Archives for November 2012

‘Free store’ provides clothes for homeless

By Rachel L. Toalson, Special Contributor… AUSTIN, Texas—The people of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church know what it means to get outside the walls of the church—and be forever changed. At least twice a year, after enough donated clothing has piled up, volunteers band together to create a free store beneath the overpass of Interstate […]

Petraeus’ fall recalls another David

It’s tempting to view the sex scandal surrounding retired Army Gen. David Petraeus through a religious lens. After all, most faiths forbid adultery, and even before his fall from grace, some Pentagon colleagues compared Gen. Petraeus to the biblical King David—another proud and powerful warrior. The comparison seemed even more apt after the former four-star […]

Matching ‘Explorers’ and ‘Guides’ in youth ministry

By Chris Wilterdink, Special Contributor… Youth culture is always in flux, remixing itself almost as soon as the rest of us notice. How can youth leaders authentically minister with those living in perpetual beta? To that purpose, Young People’s Ministries at the UMC’s General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is launching an exciting new online tool, […]

Sandy’s aftermath: Planning long-term relief in NYC, New Jersey

By Linda Unger and Susan Kim, Special Contributors… As big flakes of icy wet snow fell on streets still muddy from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating storm surge, Peter Vasquenz carried another black trash bag to the curb outside his mother’s home on Staten Island, N.Y. In it were pieces of ripped flooring and soggy drywall from […]

True reform in the UMC requires integrity

I write in response to the recent article “UMC high court upholds guaranteed appointments“. By naming those advocating for the legislation “reformers,” this article lacks objectivity. Those who opposed the rejected legislation to end security of appointment also seek reform. Reform is a central tenet of our historic mission, “to reform the nation, especially the […]

Reclaiming the holiday – UMCOM ads tout shift from consumerist Christmas

Two years ago, children at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, Pa., celebrated Advent with a “Journey to Bethlehem.” Each child attending left with a gift in hand. Last year, when a new event replaced Journey to Bethlehem, the kids left empty-handed. Instead of receiving gifts, they left behind items they’d made for people […]

A different way of doing the ‘multi-site’ church

By Teddy Ray, Special Contributor… First UMC of Lexington, Ky., where I’m executive pastor, we’re doing something that is becoming quite common in the North American Church. We’ve gone to multiple sites and multiple worshipping communities. At the same time, we’re doing something very unique, at least from what I have seen as I survey […]

Book Review: Chronological New Testament offers study tool

By David N. Mosser, Special Contributor…  Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written Marcus J. Borg HarperOne, 2012 Hardcover, 608 pages When I was a kid, the big biblical question around my church was whether we should read from the King James Version of the Bible or from […]

History of Hymns: ‘This Is My Song’ serves as prayer for global peace

“This Is My Song” Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness UM Hymnal, No. 437 This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in […]

Western Jurisdiction won’t walk away from UMC

By Patricia Farris, Special Contributor… Is the glass half full or half empty? It’s a trick question, of course, because the answer is always “Yes.” But in a win-lose paradigm, only one side can be right. And so, there are those, including my friend and colleague, Claremont School of Theology Professor Jack Jackson, who see […]