Why We Should Continue Treating the Pandemic as a Crisis (and an Opportunity)

With the reappearance of so many familiar faces following the Great Unmasking of the vaccinated, there’s a great temptation for people in the church to breathe a sigh of relief and try to pick up where we left off in March 2020. Kay Kotan has other ideas. “Reality check: Life will never be the same,” […]

An Antidote to Gutless Prayer: Dreaming Like Jesus with Rebekah Simon-Peter

The wonderfully-named Rebekah Simon-Peter looks around at mainline Protestantism, including The United Methodist Church of which she is a part, and sees some problems. It’s not just that the church is competing for attention in a post-Christian world with Sunday morning soccer practices. It’s not even the eight maladies she lists that include shrinking numbers, […]

How Many Piercings Can a Docent Have?: Wondering About Church at the American Civil War Museum

How many piercings can a museum docent have? It was a question Christy Coleman didn’t know she’d have to struggle with when she became the CEO of the American Civil War Center in 2013. But when that museum merged with the Museum of the Confederacy and built a brand new facility around the old Tredegar […]

Good God, What Happened to the Heartland?: Laughing and Lamenting with Lyz Lenz

Lyz Lenz is so funny sometimes that you can forget that she has written a hard book. As, for instance, when she’s surveying the physical layout of cookie-cutter megachurches and says that “the decor looks like a Hobby Lobby vomited all over the place.” (115) That’s the vibrant Lyz that you want giving you the […]

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 […]

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 […]