Tag: United Methodist

  • To Speak the Truth in Bombingham

    To Speak the Truth in Bombingham

    John Archibald is almost my exact contemporary. Same age. White cis male. Southern. Methodist. A man who deals in words, though he’s an Alabama newspaperman who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his work in The Birmingham News while my main public output are sermons these days. What Archibald has done in his […]

  • Home of the Brave (Church)

    Home of the Brave (Church)

    This review was published on the Englewood Review of Books website and is reprinted here with permission. It’s not easy to talk these days. Try having a social gathering over Zoom and see how quickly you tire. Maybe one voice dominates. Maybe you’re frustrated by not having the side conversation you’d like to have. Maybe […]

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

    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,” […]

  • The Women Beyond Wesley

    This review by Alex Joyner was published on the great Englewood Review of Books site and is republished here with permission. Even today, if you visit the website for Cokesbury, United Methodism’s venerable bookseller, you’ll see an image that has shaped Methodist perceptions of their heritage. It’s a circuit riding preacher on horseback reading a […]

  • Seeing the Way to ‘You Can,’ When the World Says ‘You Can’t’

    Seeing the Way to ‘You Can,’ When the World Says ‘You Can’t’

    What if your job was to go around blessing people? What if, instead of lamenting all that is wrong, you got to say, “There is something terribly, terribly, right with the world”? And what if you got to say this thing in the very places that get written off as ‘God-forsaken’? Michael Mather has such […]

  • No More Lone Rangers: Forming 21st Century Leaders

    No More Lone Rangers: Forming 21st Century Leaders

    Come to the Eastern Shore of Virginia two centuries ago and more and you would have found Methodist preachers traveling their circuits in pairs. It was the normal way in the early days of our denomination. Going solo was the exception. The first American Methodists formed their clergy by sending them straight to ministry with […]

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

    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, […]

  • 3 Kites and the Wind of the Spirit: A Burundi Reflection

    3 Kites and the Wind of the Spirit: A Burundi Reflection

    Children, it seems to me, are blessedly free from the notion that we are earth-bound. On my recent teaching trip to Burundi, I had the chance to worship in a United Methodist Church in the hills outside the capital city. Rev. Jean Ntahoturi was showing me a school that was under construction, designed to serve […]

  • A Place Where Walls Are Coming Down: Preparing for Burundi

    A Place Where Walls Are Coming Down: Preparing for Burundi

    With all the talk of division and separation in our church and society, it’s heartening to know that there are places where United Methodists are coming together. Next Friday I’m getting on a plane for my first trip to Africa. I got the call about 6 weeks ago when the Burundi United Methodist Church announced […]

  • It’s Time for a Commission on A Way Sideways

    It’s Time for a Commission on A Way Sideways

    What if the problem with the name of the Commission on A Way Forward was that it had one too many words? Pick the one you’d like to delete, but my vote is for ‘Forward.’ ‘Forward’ carries a lot of weight in this title. It implies several things. First, that we are stuck in an […]