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Remembering Orphans

By Steve Beard – “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). United Methodists of all political stripes should be able to agree on ministry to and with widows and […]

New York State of Mind

By Walter Fenton – In early March, the board of ordained ministry of the New York Annual Conference announced it will not abide by United Methodism’s Book of Discipline with regard to openly gay people seeking ordination or licensing in the conference. “Sexual orientation and gender identity are not and will not be considered in […]

Escalation in disruption

By Tom Lambrecht – My very first General Conference was in 1992 in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference was held in a field house, and observers had to sit on bleachers. As an alternate delegate, I offered some assistance to Good News. One of my most vivid memories was of the demonstration that disrupted that General […]

Unnecessary Rule 44

By Walter Fenton – A proposed new rule is likely to stir considerable debate at the very first plenary session at the 2016 General Conference (GC) in Portland, Oregon. Rule 44 is put forward by the UM Church’s Commission on the General Conference (COGC). If approved, it would grant the COGC the power to “identify […]

Where is the zeal for agency reform?

By Heather Hahn – An effort to reform United Methodist agencies in 2012 had the endorsement of bishops, the advocacy of church leaders, and the vote of General Conference. The only snag came on the last day of General Conference — when the Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, ruled the plan unconstitutional and void. […]

Step Out for God

By Duane E. Brown- “Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him…,” (Genesis 12:4). When was the last time you risked something for God? In Genesis 12, God appears to Abram and promises to bless him and the world through him. All he must do is leave everything behind. Abram likely underestimates how catalytic […]

At Church But Not In Church

By B.J. Funk – Our church just completed a wonderful study using Rob Renfroe’s book, A Way Through the Wilderness. Growing in Faith When Life is Hard. As we watched his videos and met for discussions, the participants agreed that their wilderness periods have often been so painful they thought they would never get through […]