rather, transcend fear with love and generosity so that all people are cared for with compassion.

May the peace of Christ be with you and the immigrant and refugee children and families in our midst who are suffering in hope.

Yours in Christ,

The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops


W. Earl Bledsoe

Robert Farr, SCJ president

Cynthia Harvey

Scott Jones

Michael Lowry

Mike McKee

Gary E. Mueller

James G. Nunn

Ruben Saenz, Jr.

Robert Schnase


Bruce P. Blake

Charles N. Crutchfield

Robert E. Hayes

Woodrow J. Hearn

Janice Riggle Huie

William W. Hutchinson

Joel N. Martinez

Albert F. Mutti

Alfred L. Norris

John W. Russell

Ann Sherer-Simpson

Dan E. Solomon

D. Max Whitfield

Richard B. Wilke

Joe A. Wilson