Archives for December 2012

History of Hymns: ‘There’s a Song in the Air’ dates from late romantic era

“There’s a Song in the Air” Josiah G. Holland UM Hymnal, No. 249 There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky! There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry! And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing, for the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King! There is […]

E. Africa Conference official responds to audits

United Methodist News Service… KAMPALA, Uganda—The East Africa Conference treasurer has issued a response to the suspension of church funds to the conference after unfavorable audits. His response came more than a week after the United Methodist Church’s finance agency took the unprecedented step of setting a lower salary for the conference’s bishop until satisfactory […]

Ala. judge elected to lead COSROW

From Staff Reports… Dawn Wiggins Hare, an Alabama state court judge recognized for her leadership in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, will be the next top executive of the UMC’s General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW). “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the church in a mission that has […]

GC vies with Judicial Council as 2012’s biggest news-maker

Summarizing a full year in the life of the sprawling, conflicted United Methodist Church is always a challenge. Every fourth year, it gets tougher. That’s because General Conference—the quadrennial gathering for setting church policy, law and finances—occurs and influences so much of church life. But the 2012 General Conference faced surprising competition as a news-maker. […]

Commentary: Someone needs to do something—and it’s me

By Erik Alsgaard, Special Contributor… Election Day 2012 was unique in my life. For the first time ever, I entered the voting booth and filled in those little ovals (left over from my SATs, I’m guessing) with the No. 2 pencil they provided—and voted for myself. I was running for a seat on the St. […]

Sacred themes ran through jazz great Brubeck’s music

By David E. Anderson, Religion News Service… “I approached the composition as a prayer,” jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck said of his “To Hope! A Celebration,” a contemporary setting for the Roman Catholic Mass, “concentrating upon the phrases, trying to probe beneath the surface, hoping to translate into music the powerful words which have […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Finding assurance: John Wesley at Aldersgate

This is the fifth in a series of columns intended to inspire renewal in local UM churches, through a study of John Wesley’s own spiritual journey in the years leading up to and following his experience at Aldersgate. Our primary concern in United Methodism is how to convert “survival mode” or “maintenance mode” congregations into […]

Commentary: On Bond films, baptism . . . and beginning again

By Kenny Dickson, Special Contributor… After seeing the newest James Bond film, Skyfall, I thought about the nature of rebooting. Celebrating 50 years of Bond, the newest edition continues the reboot of the series that began two films ago with the casting of Daniel Craig as Bond. Resetting a film franchise allows the producers to […]

Missouri youth group hosts former POW

By Fred Koenig, Special Contributor… COLUMBIA, Mo.—You never know where a mission trip will lead. For the youth group at one Missouri Conference church, it led to them booking the largest arena within 100 miles and bringing in a speaker from across the country for a free event for their community. Last summer a group […]

Commentary: In defense of embattled TV star Angus T. Jones

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor… I remember well the last time I watched the hit TV show Two and a Half Men. It was back in ancient history when Charlie Sheen still headlined the show, before tiger blood and #winning became household terms. Mr. Sheen played a rich playboy, Jon Cryer (Duckie for those of […]