Dispatch From The Front Line

  by Rev. Wes Magruder A group of men and women in high-res yellow vests huddle around a fire in a barrel on the beach as the wind picks up off the Aegean Sea. Suddenly, someone shouts and there is a flurry of activity, as people rush to their cars and take off screaming down […]

Five Things The United Methodist Church is Doing Right

by Marty Cauley Frustrated with the Negativity! If I read one more well intentioned article about what the church, particularly The United Methodist Church, is doing wrong I think I will scream. Yes, I know we are struggling with years of decline. I know our buildings are old, our polity is complicated, and we are not […]

On Keeping Quiet and Feeling Alone: A personal story for Mental Health Awareness month of May

by Laura Coward A few years ago I met with a new personal trainer at my gym. Without any races coming up, I was having trouble sticking to a workout schedule. At least, that’s what I told him. We spent the first 20 minutes of the meeting laughing about the worst workouts/exercises we’ve paid to […]

Let Us Be Lifelong Learners: An Open Letter to Bishop Goodpaster

“I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old. I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.” These words rang through the sanctuary, as the lovely couple made their way down the aisle. Surrounded by family and friends, Jim and John exchanged vows, entering into […]

A Nearly Forgotten Exemplar of Generous Orthodoxy

Like a number of other words, “orthodoxy” (or “orthodox”) has become a fighting word. People who call themselves “orthodox” (as I do) get taken to task by others suspicious of our motives. Apparently, we are hellbent to impose our narrow, outmoded, beliefs on others and either force them to capitulate or force them out of […]

Commentary: A difficult obedience

by Michael J. Gehring* Adam Hamilton, in the closing session of the 2015 Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, related how he and the other ministers at the church work diligently to foster a culture of call. In Sunday school classes, youth meetings, and in other venues, they encourage youth and […]

Commentary: Don’t escalate the war

by the Reverend Michael Tupper* The Covenantal Unity Plan (CUP) proposed by Dr. Bill Arnold is more likely to escalate the 44 year civil war in the United Methodist Church over LGBTQ inclusion than to lessen it. This General Conference legislation would enact severe mandatory sentences for pastors who officiate at same gender weddings. Many […]

Commentary: A proposal for automatic penalties for clergy

Is it time for the United Methodist Church to do away with church trials to adopt a more efficient system of automatic penalties for wayward clergy?

Mystic Chapel: An example of a ritual use review

By Taylor Burton Edwards* Introduction I’ve had hymns, hymnals and congregational singing on my mind a lot over this past year or two. We at Discipleship Ministries and the Publishing House had been in negotiations since 2014 about bringing a proposal for a new hymnal to General Conference this year. We’ve come to agree on […]

Commentary: Why excluding people makes bad church law

The 2016 General Conference faces a daunting task of acting on hundreds of legislative reports and petitions in only ten days. But no task at hand is more important than correcting 44 years of unconstitutional and exclusionary church law on human sexuality.