Archives for February 2013

Q&A: Lenten study on Jesus’ miracles

In his new book, The Miracles of Jesus: Meditations and Prayers for Lent (Upper Room Books, 2012), the Rev. Wessel Bentley says the miracles of Jesus, performed 2,000 years ago, can still change hearts and lives today. Mr. Bentley, an ordained minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, is a part-time lecturer in the […]

Still there, UM Connectional Table starts anew

The new Connectional Table—a United Methodist governing body that had expected to be defunct by now—met to organize for the next four years. The gathering Jan. 15-17 in Nashville, Tenn., set the tone for the denomination’s leadership for the next four years and may have offered a prelude to proposals that will go before the […]

Performing arts ministries on the rise in Florida

By Colleen Hart, Special Contributor… In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark decides to send a message through stage drama, declaring “the play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.” Likewise, United Methodist churches across Florida are finding that performing arts ministries provide an effective way to reach out to the […]

Digital Devotion: Social media prompts for the season of Lent

By Liz Applegate, Special Contributor… Many churches are beginning to take advantage of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. But church communicators are also discovering that maintaining these on a regular basis can pose a real challenge. Even though social media posts are typically short, churches do need to post new, timely and […]

Ashes to go: Starting Lent outside the four walls

These days, you don’t have to darken the door of a church to experience Ash Wednesday. Following a strategy that’s gathering momentum, United Methodist pastors and lay folk will bring the ashes to the people—to hurried commuters in train stations in Texas, to pedestrians on busy street corners in New York and Chicago, to patrons […]

Religious groups sought delay of decision on gay scouts, leaders

The decision by Boy Scouts of America to postpone any change in policy about gay membership was fueled by an “outpouring of feedback.” Much of that reaction came from a sector with strength in numbers: the religious groups that comprise the majority of the Scouts’ chartered organizations. On Monday (Feb. 4), two days before the […]

UM Men plan national gathering this summer

By J. Richard Peck, Special Contributor JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—United Methodist leaders expect 4,000 men to attend the 11th national gathering of United Methodist Men, this summer in Nashville. Meeting Jan. 7 in Jacksonville, the 22-member committee set final plans for the July 12-14 quadrennial meeting at Belmont University. Speakers for the gathering include Don Davis, former […]

History of Hymns: Discipleship hymn comes from Filipino folk song

Developing Christian hymns in non-Western cultures requires a variety of techniques. One of those techniques is to take an existing melody, often a folk song, and pair it with a Christian text. Such is the case with “Dear Lord, lead me day by day.”

United Methodists join in Staten Island relief efforts

By Arthur McClanahan and Linda Bloom, United Methodist News Service… STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.—When John Stonick wants to show how high the floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy were as they swept down the street of his New Dorp Beach neighborhood on Staten Island, he raises his hands far above his head. Mr. Stonick, who estimates he has […]

Commentary: Zero Dark Thirty tortures truth about interrogations

By Morris Davis and Richard Killmer, Religion News Service… Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty than the truth about torture. While it’s just a movie, it runs the risk of becoming the basis for a false view of reality for millions of moviegoers who have largely ignored […]