Archives for May 2013

Costs are in, implications still debated, in Bishop Bledsoe controversy

The arguments go on about whether the victim in the failed effort to oust Bishop Earl Bledsoe was accountability for bishops or Bishop Bledsoe himself. What’s beyond dispute is that the episode came at a cost, including financial. The South Central Jurisdiction recently paid nearly $100,000 to cover legal fees and other expenses of Bishop […]

UM minister urges mental health education

At 23, Dan Magrini was a brilliant student, had lots of friends, a supportive, caring family and was starting college at the school of his choice in a field he loved, creative writing. He had struggled with migraines that started around the sixth grade. When the migraines got worse in high school, his mother took […]

History of Hymns: Hymn uses fire metaphor to describe Holy Spirit

Inspiration for composing a hymn comes to Dr. Duck through a variety of avenues. While some hymns are born out of personal experiences, others are commissioned by individuals, congregations or hymnal committees. “Living Spirit, Holy Fire,” included in the United Methodist collection Worship & Song (2011), stems from her interaction with Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC, in Oak Park, Ill.

Reflections: Recall, and look ahead – on Heritage Sunday

No one would be more surprised than John Wesley, to observe the worldwide impact of his ministry today. He uttered those famous words, “I look on all the world as my parish,” and the result of his notion of spreading the gospel far and near, is the ongoing Wesleyan and Methodist movement in every corner […]

Aging Well: Our faith helps us resist the temptations of aging

I couldn’t help but laugh when my 89-year-old friend made a confession. “Some days I need a tractor to pull me out of my rut!” she exclaimed exasperatedly. It’s true for all of us. Without realizing it, we spin our wheels, repeating the same behavior, until we’ve created ruts so deep that the only thing […]

Film festival world premiere features UM clergy

By Amy Forbus, Special Contributor… BATESVILLE, Ark.—This year’s Ozark Foothills FilmFest, held April 3-7, featured 34 films, one of which holds special connections for United Methodists in Arkansas. Black Marks on White Paper, an hour-long documentary, made its world premiere April 5, with both the filmmaker—retired clergyman the Rev. Bob Hager—and the film’s subject—retired Bishop […]

Sevierville spirit – Husband-wife team leads fast-growing Hispanic congregation

By Annette Spence, Special Contributor… SEVIERVILLE, Tenn.—Three years ago, Susana Lopez was a translator in a furniture factory. Wilmer Lopez made a living out of laying tile and carpet. Today, the couple is co-pastoring what might be the largest Hispanic congregation in East Tennessee, and one of the fastest-growing Hispanic churches in the United Methodist […]

Ogletree: Change UM church law regarding homosexuality

By Thomas Ogletree, Special Contributor… As a lifelong United Methodist, an ordained elder in the New York Conference, and a scholar specializing in theological and social ethics, I am profoundly grateful for the efforts of Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), their affiliate Methodists in New Directions (MIND), and similar organizations, to foster marriage equality for LGBT […]

Lambrecht: Don’t ignore Scripture in weighing UM position on homosexuality

By Thomas A. Lambrecht, Special Contributor… I appreciate the opportunity to engage the views of the Rev. Thomas Ogletree, who currently stands charged with performing a same-sex marriage in conscious defiance of United Methodist Church polity. He was in the difficult position of discerning how to balance his desire to love and affirm his son […]

Q&A: The ‘Quiet Pentecost’ of spiritual formation

United Methodists worried about declining church membership may be overlooking a more subtle renewal that’s underway, writes the Rev. Dwight H. Judy in his new book, A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life (Upper Room Books, 2013). Dr. Judy is a retired elder in the North Texas Conference and professor emeritus of spiritual […]