Archives for February 2013

Ministry amid poverty remains tough issue for UMC

By Jay Brim, Special Contributor… Back in October, I had the pleasure of riding to a meeting at the UMC’s Southwest Texas Conference center with the Rev. Tina Carter, senior pastor at Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas. Rev. Carter could call herself the Rev. Dr. Carter, since she has a hard-science Ph.D., […]

Aging Well: Senior keeps Sundays ringing

As you drive the streets of picturesque Jefferson, Texas, you will likely see the historic First United Methodist Church with its steeple stretching into the sky. At a glance, the white wooden structure sitting on a hillside seems as though it could be the opening scene of a nostalgic Hallmark movie. On Sunday mornings the […]

Reflections: Lent – Season of regret, with cleansing to come

How can Lent be here already? It seems we were just celebrating Christmas. But Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, signals the beginning of this solemn season of 40 days. On the High Holy Day of Easter, we will join Christians around the world in celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection. But first we must prepare ourselves. How will […]

History of Hymns: Ash Wednesday hymn guides us toward hope

If one were asked to describe Brian Wren to a complete stranger, what would be the choice of words? Some might choose hymn writer, while others might propose that he is a musical theologian. I would suggest that he is a scriptural architect.

Hazelwood moves from UMCOR to Memphis Conference

By Lane Gardner Camp, Special Contributor…Rev. Tom Hazelwood of Springfield, Va., has been named Director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, beginning June 1. The Memphis Conference, part of the Nashville Episcopal Area, includes 425 United Methodist Churches and numerous agencies and ministries in West Tennessee and Western Kentucky. […]

Book Review: Writer’s journey in faith enlightens and entertains

Despite his distinguished career as a writer and United Methodist leader, the Rev. James C. Howell recognizes the awkwardness of writing a memoir. The genre, he notes in his introduction, easily slides into self-obsession and personal analysis

Satellite success – A high-tech Methodist connection occurs in Liberia

By Mark Webb, Special Contributor… It’s the end of November 2012, the week after Thanksgiving, and the rainy season has come to an end. Mike Ashdown and I are here to install a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) system in rural Liberia, to provide Internet access at a Methodist mission station. As we travel the […]

First UMC Austin joins Reconciling Ministries Network

The First United Methodist Church of Austin, Texas, voted Sunday, Feb. 10, to join the Reconciling Ministries Network, a group actively opposing the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. The UMC’s official position, stated in the Book of Discipline, is that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” The UMC does not allow “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” to […]

UMC’s immigration network changing

2013 might be “the” year for U.S. immigration reform, said Rob Rutland-Brown, new director of the United Methodist National Justice for Our Neighbors. Mr. Rutland-Brown becomes the director of the national office for the United Methodist network of legal clinics during a time when President Barack Obama has promised to make immigration reform a top priority. […]

2013 hunger report: Goals are ‘within reach’

Sometimes, reducing childhood malnutrition and mortality can be as easy as substituting one crop for another. That has been the result of a United Methodist initiative in the Kamina area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in which farmers were introduced to moringa and soybean as replacements for nutrient-poor cassava. For June Kim, an executive […]