Archives for July 2012

Clothed in the spirit – Clergy stoles taking expressive forms

On Sunday mornings, the Rev. Kenny Dickson dons his robes for the early service, a traditional Methodist worship. For the mid-morning gospel service, he wears a suit and tie. And for the late service, a contemporary worship, he preaches in shirt sleeves and slacks. But at all three services, Mr. Dickson wears a stole: a […]

Film review: Pixar’s latest serves up some pleasant surprises

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor  Brave Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor Brave, the first release from Pixar to star a female lead, is a bit of a conundrum for the movie critic. It’s one of those flicks in which a writer should not reveal the central surprise that comprises the bulk […]

Youth pastor shook things up, and stuck around to lead

By Jason Byassee, Special Contributor… Vern Collins appeared at Boone United Methodist Church as a be-sandled, multiple-earringed recent graduate from our town’s college, Appalachian State, where, Vern admits, he was far more interested in fly-fishing than in studying. Vern was a shock to the system for a staid, high-steeple, university church like ours, where the […]

Where Cornerstone left off, Wild Goose Festival follows

By Greg Horton, Religion News Service… Demon Hunter. Vengeance Rising. Payable on Death. Since 1984, these and other Christian heavy metal bands have been congregating every summer in a field near Chicago for the Cornerstone Festival. And for much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was the place for Christian thrash metal, death metal, or […]

New exchange network opens world for students

Starting this fall, students from six United Methodist-related universities in the United States and six international Methodist universities will have an opportunity to learn firsthand from each other in a new student exchange program. The Methodist International Student Exchange Network is an initiative of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU) managed […]

May the church never see another day like it

By Rebekah Miles, Special Contributor.. Please God, may we never see another day like it. On July 19, at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference, we voted to affirm the decision of our episcopacy committee to retire involuntarily Bishop Earl Bledsoe, an African American who was assigned in 2008 to the North Texas Conference. We must […]

History of Hymns: Spirit of Reformation marks ‘Lift Our Song’

“In Unity We Lift Our Song” Ken Medema The Faith We Sing, No. 2221 In unity we lift our song of grateful adoration, for brothers brave and sisters strong. What cause for celebration! * Ken Medema (b. 1943), one of the most versatile, creative and enduring Christian artists today, is now in his 40th year […]

Holton Evangel UMC lives up to ‘good news’ name

By Barbara Nissen, Special Contributor… Evangel United Methodist Church in Holton, Kan., had been in decline for 25 years, until five years ago when the congregation decided to choose life over death. The church’s remarkable turnaround is one of 15 similarly amazing stories featured in a newly released book, We Refused to Lead a Dying […]

Book Review: Much to savor, and debate about, in American Bible

By David N. Mosser, Special Contributor… The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation Stephen Prothero HarperOne, 2012 544 pages, hardcover May we quickly disabuse ourselves of two notions pertaining to the title of Stephen Prothero’s new book The American Bible? First, some readers may be irked because they’ll assume that […]

Q&A: Doing good, being holy

The Rev. Christopher Momany is chaplain of United Methodist-related Adrian College in Adrian, Mich., and an ordained United Methodist minister who served as pastor of several churches in New Jersey and western Michigan. His book, Doing Good: A Grace-Filled Approach to Holiness (Abingdon Press, 2011) explores the Wesleyan ethic of holy love.  He answered questions […]