Archives for September 2012

‘Crossing’ serves up coffee, music, community

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.—A guitarist plays onstage. Two teens face off in a game of checkers. The espresso machine stays busy as a line forms at the cash register. Some people take the opportunity to listen to the music; others claim a corner of the room for conversation and listen to each other. It’s a typical weekend […]

Learning, years later, that ministry did bear fruit

By Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, Special Contributor… I spend a lot of time these days talking to myself. Not literally, but in the sense that the Jesuit writer Baltasar Gracián meant when he wrote that our lives are lived in three stages: In the first, when we are students, in conversation with the dead; in […]

Emerging South Sudan faces malaria battle

By Grace Nakajje, United Methodist News Service… Watching South Sudan become the newest country in the world was the most exciting event in the history of many people who live in a region that suffered during the 50 years of struggle for freedom. Lives were lost. Roads, communication networks and property were destroyed. Some estimates […]

CD Review: A singer’s album of repentance

By Sara Zarr, Special Contributor Born and Raised John Mayer Columbia Records Close your eyes and clone yourself Build your heart an army To defend your innocence While you do everything wrong  So opens “The Age of Worry,” the second track from John Mayer’s latest album, Born and Raised. I’ve been obsessively listening to that […]

‘The Excellent Remnant Church’ – Making a move helps N.Y. church find new life

Editor’s note: The Sept. 21 print edition of the Reporter includes an interview with the Rev. Paul Nixon about his new book We Refused to Lead a Dying Church! It includes profiles of 15 churches that bounced back after a period of decline. With the permission of Mr. Nixon and his publisher, The Pilgrim Press, we offer […]

Bledsoe episode calls us to talk about race, racism

By Gilbert H. Caldwell, Special Contributor… As I read the Reporter article titled “Kind words, hugs and pain at event for Bishop Bledsoe,” I had two immediate reactions: First, I was deeply moved at the expressions of love and appreciation at this North Texas Conference farewell reception for Bishop Earl Bledsoe, who was involuntarily retired. […]

Q&A: On bringing new life to a ‘dying church’

The Rev. Paul Nixon is a UM minister, church consultant and author, based in Washington, D.C. His new book We Refused to Lead a Dying Church! (The Pilgrim Press) profiles 15 comeback congregations, eight of them United Methodist. He agreed to an email interview with managing editor Sam Hodges. You wrote a popular, influential book […]

Kids’ stuff – The tricky art of the children’s sermon

If you’ve attended United Methodist churches long enough, you probably recognize this squirm-worthy scene: A pastor seated on the floor, trying to cue the kids to say the darnedest things. Or, it’s a well-intended layperson, slogging through a wordy message. Surrounding the speaker are wriggly children who aren’t paying much attention. It’s the gone-awry version […]

Q&A: Expert gives insight into journey through grief

Julie Yarbrough is an active laywoman at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas and the author of a series of grief resources, entitled Beyond the Broken Heart, for Abingdon Press. Special contributor Sheron Patterson talked with the author for a Q&A about grief; here are excerpts. Why the title Beyond the Broken Heart? In […]

Methodist Home receives big help from small church

By Kara Witherow, Special Contributor… Sometimes it doesn’t take a big crowd to make a big impact. Jesus was one man. He only had 12 disciples. While few in numbers, the influence of those 13 men shaped the course of history and mankind. Through its generous spirit and faithful giving, tiny Sweetwater United Methodist Church […]