Outsider Funding and the 2012 General Conference, Focus 8

By Karen Booth In the late 1990s, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force developed an interfaith think tank called the National Religious Leadership Roundtable. All of the United Methodist gay advocacy groups were founding members, and the Roundtable was dedicated to fostering alliances between gay-friendly religious communities and other secular rights groups. In 2006, […]

Devotional by E.M. Bounds, Focus 7

Living Shabbily, Praying Meagerly By E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) I believe that what the church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations or more novel methods. She needs Christians whom the Holy Spirit can use—Christians of prayer, Christians mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through people. […]

Should We Agree To Disagree? Focus 7

The issue that has divided us for over 40 years is front and center once again. And no doubt the debate regarding the practice of homosexuality will be as heartfelt and as emotional as it has been in the past. Though other issues such as restructuring, vital congregations, and reaching young adults are essential for […]

Election Congratulations

The Renewal and Reform Coalition wants to congratulate those who were newly elected to positions on the Judicial Council and the University Senate. The slots on the Judicial Council were filled by the Rev. Dr. Kabamba Kiboko, the Rev. Dennis Blackwell, Oswald Tweh, and Beth Capen. The University Senate positions were filled by Dr. Jan […]

Out of RCRC

The General Board of Church and Society and the Women’s Division of The United Methodist Church have been affiliated with the Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice (RCRC) since 1973. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that their affiliation has ever moderated the zealous abortion-rights positions advocated by RCRC. • RCRC calls work […]

Devotional by Samuel Chadwick, Focus 6

Power of the Holy Spirit By Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932)    The church still has a theology of the Holy Spirit but it has no living consciousness of His presence and power. No doctrine of the Christian faith has been so neglected. The blunders and disasters of the church are largely, if not entirely, accounted for […]

Pulling on the heartstrings, Focus 6

By Karen Booth As an unofficial observer of the General Conference proceedings, I sat in on an extended session that was added to the Church and Society B subcommittee discussion on homosexuality. Four openly gay lay delegates had self-selected that particular subgroup, and the personal stories they shared were powerful and emotionally moving. By the […]

Monday Morning Elections

Election of Judicial Council nominees was just completed. The clergy candidates with the highest vote tally were the Rev. Dr. Kabamba Kiboko (Southern Congo) and Rev. Dennis Blackwell (Greater New Jersey). The lay candidates with highest vote tally were N. Oswald Tweh Jr. (Liberia) and Beth Capen (New York). The Renewal and Reform Coalition is […]

Devotional by Phoebe Palmer, Focus 5

The burden of the cross By Phoebe Palmer (1807-1870) Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden light. The strength of Christ being imparted to the soul that trusts wholly in him, how can the burden be otherwise than easy, and even delightsome, when borne in almighty strength, and with the soul filled with the constraining […]

Would You Spend $149,000 For One Seminary Graduate? Focus 5

That is what The United Methodist Church did in 2011. According to statistics released this week by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the 13 official United Methodist seminaries received a total of $14,459,694 in Ministerial Education Fund money in 2011 and graduated 337 persons into ordained ministry. That averages out to $42,900 […]

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