Q&A: On bringing new life to a ‘dying church’

The Rev. Paul Nixon is a UM minister, church consultant and author, based in Washington, D.C. His new book We Refused to Lead a Dying Church! (The Pilgrim Press) profiles 15 comeback congregations, eight of them United Methodist. He agreed to an email interview with managing editor Sam Hodges. You wrote a popular, influential book […]

The enduring influence of Clarence Jordan

What were the odds that a white Southern Baptist preacher would start an interracial Christian community in the rural South in 1942, long before federal court decisions and legislation began to dismantle legal segregation? Throw in that this preacher would be openly pacifist, right in the middle of World War II, and the prospect seems […]

Bluegrass star records at hometown UM church

Home is a favorite theme in bluegrass music, so it’s fitting that Rhonda Vincent would choose the church of her childhood, Greentop United Methodist Church in tiny Greentop, Mo., for recording a live gospel album. “I didn’t just want to go to a random church,” she said in a phone interview. “I wanted it to […]

Communities of Shalom turns 20 amid challenges

PJ Davis runs the Gallatin Shalom Zone, in Gallatin, Tenn., which last year served nearly 7,000 clients with a range of programs and social services, on a shoestring budget, with lots of volunteer help. Gallatin Shalom Zone has been around since 1996, but Ms. Davis still finds herself answering why a United Methodist-sponsored effort would […]

Black Methodists for Church Renewal offers support for Bishop Talbert

Black Methodists for Church Renewal says it stands by retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, subject of a censure effort for advocating that UM pastors officiate at same-sex unions. Here’s a statment from BMCR: Last month a group of United Methodist laity and pastors who claim to stand for “scriptural integrity and covenantal unity within The United […]

Hugs, tributes and pain as bishop leaves

FLOWER MOUND, Texas—Bishop Earl Bledsoe said goodbye to the North Texas Conference at a reception for him on Aug. 26 that included many hugs and kind words, but also recognition of the pained circumstances of his departure. “I hold no ill will, no grudges, no nothing—but God’s love for you,” he told a crowd of […]

Casad leaving Connectional Table

Mary Brooke Casad is stepping down as executive secretary of the UMC’s Connectional Table.  “As our denomination has taken on the adaptive challenge of creating, fostering and sustaining vital congregations, I have been prayerfully contemplating my role in this endeavor,” she said in a statement. “My resignation is based on a desire to be more […]