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Healthy message: Pastor’s weight loss is ministry’s gain

By Yonat Shimron, Faith & Leadership… BAILEY, N.C.—The Sunday bulletins at Bailey and Pleasant Grove United Methodist churches list the usual items: the order of worship, upcoming events, requests for prayers, the total offerings received so far this year. But the bulletins for these two small eastern North Carolina churches also include an entry that […]

Gift of renewal – Donors provide retreat time for UM clergy

By Sally Hicks, Faith & Leadership… Last October, Margot Porterfield and her husband, the Rev. Mark Porterfield, faced big changes in their life together. He was starting a new appointment as pastor at First United Methodist Church in Port Lavaca, Texas. She was going back to full-time work after five years. And with their two […]

Q&A: UM Bishop Willimon takes on the church, through a novel

After writing dozens of books, retired UM Bishop Will Willimon decided to try his hand at a new genre: fiction. A lover of novels, Willimon said that works of fiction are uniquely capable of expressing truth. “I think that fiction gets at truth in very special ways,” he said. “There’s a complexity that fiction deals […]

Facebook and pastoral ministry

By John P. Jackman, Special Contributor… Four years ago, at the urging of younger members in my congregation, I joined Facebook. As a 55-year-old pastor, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I soon discovered that this strange new medium, for the church at least, is about much more than new technology. For us, Facebook […]