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Q&A: Tough love for ‘spiritual but not religious’

So you’re spiritual, but not religious? “Please, stop boring me,” retorts the Rev. Lillian Daniel. Her Huffington Post blog on the topic went viral in 2011, and now she’s published a new book: When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church (Jericho Books, 2013). Ms. Daniel is […]

Crash Course – Alpha courses offer basics of Christian faith

Jim Charlton was serving on the evangelism committee at Wheatland Salem Church in Naperville, Ill., when he first heard of the Alpha course. While the United Methodist congregation advertised, “we really weren’t doing evangelism,” he said. “We were not providing a venue for people to hear the gospel and respond to it.” So Mr. Charlton […]

Bottle-Cap Christmas Tree graces N.Y. church front

Like most church cookbooks, the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew’s This and That cookbook offers recipes for chicken casseroles and Jell-O salads. But the cookbook also offers the “recipe” for making another of the congregation’s specialties: the Bottle-Cap Christmas Tree. The tree, installed in front of the United Methodist church’s building on New […]

Relief work begins after East Coast hurricane

Entire coastal towns underwater. Millions without power. A paralyzed New York City. Days after Hurricane Sandy rolled across a huge swath of the eastern United States, United Methodists began springing into action. Churches opened their doors as shelters, community centers and recharging stations, and United Methodist disaster response coordinators began deploying teams of volunteers to […]

Q&A: Filmmaker explores beliefs about hell

As a seminary student, Kevin Miller’s concentration was epistemology, the study of how we know what we know. You won’t hear the term in his new documentary, Hellbound?, but his background shows. The film is an entertaining and thought-provoking bit of cinematic epistemological inquiry. Mr. Miller interviewed writers, preachers and thinkers from a range of […]

Kids’ stuff – The tricky art of the children’s sermon

If you’ve attended United Methodist churches long enough, you probably recognize this squirm-worthy scene: A pastor seated on the floor, trying to cue the kids to say the darnedest things. Or, it’s a well-intended layperson, slogging through a wordy message. Surrounding the speaker are wriggly children who aren’t paying much attention. It’s the gone-awry version […]

Q&A: The church’s role in restoring creation

Fred Bahnson is co-author of Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation (InterVarsity Press, 2012). In 2005 Mr. Bahnson co-founded Anathoth Community Garden, a ministry of Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in Cedar Grove, N.C., which he directed until 2009. He now speaks and writes full time about the intersection of […]

Clothed in the spirit – Clergy stoles taking expressive forms

On Sunday mornings, the Rev. Kenny Dickson dons his robes for the early service, a traditional Methodist worship. For the mid-morning gospel service, he wears a suit and tie. And for the late service, a contemporary worship, he preaches in shirt sleeves and slacks. But at all three services, Mr. Dickson wears a stole: a […]

Q&A: Doing good, being holy

The Rev. Christopher Momany is chaplain of United Methodist-related Adrian College in Adrian, Mich., and an ordained United Methodist minister who served as pastor of several churches in New Jersey and western Michigan. His book, Doing Good: A Grace-Filled Approach to Holiness (Abingdon Press, 2011) explores the Wesleyan ethic of holy love.  He answered questions […]

You go, Girl Scouts! At 100, group still a UM presence

Jillian Cooper, 13, and her Girl Scout troop are looking forward to a trip this fall to Savannah, Ga., to visit the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912. And they’re going with the help and blessing of her church, East Ridge United Methodist in East Ridge, […]