Archives for May 2012

Rural church finds renewal through mission

By Jessica Connor, Special Contributor…  COLUMBIA, S.C.—One rural congregation has discovered that the gift really is in the giving—and it’s changing the way they do church. Last year, members of Lebanon United Methodist Church, Columbia, decided they were going to do a church-wide Mission of Focus, teaming up with the ministry of Killingsworth. Killingsworth, an […]

It’s the time of the season for meeting

By Emily Snell, UMNS… Now that the 2012 General Conference has ended, United Methodist leaders across the nation turn to jurisdictional and annual conferences coming up this summer. The first U.S. annual conference sessions begin May 17 in the Detroit and Eastern Pennsylvania annual conferences. The annual conference meetings wrap up in the United States […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Is the nature of belief exclusive or inclusive?

In the last column, I noted that the portal into any new “people group” is belonging. So many clergy tell me the nightmare of itinerancy is that when their kids arrive in a new church, school and community, other Christian youth shun them as newcomers. Meanwhile, the peers who reach out to them are often […]

Aging Well: If church doesn’t value frail seniors, who will?

Each week I visit older adult friends in three different senior care communities. Not long ago when I went to visit one of my friends, I saw a frail woman sitting in a wheelchair, looking out the window at the parking lot. She looked dressed for a special occasion with white curls framing her thin […]

The day I almost went surfing with Rob Bell

By Steve Horswill-Johnston, Special Contributor… “Want to go surfing?” The question was posed to 50 of us stuffed in a small bungalow in Laguna Beach on the last afternoon of a two-day unadvertised event with Rob Bell. “If you don’t know how, I’ll teach you,” he reassured. “Sure!” the 49 said. Being the eldest of […]

Educated for a life of faith

The 13 United Methodist seminaries together graduate about 330 UM ordination candidates a year, as well as other graduates who plan a career in religious work. Here are capsule stories of a handful of spring 2012 graduates: For the last three years, Adam Love has preached at small UM churches in Chuckey and Limestone, Tenn., […]

Looking back, looking forward after GC 2012

By Alan Heath, CEO, UMR Communications… Halfway through the second week of General Conference, I sat down to record my observations as a first-time attendee. I was not a delegate, only a very interested observer with little or no context other than attendance at many Annual Conferences in North Texas. I made some observations at […]

Council of Bishops head recalls journey in ministry

TAMPA, Fla.—Bishop Rosemarie Wenner grew up in a United Methodist congregation so small that she was the only member of her confirmation class. But the 50 or so members of that church in Eppingen, a village in southwestern Germany near the border with France, also made her feel welcome, even though most were the age […]

Faith kept seminary grad going

DALLAS—In pursuing a United Methodist seminary education, the Rev. Ella Luna faced so many trials—some of them matters of life and death—that friends began to compare her to a certain Old Testament character. They meant well, but that too became a trial. “People would mention Job to me and I would just want to wring […]

We need easier access to Social Principles

I would like to respond to a comment in the article “Do we understand how the church works?” in the May 4 issue of the Reporter. In it the Rev. William B. Lawrence of Perkins School of Theology says, “Very few [UM] clergy find ways to teach the existence of the Social Principles, let alone what […]