Archives for August 2014

Recently Read: RIP, average attendance

David Odom, Executive Director of Leadership Education at the Duke Divinity School, recently unpacked the growing uselessness of worship attendance as a metric of church vitality at the Faith & Leadership site: The growing lack of dependability on attendance is a sign that the virtuous cycles that have sustained congregations since the end of World […]

Is James Foley a martyr? A brutal death sparks a faith-based debate

From the moment news broke that U.S. journalist James Foley had been beheaded by Islamic State extremists in the Middle East, many Christians began calling him a martyr

UMCom chief exec to retire next year

Nashville, Tenn. — The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, announced today his plans to retire in the next 9-10 months. Rev. Hollon will reach the mandatory retirement age for elective and appointive staff of United Methodist general agencies. Although the mandatory retirement age for clergy is not until age 72, there is a […]

Why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Mark Driscoll’s downfall

By JONATHAN MERRITT c. 2014 Religion News Service (RNS) The hyper-masculine minister Mark Driscoll has been effectively neutered. The Seattle megachurch pastor who announced Sunday (Aug. 24) that he was stepping down for at least six weeks while church leaders review charges he abused his power, will likely never write another book. If he does, far fewer will read […]

New church planters gain networking, new resources from road trip

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Church planters, who often feel isolated as they work to establish new churches and faith communities , will be more connected and have better resources as a result of a road trip New Church Starts (Path 1) made throughout the five jurisdictions of the United Methodist Church. During the summer of 2013, staff […]

William McElvaney, social justice advocate, dies at 86

By Sam Hodges Aug. 24, 2014 | DALLAS (UMNS) The Rev. William McElvaney, a retired United Methodist pastor and seminary president known for social justice advocacy, died Sunday Aug. 24, at his Dallas home. He was 86.McElvaney had recently informed members of Northaven United Methodist Church, where he was pastor emeritus, that his liver cancer had […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: A Final Word of Thanks

Editor’s note: Last week Dr. Donald Haynes informed us his intention to end his service to UMR and the broader church through his Wesleyan Wisdom column. For 8 years we’ve been honored to feature valuable commentary by Dr. Haynes on life and practice in the UMC. We’ve especially appreciated the focus on learning from our […]

Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on food banks

Nationwide, 25 percent of military families — 620,000 households — need help putting food on the table, according to a study by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks.

“The results are alarming,” said Bob Aiken, chief executive officer of Feeding America. “It means that people in America have to make trade-offs. They have to pick between buying food for their children or paying for utilities, rent and medicine.”

One in seven Americans — 46 million people — rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, the study found.

Looney Named 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church

The Foundation for Evangelism announces the selection of Bishop Richard C. Looney as the 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church.

As a member of the Holston Annual Conference, Looney served appointments in Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, shared in Pulpit Exchanges in England and Australia, and work missions in Peru, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Board approves budget, prepares for General Conference 2016

By Nicole Burdakin NASHVILLE, Tn: A report on the Young Clergy Initiative, a discussion about the state of theological education and necessary preparations for General Conference 2016 were included in the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Board of Directors meeting, Aug. 6-8 in Nashville. The Board also approved a $42.55 million budget for […]