Archives for February 2013

Edward Burger named president of UM-affiliated Southwestern Univ.

Southwestern University, a United Methodist-affiliated college in Georgetown, Texas, has chosen Edward R. Burger as its next president. He’s the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, and also is known for creating more than 3,000 instructional videos on math. “Ed is an eloquent spokesperson for the liberal arts. He is […]

Commentary: How an intergenerational mixer changed our church

By Josh Fitzpatrick, Special Contributor… In youth ministry we’ve begun to notice that two things occur as our youth programs become increasingly self-sustaining and disconnected from the rest of the church: The adults in our congregation feel left out, uninformed and unappreciated, and the teenagers in our groups fail to become a part of the […]

Commentary: ‘Going Clear’ probes Scientology’s hidden tactics

By Christy Thomas, Special Contributor… With both horror and fascination, I just finished reading the Lawrence Wright exposé called Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (Knopf). This exquisitely researched book takes us into the bowels of Scientology, a religious group that has apparently systematically lied, cheated, abused its followers, sought to destroy its detractors, […]

Giving your best: No room for slack

By Lovett H. Weems Jr., Special Contributor… A phrase made popular by management writer Philip Crosby is, “Quality is free.” It reminds us that efforts to ensure that work is done right do not cost us time and money. It is the errors that cost. Just think how much extra time and effort are required […]

Denomination urged to trust, share leadership

Don’t be surprised if you hear church leaders use the phrase “adaptive leadership” multiple times during the next four years. That phrase served as the recurring theme of the 2013 Quadrennial Training Event, which drew nearly 1,000 United Methodists to the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 17-20. Put another way, the gathering attracted […]

Q&A: On knowing and editing H. Nouwen

Many people have come to know Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) through his prolific writings on the spiritual life. John Mogabgab came to know him personally—from 1975 to 1980, Dr. Mogabgab served as an assistant to Nouwen. Recently, he edited A Spirituality of Homecoming, the latest in an Upper Room Books series based on Nouwen’s writings. Dr. […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Back to roots – Touring Methodist historical sites

A number of people have written to tell me they plan (or wish) to go on a Methodist heritage tour, retracing the steps of John Wesley from his birthplace in Epworth to his grave on City Road in London. This is a very rewarding experience; I have made the trip seven times, always learning something […]

All work, no pay – Aid ministry thrives under volunteer director

DALLAS—For the past 15 years, Judy Rorrie has worked 60 hours a week as executive director of North Dallas Shared Ministries: managing an annual budget of about $1 million, directing some 500-plus volunteers, overseeing an emergency aid operation and food pantry, and maintaining relationships with the 50-plus congregations that support the ministry. And now, at […]

Couples share how ‘Methodist destiny’ brought them together

Matthew Oates and Jennifer Dobbs were born a few months apart in the same hospital. They grew up a few miles apart in southern Indiana; they even went to the same orthodontist. But they never met. They both attended Purdue University from 1996 to 2000, and while there, were involved in various United Methodist ministries. […]

Cecil and Janice – Unlikely pair writes of leading Glide Memorial UMC

They are the odd couple of United Methodism, but the ministry results can hardly be questioned. The Rev. Cecil Williams, a destined-to-be-a-pastor African American and extreme extrovert, and Janice Mirikitani, a Japanese American introvert and religious skeptic, led Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco to become one of the UMC’s largest and most service-oriented churches—and […]