The UMC’s Messy Language About Sexuality: A Rejoinder To Dr. Thomas Frank

by Chris Ritter When I am confronted by posts with which I viscerally disagree I usually only mumble something to myself and move on. This is what I did with a recent post that suggested that the UMC “sold its soul” when it named “making disciples of Jesus Christ” as the mission of the church. […]

Five Things The United Methodist Church is Doing Right

by Marty Cauley Frustrated with the Negativity! If I read one more well intentioned article about what the church, particularly The United Methodist Church, is doing wrong I think I will scream. Yes, I know we are struggling with years of decline. I know our buildings are old, our polity is complicated, and we are not […]

Christian Unity and the New Moralism

The United Methodist Church was engineered to hold disparate streams of the broad Christian tradition together. Born amidst the fervor of the modern ecumenical movement, it joined liberals, evangelicals, and pietists under one denominational roof. This commitment to theological diversity was the very reason for the first instantiation (problematic as it was) of the “Wesleyan […]

Rule 44, Band-Aids, and Heart Transplants

By David F. Watson The so-called “Rule 44” is the latest plot twist in the strange tale we are writing as we approach General Conference. This proposal would alter the process of debate and legislation at General Conference. More specifically, it would involve setting aside Robert’s Rules of Order and instead undertaking a small group […]

How Big Data disrupts Narratives of #UMC Decline

by Jeremy Smith Big Data in the UMC challenges the narrative of decline “due to progressive Christianity,” and shows what role each of us is to play to handle the coming winnowing of the church. Recently the data for 2014 came out on the United Methodist Church in America, showing a 1.6% drop in membership […]

U.S. membership decline continues

By Walter Fenton According to the most recent data, The United Methodist Church has lost 116,063 members – the stark equivalent to losing a 318-member local church every day of the year. The recently released statistics are from the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) The loss from 2013 to 2014 reflected a […]

Should Christians welcome Syrian refugees into the United States?

  *by Rev Dr. David F. Watson Greg Abbott, the governor of my home states of Texas, recently tweeted the following: BREAKING: Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees & I demand the U.S. act similarly. Security comes first. https://t.co/uE34eluXYd — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 16, 2015 Abbott also recently tweeted this meme: For you were […]

Commentary: We must recognize we are engaged in a cultural war

*by Bishop Scott Jones We are all horrified by the terrible violence committed in Paris the evening of Nov. 13. We should be praying for the victims and their families and for the people of France who suffered this evil action. At the same time, we must pay attention to the larger context in which […]

GBHEM Board works on new call focus, General Conference legislation

NASHVILLE, TN: A report on the Young Clergy Initiative, a discussion about a new leadership initiative focused on call and legislation preparations for General Conference 2016 served as leading topics of discussion at the Board of Directors meeting of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), August 5–7, in Nashville. Before the board […]

United Methodist young people’s healthcare concerns aired in D.C.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Aug. 20, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – For United Methodist young adult Kyle Ormiston, whether to eat or fill an $850 monthly prescription was a dilemma, but he said the decision was obvious: “In the long term, eating won that battle.” Ormiston’s story about facing stressful health care decisions post-college was one of many […]

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