Archives for December 2014

After living without God for a year, former pastor Ryan Bell no longer believes

After chronicling the last 12 months on his blog Year Without God, Bell — who now works as director of community engagement at People Assisting the Homeless in Southern California — announced in an interview with NPR that he no longer believes in God.

Can you question the Virgin Birth and still be a Christian?

It’s a tough sell: A young, unmarried teenager gets pregnant, but the father isn’t a man but God himself. And the girl is a virgin — and (some believe) remains one even after she delivers a strapping baby boy.

Where did new UMC ministers go to seminary?

What sort of theological training has shaped the new clergy coming through the United Methodist Church’s pipeline?

New Reinsurance Partner Swiss Re effective 1/1/15; board pleased with UMI’s continued success insuring UM churches

Chuck Hamilton, President of United Methodist Insurance (UMI) is pleased to announce that UMI has selected Swiss Re (rated A+ by A.M. Best) as its new reinsurance partner, effective January 1, 2015.

United Methodist Church Foundation Board Elects New Officers, Expands Ministries

During the meeting, the directors engaged in a strategic planning process that focused on the diversity of ministries endowed and the growth of assets under management thus far.

United Methodists in Africa Distributing Ebola Resource

Africans plagued by the deadly Ebola virus are receiving in-depth information about the outbreak in a brochure produced by medical experts at Vanderbilt University and printed by United Methodists in Liberia.

United Methodist Church to Close After Dismissing Gay Choir Director

First United Methodist Church in Alexandria Indiana will be closing its doors at the end of 2014. The closure is due in part to the loss of 80% of the congregation after the dismissal of the choir director, Adam Fraley, an openly gay man. From the Herald Bulletin “Alexandria Church to Close at Year’s End” […]

Social-justice agency applauds President Obama’s intention to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church applauds President Barack Obama’s instructions to Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba with the intent of re-establishing diplomatic relations, including re-opening an embassy in Havana. Our Methodist, ecumenical partners, and CIEMAL (Council of Evangelical […]

300 years after his birth, Whitefield has staying power with evangelicals

“A major part of his success is that he mastered the new media of his day,” said Thomas S. Kidd, author of the new book “George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father.”

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

As I trudged through what should have been the most compelling part I got the impression that God was some petulant child enamored with his own power who took things too far.