September-October 2010

When blind eyes see

By B.J. Funk My daddy often quoted Longfellow’s phrase, “Into each life some rain must fall. Some days must be dark and dreary.” Darkness is a scary thing. When we were small, we thought that boogie bears and goblins inhabited the dark. When we grew up, we knew for sure that they did. Smoke colored […]

Mexico: Ministry amid the drug wars

By Reed Hoppe The presence of drug cartels has plagued Mexico for decades. March 2010 saw a dramatic rise in the number of violent deaths in Mexico as two of the largest drug cartels declared war on one another. More than 22,700 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug […]

Giving a talk is the easy part…

By Duffy Robbins The hard part is getting them to give you a listen! It’s that time of year when youthworkers and Sunday school teachers are heading into a new school year, praying, brainstorming, dreaming, stressing, and panicking about how they will make biblical truth come alive for a roomful of adolescents. For some it’s […]

Church AIDS work makes a difference

By Linda Bloom In rural Zimbabwe, there is not much relief—physically or emotionally—for those dying from the complications of HIV/AIDS. But, by training nurses at United Methodist-related Mutambara Hospital and other hospitals, as well as educating volunteer community caregivers in hospice skills, the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa is making a difference. That project […]

Mission fields expand across the globe

By Elliott Wright In today’s world, Christian mission flows in all directions. The rapid growth of African, Asian, and Latin American missionaries, and the evolution of Western Europe into a mission field, are two of the major changes that have occurred in the hundred years between a historic World Missionary Conference of 1910 in Edinburgh, […]

United Methodists discover renewal at Aldersgate

By Frank Billman “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendents.” —Isaiah 44:3 Based on the above promise from God, the theme for Aldersgate 2010 was “Unleashed.” “Prior to the conference, God lovingly […]

United Methodism embraces traditional view of marriage

By Linda Bloom Ten years ago, the Rev. Greg Dell was put on trial by the United Methodist Church for performing a same-sex union ceremony. Since then, a few states have legalized gay marriage and some mainline Protestant denominations, including the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, now accept non-celibate gay and lesbian […]

Good News statement on marriage

By Rob Renfroe Good News unequivocally affirms the United Methodist position regarding marriage as stated in The Book of Discipline: “We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” As Christians, we United Methodists believe that marriage was one of God’s good gifts given to humanity—not […]

Ruling intensifies debate over homosexuality

By Heather Hahn A federal court’s rejection of California’s same-sex marriage ban is receiving condemnation and praise from United Methodists. One thing both sides agree on: The ruling only adds to the longtime debate on how the church ministers to gays and lesbians. “It certainly won’t mitigate the tension,” said the Rev. Norman Carter, a […]

Key factors identified for vital congregations

Lively, vital churches come in all sizes, locations, and settings says a new study commissioned by the United Methodist Church, but they consistently share some common factors that work together to influence congregational vitality. That means what works to make those churches energetic and growing can likely work for other churches too. Dynamic churches with […]