GC Shorts — Confirmation is cool again

Sparkhouse unveils a new confirmation curriculum in the Exhibit Hall. Wes Magruder

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 […]

Recently Read: The inconvenience of apportionments

by B. Kevin Smalls Visit his blog at bkevinsmalls.wordpress.com. I remember growing up hearing the complaints of how costly apportionments are to some local churches. “We don’t have that many people.” “Our building is falling down around us.” “We have needs in our own backyard.” Sadly, I’ve also seen the passive-aggressive ways of congregations to punish […]

Chuck Knows Church Launches New Show Jan. 12

Chuck Knows Church is expanding to a new series, and this time Chuck is on a church committee!

Being Vital by Recovering a Lost Practice

In 2010 a study was released by the United Methodist Church that revealed that one key factor that vital congregations shared was starting and maintaining small groups. This finding is something deeply Methodist because the revival and amazing movement built by John Wesley was in many ways a small group revival. At the center of […]

New resource released to guide ministry with veterans

In preparation for the observance in the U.S. of Veteran’s Day on November 11, United Methodist Communications has released as a part of their RETHINK CHURCH initiative a new resource for congregations and church leaders.

History of Hymns: Priest bases hymn on call to be ‘fishers of men’

Of his five hymns in the UM Hymnal, “Pescador de Hombres” (“Fisher of Men”), the original Spanish title, is the most popular and indeed, one of the more popular newer hymns in the hymnal. Written in 1979, “Tú has venido a la orilla” (the Spanish opening line) is based on the parallel passages found in the synoptic gospels on Jesus’ calling of his first disciples (Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).

Reading list: Leadership ideas to help the church

By Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Special Contributor… Editor’s note: United Methodist Bishop Goodpaster shares brief reflections on the books he read during the first few months of 2012. Boundary Spanning Leadership by Chris Ernst and Donna Chrobot-Mason (McGraw-Hill, 2010) If there is one leadership book on this list that should be a must-read, this is it. […]

History of Hymns: Hymn celebrates role of music in worship

Even though it is a 21st-century hymn text, it is hard to separate “When Words Alone Cannot Express” from the familiar 17th-century hymn tune for which it was written—LASST UNS ERFREUEN, a tune often associated with the hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King.” The Rev. John Thornburg’s hymn uses this singable and triumphant melody to provide an explanation of the role of music in worship.

History of Hymns: Tindley hymn envisions journey toward heaven

Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933) was one of the eminent preachers of Methodism at the turn of the 20th century. In a collection of Tindley hymns, Beams of Heaven (General Board of Global Ministries, 2006) Emory University hymnologist James Abbington calls Tindley a “pastor, orator, poet, writer, theologian, social activist, ‘father of African American Hymnody,’ ‘progenitor of African American gospel music’ and ‘prince of preachers.’”

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