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Christian retailing group president ‘not necessarily surprised’ by Cokesbury closings

On Monday, the United Methodist Publishing House shook up Methodism by announcing it would close all of its Cokesbury stores, which Methodist clergy and laity – as well other mainline Protestants – have patronized for generations. Many United Methodists reacted negatively to the news, but UMPH said the closings are essential, given that so much bookselling […]

Planting seeds – Exhibit depicts Drew’s role in spreading Methodism to Korea

In 1885, Henry Appenzeller, a recent graduate of Drew Theological Seminary, arrived in Korea with his wife, Ella, and began work as the first Methodist Episcopal Church missionary to the country. Methodism is a strong presence in Korea today, and Drew’s ties to the country remain strong too. The Drew University Library recently installed an […]

Q&A: Faith, comedy & MMA

By Timothy Dalrymple, Patheos.com… In Here Comes the Boom, comedic actor Kevin James plays a burned-out teacher who rediscovers a purpose in life when he commits to raising money for his school’s music program by entering mixed-martial arts (MMA) fights — and losing. Mr. James, who co-produced the film, is a zealous MMC fan and […]

Q&A: Filmmaker explores beliefs about hell

As a seminary student, Kevin Miller’s concentration was epistemology, the study of how we know what we know. You won’t hear the term in his new documentary, Hellbound?, but his background shows. The film is an entertaining and thought-provoking bit of cinematic epistemological inquiry. Mr. Miller interviewed writers, preachers and thinkers from a range of […]

Q&A with hip-hop expert Monica Miller

PORTLAND, Ore.­—Hip-hop’s all the rage at universities and seminaries these days. Scholars parse its angry and often violent language. They sift out refrains of religious redemption or clever critiques of modern culture. In some traditionally African-American divinity schools, the rise and fall of response and call, old-school black preaching, is giving way to intricately rhyming […]

Q&A: Emphasizing ties to United Methodism

The Rev. Cameron West, 62, spent more than two decades in UM parish ministry before going into higher education, first at Brevard College (N.C.) as vice president and dean, and since 2003 as president of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. He’s touted in Bishop Will Willimon’s recent memoir, Bishop (Abingdon Press), with having turned around […]

Q&A: Author Lucado on grace, hope and the future

Prolific author Max Lucado spoke recently to Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service about the topic of his 29th book, Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine (Thomas Nelson), answering a range of questions from people who follow RNS on Twitter. Mr. Lucado, 57, is the minister of preaching at Oak Hills […]

Q&A: By request, Hamilton takes on subject of forgiveness

A survey of church members at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., prompted the Rev. Adam Hamilton to present a sermon series on the topic of forgiveness. That led to a new book, recently published by Abingdon Press, entitled Forgiveness: Finding Peace Though Letting Go.  In it, Mr. Hamilton explores forgiveness in relationships […]

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 […]

Q&A: Expert gives insight into journey through grief

Julie Yarbrough is an active laywoman at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas and the author of a series of grief resources, entitled Beyond the Broken Heart, for Abingdon Press. Special contributor Sheron Patterson talked with the author for a Q&A about grief; here are excerpts. Why the title Beyond the Broken Heart? In […]