Archives for June 2012

Constructive dialogue won’t happen by accident

As I read the evaluations, opinions, and comments upon General Conference 2012 by various UM bishops I am reminded of the importance of charity, humility, and attitude for constructive dialogue. The Rev. Charles Brockwell Fourth Avenue UMC Louisville, KY

Some hard truths about the UMC, including that homosexuality isn’t to blame

By Sky McCracken, Special Contributor, … It’s a quote from a Star Trek movie (First Contact), admittedly with a gender bias, but it certainly applies: “Don’t try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgment.” I think if you’re going to be an elder in the United […]

Black caucus questions Bishop Bledsoe evaluation

The situation involving Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, an African-American who says he is being pushed to retire, is “a source of significant anguish and disappointment,” says The United Methodist Church’s African-American caucus. Black Methodists for Church Renewal Inc., which represents African-American United Methodists and congregations across the United States, announced its concerns Friday, June 15, […]

A day for honoring fathers and exorcising old demons

By J. Richard Peck, Special Contributor…   It happens every Father’s Day. My thoughts go back to the day after he committed suicide. “If you say anything nice about him, I’m walking out,” my sister said to the pastor planning the funeral service. I did not agree with my sister, but I didn’t have to […]

You go, Girl Scouts! At 100, group still a UM presence

Jillian Cooper, 13, and her Girl Scout troop are looking forward to a trip this fall to Savannah, Ga., to visit the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912. And they’re going with the help and blessing of her church, East Ridge United Methodist in East Ridge, […]

Reflections: Why fathers are needed more than ever

By Bishop Woodie W. White, Special Contributor… It is an alarming phenomenon—the absence of fathers in so many households across the country. One wonders when the trend began. Recent statistics have caught my attention. Some 40 percent of all infants born today in the U.S. are born to unwed mothers, and among certain groups that […]

Searching for hope amid our dark night of the soul

By Steve West, Special Contributor… Some United Methodist leaders have been gloomy in recent weeks. They feel that General Conference, the massive every-four-year gathering of denominational leaders, failed to produce change. There was, in the works, a dramatic overhaul of the agency structure, aimed at downsizing and simplifying. Many feel the present system of agencies […]

Conferences, bishops voice support for gays

By Kathy L. Gilbert, United Methodist News Service… Promises of support and prayers for healing for gays, lesbians, transgender and bisexual people came from bishops, pastors and laity as the United Methodist Church began annual conferences around the globe. At the Iowa Conference June 2-5, two documents with hundreds of signatures expressed compassion for gays. […]

Religious liberty, the pill and United Methodists

The debate over birth-control insurance coverage has traveled from the presidential campaign trail to the church pews. And now it’s heading to the courts. The Obama administration mandate that employers provide workers with contraception coverage is not a United Methodist issue per se. But church members often speak up when issues of religious liberty enter […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: James had it right – ‘Faith without works is dead’

Two previous columns have highlighted the role of “belonging” and “believing” in our Christian journey. The third dimension is “behaving.” When we argue about religion, we usually argue about doctrine or some debatable interpretation of a verse of Scripture. Let us consider the ultimate test of “good” or “bad” religion. Does it meet the criterion […]