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Q&A: Tough love for ‘spiritual but not religious’

So you’re spiritual, but not religious? “Please, stop boring me,” retorts the Rev. Lillian Daniel. Her Huffington Post blog on the topic went viral in 2011, and now she’s published a new book: When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church (Jericho Books, 2013). Ms. Daniel is […]

Q&A: Olympic medalist talks faith, forgiveness, matzo ball soup

Gabrielle Douglas, who walked away with the gymnastic gold at the London Olympics, is out with her first book, Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith (Zondervan). Ms. Douglas, who turns 17 on New Year’s Eve, talked with Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service about her prayer life, her love of matzo ball […]

Q&A: UM college student wins Rhodes

A United Methodist student from a United Methodist-affiliated college is among the 32 students in the U.S. selected for the Rhodes Scholar Class of 2013. Rachel Woodlee, a Wofford College senior from Greer, S.C., learned in November that she had been selected. She and fellow Wofford student Brian Novak McCracken, a senior from Anderson, S.C., […]

Q&A: Anti-malaria drive passes $26 million

By Sandra Long Weaver, United Methodist News Service… As Imagine No Malaria advocacy days began this month in Washington, D.C., Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who chairs the UMC’s Global Health Initiative, told participants the campaign has already passed the $26 million goal set for Jan. 31, 2013, and is moving toward $40 million by next June. […]

Q&A: Pastor goes all out for images—and for Africa

Nature photography is a passion for the Rev. Rodney Steele, senior pastor of First UMC of Mountain Home, Ark. Mr. Steele, 58, made a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and came away inspired to sell his images to raise money for clean water projects there. He shared about that effort, and his hobby, […]

Q&A: A Candid history of Christmas’ origins

While many may long for the true, “spiritual” Christmas from bygone days, the Rev. Bruce Forbes says that it never really existed. In his book Christmas: A Candid History, Dr. Forbes argues that the holiday as we know it today has always been part religious observance, and part party. Dr. Forbes, an ordained United Methodist […]

Q&A: Encouraging fearless talk about the Bible

Spending an intense year studying what the Bible had to say about women led the author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Thomas Nelson) to confront her worst fears about Scripture—and to draw closer to God. Rachel Held Evans didn’t write the book just to have more conversations about gender roles and women in the […]

Q&A: The power of the pulpit and the church

Every day, the church must use all its power, spiritual and otherwise, to work for the good of the gospel, says the Rev. Zan Holmes Jr. As a religious and political leader in Dallas, Texas for almost 30 years, he knows well the uses of power. He served two terms in the Texas Legislature and, […]

Q&A: A 21st-century roadmap for the church

Author and futurist Leonard Sweet serves as the E. Stanley Jones professor of evangelism at UMC-affiliated Drew University, Madison, N.J., and visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University, Portland, Ore. His most recent books include The Greatest Story Never Told: Revive Us Again (Abingdon Press) and Viral: How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival […]

Q&A: Are church musicians and ministers allies—or rivals?

Eileen Guenther, the national president of the American Guild of Organists, reveals behind-the-scenes church struggles in her new book, Rivals or a Team?: Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century (MorningStar Music Publishers). Dr. Guenther, an associate professor of church music at UMC-affiliated Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and the former organist at Foundry United […]