Archives for May 2013

How Bush fans, foes can understand one another

By William McElvaney, Special Contributor… It’s not exactly a secret that President George W. Bush’s supporters and opponents think and speak differently concerning his eight years in office. I want to look at these differences and encourage mutual understanding that could lead to less hubris on both sides and stronger civil discourse befitting our democracy […]

History of Hymns: Tindley hymn envisions journey toward heaven

Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933) was one of the eminent preachers of Methodism at the turn of the 20th century. In a collection of Tindley hymns, Beams of Heaven (General Board of Global Ministries, 2006) Emory University hymnologist James Abbington calls Tindley a “pastor, orator, poet, writer, theologian, social activist, ‘father of African American Hymnody,’ ‘progenitor of African American gospel music’ and ‘prince of preachers.’”

Florida stitchers help children worldwide

By Tania Spencer, Special Contributor… It’s hard to imagine that a simple pillowcase or T-shirt could impact children around the world, but thanks to sewing ministries at Florida United Methodist churches, it does. In March, the Florida Conference posted a story about East Naples UMC’s “Dress a Girl Around the World” ministry on the conference […]

UMCOR partner starts earthquake relief in China

The Amity Foundation, a partner of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is expanding its relief efforts to earthquake survivors in China’s Sichuan Province. Amity staff members have been on the ground since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Ya’an, including Lushan and Baoxing counties, on April 20. Nearly 200 people were killed and almost 2 […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Blueprint for revitalizing a UM congregation

In 1944, I walked into our four-room farmhouse and found my mother cleaning dishes in two dishpans—one for washing and one for rinsing. She was crying, and her tears were dropping into the dishwater. Troubled, almost frightened, I asked her why. She said, “They are going to put us out of the conference.” At the […]

Church vitality – Exploring what it means, how to keep it going

To determine whether a congregation was doing well, church leaders used to count just two things—bottoms in the pews and dollars in the plate. Now many United Methodist leaders believe those metrics are not good enough. People and money do not capture whether a church is truly doing the vital work of making Christian disciples, […]

Wolfe is new Iliff president

From Staff Reports… The Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe has been named president of Iliff School of Theology in Denver, a United Methodist School. He’ll be the 14th president of Iliff, and comes from UM-affiliated Syracuse University, where he has been senior vice president and dean. “We are excited to have Dr. Wolfe join us,” said Jim […]

Getting a jump on electing General Conference delegates

Amidst all of the petitions which failed, were never considered at all, or passed but then were overturned by the Judicial Council, at least one new provision in the Book of Discipline that was adopted by the largely “Do-Nothing General Conference” last year, now provides an interesting opportunity to annual conferences across the connection. Originally […]

’Tis the season – Less debate, more worship for some annual conferences

In the past, delegates headed to Annual Conference might carry copies of Robert’s Rules of Order for long hours of legislative sessions and budget debates. This year, delegates might do better to pack hymnals, work gloves and sneakers. With the seven-week annual conference season under way (having begun with the May 16-18 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference […]

Book Review: Lead like Jesus, not a corporate CEO, says author

Our church leadership culture has failed. It is past time that we set aside the idolatry of corporate leadership structures and rediscover the vastly different way of leading modeled by Jesus.