What is Religious Freedom?

By Thomas Lambrecht – Freedom of religion is often called the “first freedom” because it is the first provision mentioned in the United States Bill of Rights. Many scholars believe all the other freedoms depend upon the foundation of religious freedom to establish and perpetuate the values that will sustain the other freedoms. The First […]

The Real St. Patrick

By Steve Beard – While sifting through obscure Spanish colonial records, it was discovered a few years ago that the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not conducted in Boston, Chicago, nor New York City. Instead, the Irish feast day was celebrated in modern day St. Augustine, Florida, in 1601. “They processed through the […]

Does Regionalization Replace Separation?

By Thomas Lambrecht – There are two proposals that would change United Methodism by creating different regional versions in the various geographical areas of the church: Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and the U.S. One proposal is from the Connectional Table and the other is from a group of delegates from outside the U.S. called the Christmas Covenant. I […]

A Fresh Start

By Thomas Lambrecht – Sometimes in life, there is no substitute for a fresh start. That is what the newly announced Global Methodist Church (GMC) offers. Texas experienced near-record freezing temperatures a couple weeks ago. As a native of Wisconsin, I’m used to the cold, but the plants in our yard were not chosen according […]

General Conference Postponed Again

By Thomas Lambrecht – On Thursday, the Commission on the General Conference announced that the 2020 General Conference, postponed once until August 29, 2021, has now been postponed again until August 29, 2022. At the same time, the Council of Bishops announced it is calling a special session of the General Conference to meet virtually on May 8, […]

Approaching Separation: A Rejoinder to Adam Hamilton

By Thomas Lambrecht – I recently expounded the primary reasons I see for separation taking place in The United Methodist Church. That article drew the response of the Rev. Adam Hamilton, who felt that my characterization of centrist and progressive understandings was not an accurate description. I respect Adam and the vibrant ministry he has led at Church of […]

The Case for a Virtual General Conference, Part 2

By Thomas Lambrecht – In last week’s Perspective, I outlined why an in-person General Conference in 2021 is unlikely to occur as scheduled. The virulence of the Coronavirus pandemic and the slow rollout of vaccines to the global population make a return of international travel unlikely before mid-2022. I also made the case that some […]

The Case for a Virtual General Conference, Part 1

By Thomas Lambrecht – There is much anxiety about whether and how a General Conference will meet in 2021. General Conference was originally scheduled for May 2020, but was postponed to August 29 through September 7, 2021, due to pandemic travel and meeting restrictions. Now the Commission on the General Conference is planning to make […]

Primary Reasons for Separation

By Thomas Lambrecht – As we approach a possible separation in The United Methodist Church this year, one of the important questions to answer is, “Why should we separate?” There are many reasons for the conflict in our church that have led us to this point. Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton explored many of these […]

Finishing Well

By Thomas Lambrecht – It may seem out of place to talk about finishing well when the year has just begun. The senior pastor at the church I attend just announced his planned retirement. He is the founding pastor of this church and has served well for over 43 years (all at this one congregation)! […]

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