Archives for September 2012

History of Hymns: ‘Fly Away’ anticipates escape to joy of heaven

“I’ll Fly Away” Albert E. Brumley The Faith We Sing, No. 2282 Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away; to a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away. I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away. When I die, hallelujah, by and by, I’ll fly away. * Albert Edward Brumley […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Word from Willimon – Don’t give in to despair

In one of Bishop Will Willimon’s last letters to his constituents in the North Alabama Conference before retiring last month, he wrote, “Our numbers indicate that we have been under led, or led in the wrong sorts of ways. Our indicators of institutional health say that we need to do some things differently.” He continued, […]

Florida martial arts class takes Christian approach

By Colleen Hart, Special Contributor… JUPITER, Fla.—John Landry knows what it’s like to be bullied. “I was picked on from about the third grade through high school for being a skinny kid who was not into sports,” said the now 47-year-old police detective and member of First United Methodist Church, Jupiter-Tequesta. Those feelings of isolation […]

Facebook and pastoral ministry

By John P. Jackman, Special Contributor… Four years ago, at the urging of younger members in my congregation, I joined Facebook. As a 55-year-old pastor, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I soon discovered that this strange new medium, for the church at least, is about much more than new technology. For us, Facebook […]

Missouri church catches rays for power

By Fred Koenig, Special Contributor… SEDALIA, Mo.—When God’s heavenly light shines down on Wesley UMC in Sedalia, the church experiences more power than any other house of worship around. It’s not that the sun shines brighter on Wesley, it is just that they make better use of it. The far side of Wesley’s parking lot […]

Filmmaker Spike Lee puts his focus on faith

WASHINGTON—Spike Lee is not about to give up filmmaking but—at least for a moment or two—he sounded a bit like an expert on the challenges facing the church as he promoted his new movie, Red Hook Summer. “Any church whose members are senior citizens and there’s no youth coming behind, they’re going to die out,” […]

Religious labels matter less in 2012 campaign

By Bob Smietana, USA Today… There aren’t any white Protestants on the presidential ballot this year—a first in American history. Instead, the race features two Catholic candidates for vice president, and a Mormon Republican and African-American mainline Protestant for president. Perhaps lucky for all of them, voters care more about issues such as social justice […]

The enduring influence of Clarence Jordan

What were the odds that a white Southern Baptist preacher would start an interracial Christian community in the rural South in 1942, long before federal court decisions and legislation began to dismantle legal segregation? Throw in that this preacher would be openly pacifist, right in the middle of World War II, and the prospect seems […]

Are we slowly dropping the UMC cross & flame?

Is it just me . . . or is something missing? I see less and less of our beloved United Methodist cross and flame symbol. It apparently is being hidden under the proverbial bushel. It is becoming less predominant on church buildings, websites and even denominational publications. Most of us know the origins of our […]

UMC starts response to Hurricane Isaac

United Methodist News Service… In the days after Hurricane Isaac hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August, United Methodists in the region deployed trained responders, cared for storm survivors and used church-to-church connections to assess ever-changing needs. Checking on neighbors and mucking out homes were the first priorities in Mississippi, where Wayne Napier, disaster […]