Annual Conferences, Statistics, and “Winner Take All”

By Chappell Temple – He attributed the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, but you won’t actually find it in any of his works. But in speaking to the power of numbers to bolster an otherwise weak argument, Mark Twain was probably correct to say that there are three kinds of untruths: “lies, damn lies, and statistics.” […]

Centrists, progressives, and traditionalists work toward a fair plan of separation

Guest Commentary by Keith Boyette – In the aftermath of the 2019 Special General Conference, people across The United Methodist Church have wondered, “What now?” The General Conference decided. Some vehemently disagreed. Statements of defiance were issued. Acts of resistance continue to occur. And new groups have emerged (e.g., UM Next and UM Forward). Looming […]

A U.S.-Only Church

By Thomas Lambrecht – It has been intriguing to follow a series of blog posts from “Mainstream UMC,” a newly minted special interest caucus. The posts have been analyzing an unscientific, non-representative survey that they administered through the Internet. Over 13,000 people took the survey and self-identified as either Traditionalist, Centrist, or Progressive. Mainstream UMC provides […]

Several Bishops Uphold UM Discipline

By Tom Lambrecht – One would not think that bishops upholding the United Methodist Book of Discipline would be worthy of a headline, but such are the times in which we live. In the recent announcement of rulings on questions of law coming before this fall’s Judicial Council meeting, it was encouraging to see even some […]

Exclusionary Politics, Money, and Statistics

By Thomas Lambrecht – It’s all about the money. That could have been the title of the latest opinion piece from Mainstream UMC. And of course, beneath the issue of dollars is the issue of power and control. The central question is whether, in the name of including LGBTQ persons in marriage and ordained ministry, the church […]

The Distortion Continues

By Tom Lambrecht – Every person is to be highly valued. That value makes it important to listen to every voice, whether critical or supportive, to discern which elements in what they say would be helpful in understanding their perspective and/or refining our own. That is why it is important to listen and respond appropriately […]

We’re Not Leaving

By Rob Renfroe – Progressive and moderate leaders have an interesting dilemma. Do they partner with leading traditionalists to create and pass a path for amicable separation at General Conference 2020? Or do they fight on, hoping to overturn the church’s teaching on sexual ethics? Some progressives and moderates have stated they favor amicable separation. […]

Riverside’s Ministry to the Community

By William March – In the heart of Little Havana, just west of the Miami River, sits an anomaly – Riverside United Methodist Church. It’s in a neighborhood that struggles with poverty, inadequate housing, and social isolation. There are plenty of churches, but most are storefronts with just enough room for a small crowd on […]

Back Row America

By Steve Beard – Chris Arnade earned a PhD in theoretical physics and spent 20 years on Wall Street making piles of money as a bond trader. In a season of disillusionment with his lucrative career, he began walking around New York City to relieve stress and take photographs of graffiti artists, Schwinn bike clubs, […]

A Supernatural Kingdom

By Carolyn Moore – In Luke 4, as he sits among his people, Jesus casts a vision for a radical change in the spiritual climate. He stands up in the middle of church one day and reads from a scroll unrolled to the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon […]