Archives for May 2012

15 propositions on homosexuality, by a UM pastor and author

Having heard much talk recently about the Bible and homosexuality, in our Methodist denominational conference, in my home state of North Carolina with its marriage amendment vote, and then President Obama’s statement affirming gay marriage, I have pulled together propositions that I believe might help us moving forward. (1) If we could travel back in time […]

Delegates approve UMW autonomy

By Yvette Moore, Special Contributor… TAMPA, Fla.—By a vote of 889 to 20, General Conference delegates on May 1 made United Methodist Women an autonomous organization within the United Methodist Church. The historic vote separates the national policymaking body of women organized for mission within the denomination from the church’s mission agency for the first […]

UMC facing ‘slow, agonizing, organizational death’

By Maria Dixon Hall, Special Contributor… The other day, in an attempt to get some distance between me and the traumatic event now forever etched in my brain as General Conference 2012, I decided to brave the Texas heat and work on my flowerbeds and ideas for the lawn. Isisas Barrario, my faithful landscape and lawn […]

A view of General Conference, from the ‘muddled middle’

By Elaine Robinson, Special Contributor… Is there anyone who is satisfied with General Conference? I spent much of those 10 days watching, either in person or by live streaming, and I feel as if I was witnessing the rise of a disappointing new dance: The Backslide. Akin to the Moonwalk, it seems to slide endlessly […]

Our stubborn system: A reflection on GC2012

By Ben Boruff, Special Contributor… May 4 was a big day. As delegates waded through petitions and amendments on the last day of General Conference, I finished my spring semester as a senior at Indiana University. I had four finals that week, including tests for classes like British Film and The Music of Bob Dylan. […]

A plea for perspective after disappointment of GC2012

Everybody take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. As the mushroom cloud surrounding the end of General Conference slowly dissipates, United Methodist leaders across the nation (I don’t presume to speak for those abroad) are in a frenzy of frustration. The delegates are frustrated that, after the failure to adopt a valid restructuring […]

Q&A: Is U.S. a ‘nation of heretics’?

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat doesn’t mince words in his new book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. Since the 1960s, he argues, institutional Christianity has suffered a slow-motion collapse, leaving the country without the moral core that carried it through foreign wars, economic depressions and roiling internal debates. In its […]

In class meetings, we ask: ‘How is it with your soul?’

By Kevin Watson, Special Contributor… I am increasingly convinced that efforts to find renewal within the Wesleyan tradition are dependent on the denomination’s ability to return to the place where transformation happened in the beginnings of the Wesleyan movement: the class meeting. However, the class meeting has not only been largely abandoned, but the language […]

New Bible translation puts focus on dialogue, draws some criticism

By Bob Smietana, USA Today… NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The name Jesus Christ doesn’t appear in The Voice, a new translation of the Bible. Nor do words such as angel or apostle. Instead, angel is rendered as “messenger” and apostle as “emissary.” Jesus Christ is “Jesus the Anointed One” or the “liberating king.” That’s a more accurate translation […]

CD offers songs outside standard Christian music

By Brian Q. Newcomb, UCC News… Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us           (Various Artists, Produced by Phil Madeira) Mark Heard once wrote a song about being “Stuck in the Middle,” between the religious pieties of conservative Christian expressions and the stark reality of secularism. “Funny world we live in, it’s funny every day, half […]