May-June 2011

Editorial: Compromising positions

By Rob Renfroe
It’s that time again. In just a couple of months we will have elected delegates to General Conference. And caucus groups are meeting all over the Connection. Some are making lists of the candidates they will support and want other Annual Conference delegates to support. Others are making lists while denying that they’re doing so. And still others claim the moral high ground and condemn those who organize to get others elected—as if there is something immoral, non-Methodist, or un-American about working to send persons to General Conference who share their views, their values, and their vision for the church.

United Methodist mission agency restructures

By Elliott Wright

The United Methodist Church’s worldwide mission agency took historical steps on April 12 toward becoming more flexible, effective, and cost efficient in response to contemporary mission opportunities.

Ohio churches propel Vietnam mission

By Linda Bloom

The Rev. Joseph Bishman loves motorcycles so much that he’s ridden nationally on behalf of Harley-Davidson.
So it seemed only natural for the United Methodist West Ohio Annual (regional) Conference to ask the 62-year-old Shawnee district superintendent to hold a motorcycle ride for Vietnam mission work.

Did faith drive Titanic musicians?

By Joey Butler
Since 1955, April 15 has signified Tax Day in the United States—a pretty tragic date in our minds. But prior to that, April 15 always marked an even larger tragedy: the sinking of the RMS Titanic. This year marked the 99th anniversary of the famous shipwreck that claimed almost 1,500 lives, and as the centennial draws nearer, interest in the event is ramping up.

United Methodist agencies battle Human Trafficking

By Linda Bloom
When Maria, an Armenian citizen, ended up in Dubai, she resisted attempts by her traffickers to force her into prostitution.
In retaliation, they threw her off the top of a three-story building. Maria survived the fall, eventually escaped her captors and was repatriated to Armenia, where police referred her to the Anti-Human Trafficking Project run by the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

UM Board moves to overturn homosexuality stance—again

By Jeff Walton

The public policy arm of the United Methodist Church has once again voted to introduce legislation to the 2012 General Conference that would remove disapproval of homosexual practices and effectively liberalize the church’s teachings on sex.

May/June 2011 Letters to the Editor

Call to Action Regarding the analysis of the Call to Action in the March/April issue, I applaud Dr. George Hunter for naming theology and spiritual formation as two of the Great Omissions in the Call to Action. I’m guessing Dr. Hunter will agree, but the truth is, theological and spiritual formation should always be mentioned […]

The Twist of Faith in Civilization

By Riley B. Case

Christianity is dying in the following countries—Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland—and is headed for extinction. That is the conclusion of a study conducted by a group of social scientists (the Research Corporation for Science Advancement), using census studies, and a linear dynamics mathematical systems model (whatever that is). These “findings” were reported at a recent American Physical Society meeting in Dallas.

Times Square Church founder dies at 79

The Rev. David Wilkerson, the founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, died on April 27 in a car accident in East Texas. His wife, Gwendolyn Wilkerson, was airlifted to a local hospital with injuries. “Pastor David Wilkerson’s was a life fully given for the glory of God and souls of men,” said […]

The Other Side of Fear Mountain

By B.J. Funk

Have you recently received news about your health or the health of someone you love, and you live daily inside of this frightening revelation? Has a tragedy catapulted you to a new urgency that has the possibility of stripping your finances? Are you stuck on Fear Mountain, moving further up the Slope of Stress toward the Pinnacle of Pressure? Discouragement and depression are a difficult place to abide. You have no anchor to balance you as you move up and down Fear Mountain, but you just hope daily that something will come along to help you. Well, it has.