Stuck by the Side of the Pool

By B.J. Funk – For years, a man had stayed at the side of the pool of Bethesda, waiting with many other disabled folks for a chance to get into the water. It was thought that the pool of Bethesda held healing powers, and that when the miraculous water bubbled, the first one in the […]

Indianapolis Plan and Amicable Separation

By Thomas Lambrecht On September 18, the conversation group working on the Indianapolis Plan submitted the final version of a plan for an amicable separation in The United Methodist Church. As the document states, “We seek to move away from the caustic atmosphere which has often marked conversation in the United Methodist Church into a […]

Sinners in the Hands of a Singing God

By Steve Beard – Set in 19th century France, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is an epic tale of the spiritual consequences of sin and the search for redemption. In the 1998 movie version, there is a noteworthy scene with the story’s protagonist Jean Valjean (played by Liam Neeson), a reformed thief and factory owner, and […]

Release to the Captives

By Shannon Vowell – Prison Ministry: Kairos Training” reads the hand-lettered sign on the upstairs door. Inside, the smell of coffee competes with the smell of bacon in a crowded space that is surprisingly silent. A woman moves toward me on tiptoe. Her eyes are full of tears. She blinks them away as she smiles […]

Forward with Faith

By Rob Renfroe – Which is more important: what you think or how you think? Don’t spend too much time working on an answer. Both are critical. As orthodox Christians we rightly emphasize that what we believe is essential. But people can believe all the right doctrines and still not live a joyful life that […]

Bible Story Inspires Building of Church

By Chenayi Kumuterera (UMNS) – KOLWEZI, Congo – Inspired by the story of Barnabas (Acts 4:36), who sold his land and gave the money to the early apostles, members of Jerusalem Francophone United Methodist Parish donated their salaries, pledges, and other gifts to construct Centennial Memorial Temple. Accommodating more than 5,800 people, the temple is […]

Harriet: AME Zion Heroine on Big screen

By Courtney Lott – Harriet Tubman, the fearless conductor of the Underground Railroad, escaped slavery in 1849. She found refuge at a nearby farm and eventually made her way to Pennsylvania. Marveling at her newfound freedom, she looked at her hands to see if she was the same person. “There was such a glory over […]

Soul Food

By Steve Beard – In the grand scheme of things, it may seem like an insignificant victory – but Eddie O’Neill sees it from a different vantage point. In July, Sunday services finally were begun for Christian prisoners at a medium-security London mental health unit – and the services included communion. O’Neill was transferred to […]

The Epic of Eden

By Sandra Richter – The Bible, in all its parts, is intended to communicate to humanity the realities of redemption. Over the centuries, the church has stumbled when it has forgotten this truth, and has thereby, ironically, damaged the authority of the book from which it has drawn its life. We forget that this book […]

What Does it Mean to be a Wesleyan Christian?

By David F. Watson – John Wesley (1703-1791) believed that God had raised up the people called Methodists to “reform the nation, particularly the church, and to spread scriptural holiness over the land” (“Minutes of Several Conversations”). The core of the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition is holiness. What is holiness? It means different things to different groups […]