Four seminaries to have new leader

Top leadership of United Methodist seminaries is undergoing quite a shuffle, with four of the 13 schools set to have new presidents or deans. Lallene J. Rector has been named the next president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological School in Evanston, Ill., becoming the first woman and first layperson named to that post. She’ll succeed Philip Amerson, […]

General Conference 2016 cost projected to exceed $10 million

Whatever else may be said about General Conference, it doesn’t come cheap. A recent UMC report projects that the next General Conference, set for May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Ore., will cost nearly $10.8 million. That’s up more than $2 million from General Conference 2012 in Tampa, Fla., which, despite unfailing hospitality by local UM […]

Two clergy hit the highway to save lives

The goal of beating malaria in Africa put two United Methodist clergymen on the road in hilly East Tennessee. And they weren’t riding in automobiles, either. The Rev. Charles Maynard walked 100 miles from April 21-25 in the Holston Conference’s Maryville District, visiting 17 United Methodist churches to promote Holston’s ambitious goal for assisting the […]

Bishop’s book draws on faith, leadership theory, martial arts

Greater Northwest Area Bishop Grant Hagiya earned a third-degree black belt in karate, as well as a master of divinity and a doctorate in organizational leadership. His new book Spiritual Kaizen: How to Become a Better Church Leader (Abingdon Press) draws on this varied background. Bishop Hagiya answered questions by email from managing editor Sam […]

Rabbi speaks again, thanks to Perkins School of Theology archivist

The prophetic voice of a late Dallas rabbi, one who had close ties to Southern Methodist University, will be heard again, thanks to a curious archivist who wasn’t content just to file away some reel-to-reel tapes he found in a library storage room. SMU’s Perkins School of Theology will, on May 5, hold an event […]

Dream come true – Minnehaha UMC kept faith with affordable housing project

If anyone wants to know how long a major mission project can take, and how much satisfaction can be derived at the end, Wanda Driver is a good one to ask. She helped kick off Minnehaha United Methodist Church’s effort to do something big in affordable housing. She stood by beaming when the Riverview Apartments, […]

Bishops to hold second straight private meeting

When active United Methodist bishops gather in San Diego, May 5-8, that will be the second consecutive large gathering of bishops closed to the press and other visitors—a move that is prompting criticism within the UMC. The Council of Bishops, including retirees, met in private in November at St. Simons Island, Ga. In announcing that […]

Pastor on pre-Easter tragedy: ‘Evil is not the last word’

The Rev. Keith Head’s last Easter before retiring as a United Methodist pastor proved tragically memorable, as he had to address the slayings of a prominent couple in his congregation—a case that has made international news. Mike McLelland, district attorney of Kaufman County, Texas, and his wife Cynthia, were found shot to death in their […]

UM innovation extends to Easter observances

By Sam Hodges, Managing Editor and Mary Jacobs, Staff Writer… Easter is all about transformation, but Easter observances tend to be conservative, sticking to familiar (if stirring) music, and the usual texts and formats. The exceptions are out there, though.  They’re found in highly innovative congregations and in others where the weather seems a bit […]

Q&A: UMPH head provides update on closings

The United Methodist Publishing House’s decision to close all 57 Cokesbury stores last fall made big news beyond Methodism. Some stores have closed already, and the rest will be shuttered by April 26. Reporter managing editor Sam Hodges asked Neil Alexander, UMPH president and publisher, for an update. Mr. Alexander answered questions by email. Were […]

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