Archives for August 2012

Clergy, laity group asks censure of Bishop Talbert over gay rights activism

  Some United Methodist clergy and laity are calling on the Council of Bishops to censure retired Bishop Melvin Talbert for encouraging clergy to go against the Book of Discipline by officiating at same-sex unions. The 70-plus member group, including leaders of the Good News and Confessing Movement caucuses, made their appeal in a letter sent to all bishops. Bishop Talbert could […]

Transition Time – UM bishops leaning forward, looking back

As top official for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey bounced back and forth between New York, where UMCOR is based, and Houston, where she and her husband own a home and she was a longtime pastor in the Texas Conference. But on July 19 she became Bishop Harvey, elected […]

Pastors mourn Aurora shootings

AURORA, Colo.—For the Rev. Elizabeth Jackson, the sadness of losing a friend in the Colorado movie theater shootings has become a portion of her life’s journey. Only three weeks into her appointment as the pastor of the Edgewater (Colo.) United Methodist Church, the tragedy also added a different dimension to the get-acquainted period for her […]

Bearing prayerful witness to a ‘legalized killing’

By Cheryl Smith, Special Contributor… “You know, he was the first baby I ever held,” she said softly with a gentle lisp. “He was the first baby that they ever trusted me to hold. I still remember that.” She mopped her brow in the heat. Her dark eyes and chocolate skin contrasted with my fair […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: The harvest that comes from visits with first-timers

Often, I receive emails from people interested in the practice of pastoral calls and receiving of new members—two things that are never optional for parish clergy. Rather than itemize a “this is the way I do it” list, allow me to offer some anecdotal examples of how I approached one-on-one pastoral calling with those who […]

Aging Well: Intergenerational dialogue – a challenge for churches

Not long ago a friend told our adult Sunday school class about a training program her work organization was undertaking. The purpose of the program was to help different generations of employees communicate more effectively with each other. At the heart of the training program was a book, Ties to Tattoos: Turning Generational Differences into […]

History of Hymns: Apocalyptic vision leads to famous 19th-century hymn

“Shall We Gather at the River” Robert Lowry UM Hymnal, No. 723 Shall we gather at the river, Where bright angel feet have trod, With its crystal tide forever Flowing by the throne of God? Yes, we’ll gather at the river, The beautiful, the beautiful river; Gather with the saints at the river That flows […]

DVD Review: Bernie’s story on film feels odd but engaging

Bernie Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief strong language The lines between comedic drama and documentary seem a little blurred in Bernie. At least, that’s true until we adjust to writer-director Richard Linklater’s unusual approach. Local “interviews” (mostly scripted with co-writer Skip Hollandsworth) are used throughout to narrate this tale of money, murder […]

Q&A: A true-life tragicomedy

The First United Methodist Church of Carthage, Texas plays a big role in the movie Bernie, slated for DVD release on Aug. 21. Skip Hollandsworth, who attends Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, co-wrote the screenplay, based on a true story he wrote for Texas Monthly magazine in 1998. Mr. Hollandsworth spoke by phone […]

UM clergy lead prayer effort for conventions

United Methodist pastors in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., have taken the lead in drafting and getting clergy signatures for an interfaith prayer statement aimed at the presidential nominating conventions about to occur there. The page-and-a-half statement is called “The Conventions: A Common Witness from the Clergy of Tampa and Charlotte,” and speaks generally and […]