Can We Talk Here? Recovering Conversation in the Church with C. Christopher Smith

Every pastor knows the scenario. An issue has arisen. Relationships are frayed. People are more than willing to talk it out with the pastor, but with each other? Not so much. C. Christopher Smith, editor of the Englewood Review of Books, has been an advocate for the spiritual practice of conversation based on the long-running […]

Is General Conference Too Important?: The Heartlands Interview with Ashley Boggan Dreff Concludes

Previous segments of my interview with Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, author of Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality, covered the history of the incompatibility language in the United Methodist Church and the ways that the trends in American politics and culture have affected the development of the denomination. In this segment, we […]

Chaos, Sexuality, & Politics in the UMC: An Interview with Ashley Boggan Dreff, part 2

In the first segment of my interview with Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, author of Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality, we discussed the origin of United Methodist language around homosexuality at one of the first General Conferences of the new United Methodist Church in 1972. (We also talked about George Whitefield’s knuckle, […]

The Origin of the Incompatibility Clause (and Whitefield’s Knuckle): An Interview with Ashley Boggan Dreff

I talked to Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff two days after the St. Louis General Conference ended. As the Director of United Methodist Studies at Hood Seminary and author of Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality, she made a great conversation partner for trying to put what had just happened in some perspective. […]

What You Need to Know to Care for Your Clergyperson (Even if That’s You)

Some of the advice that Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and Jason Byassee have for clergy is very straightforward. “If you’re really tired and wondering whether you should work more or go to bed, don’t wonder—just go to bed!” (157) Excellent tip. Back from my nap now, I’ll go on to say that other advice in Faithful […]

Long Arcs and Stumbling Blocks: A Break Down (Because) of General Conference 2019

It took two weeks of explaining before I broke down trying to get through one more rundown of what happened in St. Louis.* Of course, I felt the pain of it even while I was at the General Conference. The Tuesday night it ended I stayed up late writing notes to former seminary classmates and […]