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We need ‘call to holiness’ more than Call to Action

By Sarah S. Howell, Special Contributor • • • At Christ in the Desert Monastery in Abiquiu, N.M., when the sun goes down, so do you. With limited electricity and a prayer schedule that begins at 4 a.m., there is no holding back the darkness. Sunset is not to be fought but embraced as a […]

Faith requires saying ‘no’ to death penalty

By Becca Clark, Special Contributor • • • I’m proud to live in a state that does not have the death penalty. I’m a staunch pacifist, and I believe that nonviolence isn’t weakness, but requires profound strength. It is by no means easy. Vermont State Police arrested a couple recently and charged them with second […]

Death of a Daughter: Our experience of grief begins with a good God

By Ben Witherington III, Special Contributor • • • Having recently gone through the devastating experience of having our beautiful 32-year-old daughter die, completely unexpectedly, of a pulmonary embolism, I was determined from Day One (Jan. 11, when she was found dead in her home in Durham, N.C.) to be open to whatever positive thing […]

Pursuing new history between UM Church, indigenous peoples

By Tex Sample John Wesley understood quite clearly the atrocities carried out by Europeans against Native Americans. In his sermon, “A Caution Against Bigotry,” he wrote: “Even cruelty and bloodshed, how little have the Christians come behind them! And not the Spaniards or the Portuguese alone, butchering thousands in South America: not the Dutch only […]

Why numbers won’t motivate us

By Mary Jo Dahlberg I am a layperson, served as Lay Leader for the Minnesota Annual Conference for two quadrenniums, elected to the General Board of Discipleship for two quadrenniums, and now elected a General Conference delegate for the third time. I am a lifelong Methodist/United Methodist and have served the Church, in various positions […]

Look at what unites us, not at what divides

By Bishop Gaspar João Domingos I was glad when they said, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”—Psalm 122:1 What willingness and satisfaction is seen on the face of the Psalmist when he utters these contagious words? These words, even today, are still proclaimed with the same emotions when we remember the day […]

‘Prone to wander’

By Jorge Acevedo “Have you experienced a ‘sense of distance’ among parts of the UM Connection?” My short answer to this question is a sad yet firm “Yes!” The week after Easter 2011, I gathered with many of the pastors of the top 100 largest United Methodist churches in America (in terms of worship attendance) […]

Unity within a diverse church

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner The United Methodist Church in Germany is a small but vital part of our church. Six delegates representing three annual conferences are preparing themselves to travel to Tampa, Fla. They value the fact that they belong to a church serving Christ on four continents and are looking forward to meeting fellow United […]

What will serve as our guide during General Conference?

By Bishop Larry Goodpaster Preparations for the 2012 General Conference began almost as soon as all the delegates departed from the previous General Conference in Fort Worth in May 2008. Many people have worked tirelessly in an effort to make our gathering in Tampa a place of hospitality and hope for our denomination. Now, delegates […]

Four steps toward vitality in our denomination

By Adam Hamilton ••• Special Contributor As an aside, I don’t believe that restructuring the general boards is the key to having a future with hope; I see it as an opportunity to more effectively do the work of the church. This is more than rearranging the proverbial “deck chairs on the Titanic” but if […]