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Reflections: To ‘Reporter’ readers, a sad but hope-filled goodbye

Like many of my generation, I remember how much newspapers informed my early worldview. Every adult I knew read “the papers” daily. In New York City, where I grew up, there were at one time at least seven daily newspapers as well as papers printed in languages other than English. As a boy riding the […]

Reflections: A little child is murdered, and what is our response?

Last month something occurred in Brunswick, Ga., so horrific that it seems incomprehensible. On March 21 a mother walked the streets of the quiet South Georgia town, pushing her 13-month-old baby boy in a stroller. I am sure it seemed routine to her. She probably had walked those streets countless times. But this time would […]

Reflections: Annual tour brings 1960s rights struggle to life

I teach a course titled “The Methodist Church and Race” at Candler School of Theology, as part of my responsibility as bishop in residence. The course not only examines the history of race in the church—from the beginnings of U.S. Methodism in the American colonies to the present—but in the nation at large, as well. […]

Reflections: Can we ‘raise our voices’ in a new song for Easter?

Easter celebrations are filled with traditions. The hymns we sing, choir anthem selections, special prayers and litanies. Even sermons do not wander far from the norm, and there are certain phrases in particular religious traditions that are integral to the Easter message. Perhaps no other worship service is quite so predictable. Most worshippers have come […]

Reflections: It’s OK to feel helpless—but never hopeless

Perhaps at some time, you have experienced a sense of utter helplessness. Most of us, I am sure, know how it feels to want so badly to change a situation but have no power to do so. It can be especially hard for those accustomed to moving through life independently, managing even difficult circumstances with […]

Reflections: Things that fill my soul in Black History Month

The observance this year of Black History Month has nearly concluded. In many communities and churches, special times were set aside for sharing and celebrating a part of the nation’s journey. America—as a country made up of immigrants and the native peoples indigenous to the land—holds a multiplicity of cultures and places of origin. The […]

Reflections: Lent – Season of regret, with cleansing to come

How can Lent be here already? It seems we were just celebrating Christmas. But Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, signals the beginning of this solemn season of 40 days. On the High Holy Day of Easter, we will join Christians around the world in celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection. But first we must prepare ourselves. How will […]

Reflections: A ‘changing landscape’ – How will we respond?

My colleague and friend Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, who presides over the Boston Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, recently brought to the attention of members of the Council of Bishops an interesting article that caught his attention in a newspaper in India. The headline reported: “First Hindu U.S. Legislator Makes History with Oath on […]

Reflections: As we search for answers and a reason to hope

A school bus stop is located on the corner in front of our house. For years we have watched the daily ritual of children and teenagers leaving for school and returning home. Since our 11-year-old twin grandchildren live only doors away, we get a glimpse of them each day. Both with backpacks, one carrying a […]

Reflections: Truly ‘coming together’ on a Christmas morning

I have known her since she was 5 years old. Last summer Judy, her husband and children visited us from a western state where they now live. I had not seen her since serving as a pallbearer at her father’s funeral several years ago. She and one of my daughters, who began school together and […]