Archives for May 2013

Healthy message: Pastor’s weight loss is ministry’s gain

By Yonat Shimron, Faith & Leadership… BAILEY, N.C.—The Sunday bulletins at Bailey and Pleasant Grove United Methodist churches list the usual items: the order of worship, upcoming events, requests for prayers, the total offerings received so far this year. But the bulletins for these two small eastern North Carolina churches also include an entry that […]

Book collects sermons by UM pastor Stephen F. Dill

The Poetry of Faith: Sermons Preached in a Southern Church, by the Rev. Stephen F. Dill, has been published by NewSouth Books in Montgomery, Ala. The collection’s publication is timed to the 100th anniversary of Dauphin Way UMC, where Dr. Dill was senior minister from 1972 to 1990, and remains pastor emeritus. Frye Gaillard, a […]

UMs take first steps in tornado response

Staff and Wire Reports… Concerned individuals who want to volunteer in relief efforts following the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla., are urged, for now, to pray and wait. “It will take time for emergency officials to assess the damages and for us to learn how we all can most effectively help meet needs,” Richard […]

Faith in Action: Is doctrine making a comeback in Methodism?

For a long time, the term “doctrine” has been perceived negatively in many United Methodist circles. It can seem to some people like one of those heavy-handed words, used by one group to coerce another. The verb “to indoctrinate” certainly carries this connotation—almost akin to a process of brainwashing where people are brought into a […]

The closing of UMR: a personal perspective

By Alan Heath, Publisher and CEO… In July of 2011, I accepted the position as CEO of UMR Communications. I sought advice from three persons prior to making my decision. One said, “You would be crazy to take the job. Do you have any idea of the mountain you would have to climb?” Another counseled […]

Thoughts on UMR from supporters, former staff

In the days following the announcement that the United Methodist Reporter would cease publication, many expressions of regret, nostalgia and appreciation poured into the offices of UMR Communications. Here are excerpts from some of the reflections and memories from United Methodists around the connection: The principles of good journalism aren’t all that different from Christian […]

Testament of Mary closes after short Broadway run

By David Gibson, Religion News Service… NEW YORK—A Tony-nominated play that offered a controversial take on Mary reflecting on her life held its final performance May 5, closing after only two weeks as poor ticket sales never matched high expectations. Now the question is: Why? Shows fold on Broadway all the time, of course, and […]

We call the UMC ‘global,’ but we aren’t there yet

By Michael Ratliff, Special Contributor… Even before I took responsibility for Young People’s Ministries at our denomination’s General Board of Discipleship, I recognized what seemed to be inequities between the United Methodist Church in the U.S. and the UMC in other parts of the world. Navigating those challenges became unavoidable as we began forming networks […]

Embracing our ‘Jesus came for all’ identity

By Christopher P. Momany, Special Contributor… Before the United States entered World War II, preacher and social critic Harry Emerson Fosdick delivered a sermon titled “Winning the War of Ideas.” It was no celebration of conflict but a reminder that opposing ideas contend for our souls. Fosdick quoted a Nazi propagandist who bragged that the […]

UM quartet marks decade of pickin’ for the Lord

By Jessica Connor, Special Contributor… UNION, S.C.—The music starts with a chaos of energy—the smooth strum of the guitar, the delicate strings of the mandolin, the burst of melody from the banjo, the deep thrum of the bass. As they gather for their weekly jam session at the Union County Arts Center, the four men […]