Archives for February 2013

UM college students join in history game

By Stephanie Jass, Special Contributor… ADRIAN, Mich.—On a cold winter’s day at United Methodist-affiliated Adrian College, Charles Dickens hosted a literary forum to discuss Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass with such historical luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe, Sojourner Truth, John Jacob Astor, William Lloyd Garrison and John Quincy Adams. But not everyone in […]

Q&A with Kent Millard

Under Brad Stevens, the Butler University men’s basketball team has built an amazing record, twice reaching the NCAA Finals in a field of much bigger schools. Coach Stevens and his wife Tracy are active members at St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis, Ind. The Rev. Kent Millard, retired pastor at St. Luke’s, has co-written with Judith […]

Oscar’s Spirit – Conflicts, large and small, in this year’s race

Special contributors Kenny Dickson and Gary Keene, and associate editor Bill Fentum offer a rundown of the Best Picture (and Foreign Language Film) nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards, to be presented Feb. 24. Two or three of the movies have overt spiritual content, and all of them can spark moral and ethical discussions. […]

UMC launches new ecumenical, interfaith office

On any given Sunday, more Christians are attending worship services in China than in the United States or Europe. That is one indicator of the challenges presented by a changing world of ecumenism as the United Methodist Church reorganizes how it addresses issues of Christian unity and relationships with other faiths. After a denominational vote […]

After the flood – Determined church survives trials of finding new home

By Madelaine Jerousek-Smith, Faith and Leadership… CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—For as long as he can remember, Dick Talbott, 89, had worshipped at a church on the corner of First Avenue and Third Street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was baptized and married there. He witnessed countless weddings there, often held in late afternoon as the beautiful […]

Thoughts on disability and race taken wrongly

As the editor, and one of 25 authors for Speaking Out: Gifts of Ministering Undeterred by Disabilities, I feel called to reply to Lynda R. Byrd’s recent Letter to the Editor (Reporter, Jan. 18). It saddens me that she thought I said being black is an African-American person’s disability. In January 1970, as part of […]

UMM leaders, citing negative reaction, ask BSA to hold off on gay policy change

Top leaders of the General Commission on United Methodist Men have written the Boy Scouts of America, citing strong negative response within the denomination to a proposed lifting of the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. Gilbert Hanke, top executive of United Methodist Men, and Bishop James E. Swanson Jr., UMM president, wrote Chief […]

Publishers in seventh heaven over near-death memoirs

By Craig Wilson, Religion News Service Do people really see a light at the end of a tunnel when they have a near-death experience? And could that be heaven up ahead? That light is shining brighter than ever these days. Heaven is hot. Hotter even than that other place. Just ask any bookseller in America. […]

Q&A: A stand for Christian universalism

Can everyone be saved through Jesus Christ? The Rev. Heath Bradley, associate pastor of preaching and Christian education at Pulaski Heights UMC in Little Rock, Ark., thinks so. In his new book, Flames of Love: Hell and Universal Salvation (Wipf and Stock Publishers), Mr. Bradley builds a theological framework for the doctrine of hell that […]

History of Hymns: Translated German hymn points us toward hope

The German hymn “Jesu, meine Freude” which literally means “Jesus, my joy,” is the model for Catherine Winkworth’s translation. It was written by Johann Franck, who was born in Guben, a small town in Brandenburg. His birth year, 1618, was the first year of the Thirty Years’ War, one of the most violent wars humanity has ever seen. An advocate by profession, Franck wrote both sacred and secular poems.