Where’s the Money?

By Tom Lambrecht – Faced with the possibility of an impending split in the denomination, United Methodists are rightly worried about the financial impact of the newly proposed Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation. Giving to the denomination’s general apportionments fell immediately after the special St. Louis General Conference last February. A number of annual […]

Are Traditionalists “Leaving” The United Methodist Church?

By Tom Lambrecht – The recently announced separation plan called the “Protocol on Reconciliation and Grace through Separation” has aroused many reactions in and beyond the church. Some are satisfied and even hopeful that the long-running conflict in our church can finally be over and traditional and evangelical United Methodists will be free to pursue […]

Why I Support the Separation Proposal

By Rob Renfroe – Responses to the proposed plan for separation could hardly be more divergent. Some are shouting “hallelujah” and others are feeling dismissed, even sold out. There are several components of the plan that I do not like. In particular, I don’t like the perception it creates. When I was first told about […]

A Snake in the Manger

By Steve Beard – There is a grand Christmas tradition at our house on the evening of December 25: separating the crumpled wrapping paper from the bows that can be reused next year. For many families, Christmas Day signals the winding down of the holiday. Soon the decorations will be packed away and the Christmas […]

Generous love: The Salvation Army

By Steve Beard – For more than 150 years, The Salvation Army has been the most consistent, creative, and trustworthy symbol for a warm hearted faith and a generous helping hand for those in need. With a legacy of rushing into where the need is greatest, it has earned a coveted reputation for integrity and […]

Words to Celebrate Christmas

By Tom Lambrecht – One of the popular activities during the Christmas season is to sing Christmas carols. As a musician myself, I find that music moves me in a deeper way than many other forms of expression. When it comes to Christmas carols, however, sometimes the familiarity of the songs allows us to gloss […]

Waiting for the Church’s Future

By Tom Lambrecht – It is fitting that we take the month before Christmas (the church season of Advent) as a time of waiting. Historically, the church calendar teaches us to eagerly await the celebration of Christmas and all the joys and excitement we experience during that time. With that spirit of anticipation, we eagerly […]

A Crisis of Identity

By Tom Lambrecht – The current crisis in The United Methodist Church is often portrayed as a crisis of unity. The unity of our denomination is threatened by deep theological disagreement and the refusal of some parts of the church to abide by the decisions of General Conference and live by our legitimately enacted Book […]

Both Conservative and Liberal

By Tom Lambrecht – The United Methodist Church inherited from the Church of England via John Wesley the idea of “the middle way.” For Anglicans, this “middle way” meant the church could be both catholic and reformed (the two major theological poles in the 1500’s and 1600’s when the Anglican Church was formed). For Wesley […]

Advice to UM Pastors and Churches: Know What You are Going to Do!

By Shane Bishop – I have played competitive softball since I was fourteen years old at every imaginable level. Up to a handful of years ago, I played over a hundred games each season and now in my late fifties, I still play twenty or thirty. For much of that time I was a shortstop. […]