Archives for January 2013

Barna poll: Virtual vices indicate shift in morality

The seven deadly sins have new partners in crime. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride still attract a lot of attention. But as the Internet and other media invade American life, our vices have increasingly gone virtual, according to a new study. Nearly half of Americans say they are tempted to idle the […]

When Sundays Swing – UM churches find jazz in worship moves the spirit

DALLAS—Highland Park UMC is a tall-steeple church, and within it is Cox Chapel, where high church worship is the norm, including a processional, a recessional and a formal approach to liturgy most any Anglican would love. One Sunday last fall, worshippers had all this and more. The Dallas Jazz Quartet, led by pianist Charles Winslow […]

Commentary: Changed life-From ‘borderline bordello’ to pulpit

By Rudy Rasmus, Special Contributor… I was 34 years old before I became a Christian. In all of the years before that, I was in a terrible business, connected to the sex industry. My dad and I owned a business in a tough Houston neighborhood, a motel that catered to prostitutes and their customers. For […]

Reflections: A ‘changing landscape’ – How will we respond?

My colleague and friend Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, who presides over the Boston Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, recently brought to the attention of members of the Council of Bishops an interesting article that caught his attention in a newspaper in India. The headline reported: “First Hindu U.S. Legislator Makes History with Oath on […]

History of Hymns: Gospel song urges Christ to ‘Stand By Me’ during trials

One of the most famous of his many gospel songs is “Stand By Me,” for which he composed both the words and the music. It was included in a collection of hymns that he published in 1905, New Songs of Paradise, No. 6.

UM agency leaders welcome news that Boy Scouts may end ban on gay scouts, leaders

Editor’s note: At the bottom of this story is a further statement issued Jan. 31 by Gilbert Hanke of United Methodist Men. Leaders of two United Methodist agencies — United Methodist Men and United Methodist Board of Church and Society — welcomed news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its decades-long ban […]

Sports help Wounded Warriors on path to healing

Deep in the heart of the Pentagon, warriors are warming up for several rounds of fierce volleyball competition. The gym is an assault on the ears: dozens of volleyballs hitting the hardwood floor, deep baritone shouting of teammates pumping up teammates, shrill whistles. This is the second annual Wounded Warriors seated volleyball tournament, and it […]

Q&A: Don’t rule out a renaissance of religion in North America

Despite a deep drop in the number of Americans who identify with a particular faith, the country could be on the cusp of a religious renaissance, says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll. Grounded in more than a million Gallup interviews, Dr. Newport’s new book, God is Alive and Well, argues that the aging […]

Small church offers big health ministries

By Kara Witherow, Special Contributor… Scripture recounts dozens of ways that Jesus met people’s needs. He fed more than 5,000 men, women and children on the Sea of Galilee’s shore. He restored blind Bartimaeus’ sight. He healed the invalid at Bethesda. And he ministered to the woman caught in adultery. Through meeting their physical and […]

Book applies prayer to world problems

By Tim Tanton, United Methodist News Service… God, our protector and source of hope, help us to remember that wealth is often simply the flip side of poverty and exploitation elsewhere in the world. Give us the strength to recognize our lives are inextricably tied with those struggling to find freedom from trafficking. Amen. With […]