Archives for June 2012

Archives and History not ‘purely administrative’

  When the General Commission on Archives and History is referenced in an opinion piece as it was in “Judicial Council did Not do the UMC a favor” (by Lonnie Brooks, UMR, June 15, page 6A), I must respond to clarify statements of fact and opinion. The writer refers to GCAH as “a purely administrative […]

JAM program connects kids with Jesus

By Fred Koenig, Special Contributor… HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo.—The Rev. Barbara Phifer was responding to a direct need in her congregation when she started taking steps to implement a new program for children at Faith United Methodist Church. “Parents were expressing a desire for their younger children to learn the Bible,” Ms. Phifer said. Several of […]

‘Living for Jesus’ pledges full commitment to Christ

“Living for Jesus” Thomas O. Chisholm The Faith We Sing, No. 2149 Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do, yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free, this is the pathway of blessing for me.  O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to thee, for thou, in […]

Western Jurisdiction should take ‘executive action’ on gay rights

By Gilbert Caldwell, Special Contributor … I have just received the “WE WILL NOT BE SILENT” statement approved by the Rocky Mountain Conference. I was particularly inspired by these words: “RESOLVED, that the Rocky Mountain Conference looks forward to the leadership of our annual Annual Conference and the Western Jurisdiction Conference in formulating an action plan […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Turning dying churches into vital congregations

Every United Methodist Church would benefit if a network of small groups would study Len Sweet’s latest book, The Greatest Story Never Told. Our singing a “somebody done somebody wrong” song about General Conference will get us nowhere. (When you point an index finger, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself!) Instead, the focus […]

Not so fast: Stats don’t show youth fleeing UMC

By Michael Ratliff, Special Contributor… Recently, two different articles were forwarded to me concerning young people leaving the church. One article included six reasons, another had four. The reasons were those we’ve come to expect because we hear them so often—the church is not authentic, the Christianity exhibited by church members is not what young […]

A new thing: When religion, spirituality collide

By Diana Butler Bass, Religion News Service… Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, recently announced that he would step down by year’s end. A few days later, the Church of England rejected a Williams-backed unity plan for global Anglicanism, a church fractured by issues […]

Inner-City Gem: Emerald Youth mentors at-risk children

By Kelly Norrell, Special Contributor… KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—In 1986, when the Rev. Bob Bean became the new pastor at Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church, he found an aging congregation with low morale, no youth and no youth program. Once solidly middle-class, the surrounding neighborhood near downtown Knoxville had fallen on hard times as residents fled to […]

Q&A: Service leader sees ‘imperative for action’

The Rev. John L. McCullough is executive director and CEO of the humanitarian agency Church World Service, whose “member communions” include the UMC and 35 other groups. At the recent General Conference, the Council of Bishops honored him with its quadrennial Ecumenical Award. Mr. McCullough, an ordained UM elder, became CWS’s leader in 2000. He […]

Lon Morris College exploring merger or sale

Financially teetering Lon Morris College is exploring merger with or sale to another school. The two-year, United Methodist-affiliated college in Jacksonville, Texas, furloughed nearly all of its employees last month, after failing to meet three straight payrolls. It also suspended summer classes, and brought in Bridgepoint Consulting of Austin, Texas, to consider financial restructuring options. Based on Bridgepoint’s assessment, Lon […]