Consider consequences of UMC breakup

By Ted A. Campbell, Special Contributor… The possibility of dividing the United Methodist Church as a way out of persistent conflicts over homosexuality has been raised enough times in recent years to warrant serious reflection on what it would entail. The fact that Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans have all seen either formal divisions or significant […]

Give it up – UMs mark Lent by giving up, giving away and helping out

Two or three times a week, Allison Griffin meets business associates at a Starbucks around town. Each time, she pays $3.75 for an iced espresso drink. But during Lent, which began Feb. 13 and ends on Easter Sunday, March 31, Ms. Griffin is foregoing the espresso and making do with a cup of ice water. […]

Cecil and Janice – Unlikely pair writes of leading Glide Memorial UMC

They are the odd couple of United Methodism, but the ministry results can hardly be questioned. The Rev. Cecil Williams, a destined-to-be-a-pastor African American and extreme extrovert, and Janice Mirikitani, a Japanese American introvert and religious skeptic, led Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco to become one of the UMC’s largest and most service-oriented churches—and […]

Notable UM Newsmaker of 2012 – William Lawrence

There are plenty of critics of the Judicial Council’s high-profile decisions in 2012. But nobody can accuse the council of blowing with the prevailing winds, since it overruled majority actions of both General Conference and the South Central Jurisdiction. The Rev. William B. Lawrence led the Judicial Council through much of this tumultuous year, even […]

Family cemetery draws minister’s interest

By Melissa Repko, The Dallas Morning News… UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas—Before the brick homes and shaded yards, the tree swings and the trimmed hedges, before there was even a town, there was a family cemetery. Daniel Family Cemetery has existed almost as long as Texas has been a state, and its more than 90 tombstones span […]

All In – Don’t look now, but Methodists are getting dunked

The Rev. David Lee had a request this summer from a girl finishing confirmation class. She wanted to be baptized by immersion. Mr. Lee, in his second clergy appointment, had never done a baptism that way. And the church, Covenant UMC in Charlotte, N.C., had no place to immerse anyone. But a woman helping with […]

Here comes the bride, so where’s the pastor?

By Alyce McKenzie, Special Contributor… Most of my crisis expertise has to do with pastoral situations. I once prayed with a young woman trapped in the front seat of her car after an accident and calmed her down until the medics arrives. I’ve prayed with students scared about preaching their first sermons, with families in […]

Q&A: How to avoid going awry with sermons

In their new book, What Not to Say: Avoiding the Common Mistakes That Can Sink Your Sermon (Westminster John Knox Press), authors John C. Holbert and Alyce M. McKenzie offer advice for avoiding common pitfalls in preaching. Dr. McKenzie is professor of homiletics at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; Dr. Holbert, who […]

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