Guest Commentaries term image

Commentary: Democracy and the politics of grace

By Darryl Stephens* In a recent commentary for UMNS, I took up the issue of fairness of representation, focusing whose voices get heard at General Conference. David W. Scott and others have also pointed to the issue of voice in relation to central conference delegates. An underlying theological issue, though, is the relation between democracy […]

Rule 44, Band-Aids, and Heart Transplants

By David F. Watson The so-called “Rule 44” is the latest plot twist in the strange tale we are writing as we approach General Conference. This proposal would alter the process of debate and legislation at General Conference. More specifically, it would involve setting aside Robert’s Rules of Order and instead undertaking a small group […]

Commentary: This is not okay. UM Pension Board video crosses the line

Editor’s Note: The General Board of Pensions & Health Benefits removed the original video mentioned in this commentary and replaced with the video below. Please be aware of this as you read this article.  By Rev. Jenny Phillips The United Methodist pension board is showing a new video at delegate briefings outside the US that […]

Commentary: Would Solomon cut the UMC in two?

by Patrick Scriven* If there was one biblical text I could recommend for people navigating deep church conflict, it would be I Kings 3:16-28. It is a familiar story often told to illustrate the wisdom of King Solomon. In it, the fabled King is approached by two women, identified as prostitutes, who share a home […]

Commentary: Good church members or disruptive disciples?

by The Rev. Christy Thomas I was in conversation last night with a good friend about the nature of discipleship. She’s been placed in charge of discipleship for her large church, a United Methodist congregation. We chatted about the history of discipleship plans there. Mostly they involved making sure the Sunday school classes were properly […]

How Big Data disrupts Narratives of #UMC Decline

by Jeremy Smith Big Data in the UMC challenges the narrative of decline “due to progressive Christianity,” and shows what role each of us is to play to handle the coming winnowing of the church. Recently the data for 2014 came out on the United Methodist Church in America, showing a 1.6% drop in membership […]

Words-even words on Facebook-matter

by Ashlee Alley If your Facebook newsfeed is like mine, you’ve got some angry (and scared) politically conservative friends and some angry (and scared) politically progressive friends. Today we’re all angry (and scared) as we see the news about another mass shooting. We’re united in our fear and outrage, but soon the blame game is […]

No More Excuses

by Liz Herrick We’ve all seen that picture. You know the one, of Obama saying “We must find homes for 10,000 Syrian/Muslim refugees…” followed by a picture of a man lying on the ground with a caption that says “…1 of 50,000 homeless veterans.” If you haven’t seen it, go look it up for yourself, […]

Leading Young People To Theologically Minded Faith

by Fred Edie This article is featured in the Youth Ministry: A Part of the Church or Apart from the Church? (Nov/Dec/Jan 2015-16) issue of Circuit Rider For too long Christians have thought of theology as an esoteric academic discipline, the province of supercilious, tenured scholars scheming behind the fortified walls of ivory towers. We […]

Should Christians welcome Syrian refugees into the United States?

  *by Rev Dr. David F. Watson Greg Abbott, the governor of my home states of Texas, recently tweeted the following: BREAKING: Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees & I demand the U.S. act similarly. Security comes first. — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 16, 2015 Abbott also recently tweeted this meme: For you were […]