November-December 2011

What we wish the Bishops would have said

By Rob Renfroe, President and Publisher of Good News
For the first time, the United Methodist Council of Bishops has issued a collective statement that all of its members “will uphold the Book of Discipline as established by General Conference,” regarding the various issues related to homosexuality.

The statement was the direct result of a letter sent by 59 leading pastors to all active bishops, asking the Council to address the then 900 pastors who had pledged to perform gay marriages, contrary to the Discipline.

Round 2 of “Extraordinary Ordinations”

By Thomas A. Lambrecht

Three years after the United Methodist Council of Bishops declared that ordinations conducted by Church Within A Church (CWAC) have “no official status,” two more ceremonies resembling ordination rites were conducted by CWAC on October 23 at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona.

Baptismal vows and spiritual warfare

By Shane Raynor

You can learn a lot from reading just one sentence. Consider the first of the United Methodist baptismal vows: “Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?”

Why Not?

By Liza Kittle
Many times as Christians, we lose sight of this central mandate of our Savior Jesus Christ. We question how we as individuals can impact the world and bring glory to God. We forget that God’s mission field is not only in Sudan, but also in our homes, neighborhoods, and the corner grocery store. Each one of us can make a difference in our own sphere of influence. Bullen didn’t focus on the massive destruction around him. He focused on what Jesus proclaimed for his disciples to do, one step at a time. Likewise, we shouldn’t let our circumstances overwhelm and derail us from Jesus’ proclamation that applies to us as well.

Walking by Faith with Nomads

By Gary Prichard
Although it has always been by faith, it seems that as we grow older it should be more obvious to recognize the Lord’s will for our lives. The signs of faith that give us direction and assurance should also be more obvious than when we were new in our faith. Right?Nevertheless, every situation challenges us to discern if we are really going in the direction the Lord intends for us.

Judicial Council ruling preserve church unity

By Thomas A. Lambrecht
Good News endorses this ruling for its clear restatement of the fact that local churches and ministries that identify themselves as “Reconciling Congregations” are being disobedient to the order and discipline of The United Methodist Church and engaging in actions that are “divisive and destructive to the life of the church.”

Looking ahead to future mission trends

By Linda Bloom
A new strategic plan for mission focuses on everything from streamlining the agency’s operations to tailoring missionary placements to reflect new global realities and expanding mission partnerships. Such partnerships even include other mission agencies that might have been considered competitors in the past. To illustrate that point, Mr. Kemper invited the Rev. Dick McClain, president of The Mission Society, to preach during the board’s October 11 worship service.

UM clergy and laity call on Council of Bishops to take a stand

Since October, more than 14,000 United Methodist clergy and lay people have signed on to a letter calling upon the Council of Bishops to issue a clear statement of support for the denomination’s standards regarding marriage and homosexuality.

The Transformation of the Missionary

By Frank Decker One day, while teaching a class of aspiring pastors in Africa I asked, “What would you do if someone in your church asks you a question to which you do not know the answer?” I expected a response such as “I’d say, ‘I don’t know, but let’s find out together,’” or something […]

Letters to the Editor for November/December 2011

Making choices The article on heaven and hell by William Reeves in the September/October 2011 issue of Good News was informational and helpful to me as a Christian. I have always believed that a Christian could make choices that were either right or wrong, and then doing so, would pay the consequences. I did not […]