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Commentary: God should be the protagonist

By Alyce McKenzie, Special Contributor… I am teaching a course on preaching and storytelling at Perkins School of Theology this spring. Every Tuesday afternoon, 12 of us gather to hear stories, tell stories and reflect on why they are so powerful and how they function in our lives. We’re shaping an understanding of Christian preaching […]

Little-known Christmas tune offers consolation after Newtown tragedy

By Alyce McKenzie, Special Contributor… I just got back from a family road trip to Austin, Texas to visit our oldest daughter Melissa. My husband brought his extensive collection of Christmas music. I debated writing a lighthearted blog about all the people who have made Christmas albums through the years who shouldn’t have. Examples might […]

Wrap It Up! Books on faith still gladden hearts at Christmas

By Sam Hodges, Managing Editor and Mary Jacobs, Staff Writer… Getting pleasantly lost in a bookstore isn’t easy to do anymore. Bookstores have continued to close as readers and publishers embrace online book sales, digital books and e-readers. The recent announcement by the United Methodist Publishing House that all Cokesbury stores will be shuttered by […]

Applying a movie cliché to the Gospel of John

By Alyce McKenzie, Special Contributor… I recently attended a screenwriter’s conference in Taos, N.M. One of the topics we discussed was movie clichés to avoid in our scripts. It turns out that the most overworked cliché in recent decades is “You just don’t get it, do you?” Dr. Evil says it in an Austin Powers […]

Here comes the bride, so where’s the pastor?

By Alyce McKenzie, Special Contributor… Most of my crisis expertise has to do with pastoral situations. I once prayed with a young woman trapped in the front seat of her car after an accident and calmed her down until the medics arrives. I’ve prayed with students scared about preaching their first sermons, with families in […]

Q&A: How to avoid going awry with sermons

In their new book, What Not to Say: Avoiding the Common Mistakes That Can Sink Your Sermon (Westminster John Knox Press), authors John C. Holbert and Alyce M. McKenzie offer advice for avoiding common pitfalls in preaching. Dr. McKenzie is professor of homiletics at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; Dr. Holbert, who […]