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Judicial Council needs a change of worldview

By Joe Whittemore, Special Contributor… A few hours before the adjournment of the 2012 General Conference, the highly controversial Decision No. 1210 issued by the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church addressed and overturned restructure Plan UMC, which had been approved by a 59.62 percent vote of the General Conference. This hasty council decision […]

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 […]

The good news behind the church’s struggles

By Michael Sullivan, Special Contributor… When I was in high school, I attended our parish youth group every week; I suppose the handwriting was already on the wall as to my future vocation. Frisbee, scavenger hunts and spaghetti suppers, along with some Bible studies, I remember to this day were the programs of our youth. […]

Yes, bishop’s forced retirement is a race issue

By Henry L. Masters Sr., Special Contributor… I am an ashamed United Methodist! The action of the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ) to force Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe into retirement was a sad and shameful day for me. I am a lifelong United Methodist with four decades of pastoral ministry. The unprecedented action of the 2012 […]

UM agency boards being reduced, but not reformed

By Robert Sparkman, Special Contributor… “We did not restructure the church, but at least we reduced the size of the boards.” That has been a consistent report from General Conference. Reducing the size of the boards was a recommendation of the Call to Action; the boards wrote petitions to accomplish that; and proposals were passed […]

Why a budget crunch is looming for the UMC

By Teddy Ray, Special Contributor… I recently asked a friend who is business administrator of his church to run a quick analysis for me. My specific question: “How much of your church’s contributions come from people age 55 and over?” His answer was “70 percent.” My friend was unflinching. “Isn’t it just always that way?” […]