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Commentary: Sundance – Imagining the world as it ought to be

It’s been said that Hollywood films comfort the afflicted while Sundance films afflict the comfortable. Film offers a vicarious entry to the world the way it is, and the films I saw at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival left me longing for a different world—the world the way it ought to be. It ought to […]

Giving your best: No room for slack

By Lovett H. Weems Jr., Special Contributor… A phrase made popular by management writer Philip Crosby is, “Quality is free.” It reminds us that efforts to ensure that work is done right do not cost us time and money. It is the errors that cost. Just think how much extra time and effort are required […]

Commentary: Zero Dark Thirty tortures truth about interrogations

By Morris Davis and Richard Killmer, Religion News Service… Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty than the truth about torture. While it’s just a movie, it runs the risk of becoming the basis for a false view of reality for millions of moviegoers who have largely ignored […]

Commentary: Witnessing for Christ amid growing diversity

By Stephen Rankin, Special Contributor… You may have read or heard that the 113th Congress just installed its first Hindu member of the House, its first Buddhist senator (who admits that she doesn’t currently “practice”) and its first “none” (no religious affiliation of any sort), who is also the first openly bisexual member of Congress. […]

Commentary: Mergers can help churches to thrive—not just survive

By Ann A. Michel, Special Contributor… In their book Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work (Jossey-Bass, 2012), Jim Tomberlin and Warren Bird examine the recent wave of church mergers. The book makes the bold claim that mission-driven mergers have the potential to transform the church world by expanding the impact of strong churches while revitalizing plateaued or […]

Commentary: Ways to strengthen the academy and the church

By Christopher Momany, Special Contributor… Some years ago I served on a regional credentialing board of the United Methodist Church. Our primary task was interviewing candidates for ordained ministry, and I actually had the audacity to think we were interested in theologically astute talent. Yet when one exceedingly bright young seminary graduate presented herself, the […]

2012 election made statement for inclusivity

By Gilbert Caldwell, Special Contributor… The Nov. 6 election expressed how we in the United States intend “to live our lives together.” I use this language because in the Episcopal Greetings in the Book of Discipline it is said, “This is the most current statement of how United Methodists agree to live their lives together.” […]

Will it be revolution or strangulation for UMC?

By Christy Thomas, Special Contributor… The United Methodist Church cannot be re-formed. It’s over for us with our current structure. The Judicial Council’s decision to revoke the involuntary retirement of Bishop Earl Bledsoe over issues of violation of procedural minutia found in the Book of Discipline (not over the question of his effectiveness, which was […]

Lessons for Methodists in Biblical Womanhood book

By Morgan Guyton, Special Contributor… A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband ‘Master’ Rachel Held Evans Thomas Nelson, 2012 Paperback, 352 pages As an evangelical Christian growing up in the Deep South, Rachel Held Evans was surrounded by the concept […]

Building relationships, across the ‘power lines’

By Sarah Howell, Special Contributor… I hate footwashing services. OK, let me qualify that. I just don’t like having my feet washed. My feet are weird-looking. I am very self-conscious about even the possibility of having body odor. In the past, I’ve intentionally volunteered to do something behind the scenes in such services so as […]