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Dawn Wiggins Hare named to lead Commission on Status and Role of Women

By Susan Keaton, Special Contributor… Dawn Wiggins Hare, an Alabama circuit court judge who was honored this year for leadership in her Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference, has been named the top executive of the UMC’s Commission on the Status and Role of Women. The commission’s board elected Hare, of Monroeville, Ala., to the position […]

Two children killed in massacre attended Newtown UMC

By Joanne S. Utley, Special Contributor… Newtown United Methodist Church has a passionate history of reaching out in mission to the world, but now it finds that the world’s attention and caring is riveted on its own tight-knit community in Connecticut.   On Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers and administrators at […]

Commentary: Do for others, but only what they can’t do for themselves

A late evening call to the church: “I’m in a motel with my little girl and I can’t pay the bill tonight and I can’t go home because I’m running away from my husband. Can you give me the money to spend another night here?” A friend accompanied me to the motel where we could […]

Reflections: How I learned the true power of church polity

It was a lesson in Methodist polity that I still remember in surprising detail. It took place in November 1963. On a late Saturday afternoon, I was seated in the parsonage of a pastor whose worship service I planned to attend the following Sunday morning. I and two other companions wanted to meet the pastor […]

GBGM speaks on Gaza

Editor’s note: the General Board of Global Ministries has issued the following: By Melissa Hinnen Consistent with the resolutions of the United Methodist General Conference and with the World Methodist Council resolution on Israel and Palestine, the General Board of Global Ministries condemns the use of violence in the region and asks for prayers for a […]

History of Hymns: ‘Come Sunday’ reflects Duke Ellington’s faith & sacred jazz tradition

“Come Sunday” Duke Ellington UM Hymnal, No. 728 Come Sunday, oh, come Sunday, that’s the day. Duke Ellington (1899-1974) once said, “By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” Yet, this master of jazz has a hymn in the United Methodist Hymnal! […]

“Seeds to Succeed” blooms in Illinois

By Anne Marie Gerhardt, Special Contributor Jennifer Ibarra noticed a Seeds to Succeed ad while riding a train. She looked up the website and decided to sign up to volunteer.  The single mother brought all five of her young children to a community center in Chicago that early Saturday morning and worked for hours weeding […]

Why United Methodists should have a catechism

By Teddy Ray, Special Contributor… William Abraham, of Perkins School of Theology, recounts a conversation at a United Methodist church between one of his friends and a couple who had transferred in from the Southern Baptist tradition. The former Baptists shared that where “before, as Southern Baptists, they had to accept a whole system of […]

Reflections: When it becomes difficult to believe in God

The man simply said, “I no longer believe in God.” It was said without emotion, no effort to be dramatic. Clearly, he did not intend to shock me, or otherwise create a scene. He went on, “I do not believe there is a Supreme Being who looks down to protect me or even cares about […]

UM pastor observes Ramadan, and blogs about it, finding Muslim fans

DALLAS—Muslims all over the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan by going without food or drink from sunup to sundown. And fasting right along with them is a United Methodist pastor in North Texas, the Rev. Wes Magruder. He has found the regimen spiritually renewing, but also challenging.“Our Methodist fasts are very wimpy […]