Bishops from six U.S. Methodist denominations have pledged to work together on common social-justice goals. But they quashed the notion that a merger or union is likely.
Representing the United Methodist Church and the historically black African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion and Christian Methodist Episcopal churches, the bishops gathered in Atlanta March 11-13 for their quadrennial meeting.
Two new members also joined the meeting: the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Union Methodist Protestant Church.
Noting that the gathering’s goals do not include a “union” of the churches, the bishops agreed to change its name from “Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Unity” to “Pan-Methodist Commission,” according to United Methodist News Service.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).