September-October 2011

Editorial: Facing Up

By Rob Renfroe

We’re about to find out if we have any face boys.

In 1936 the Olympic Games were held in Berlin. Hitler intended to use them to showcase the glory of the Third Reich and the supremacy of the Aryan Race. Sparing no expense, Hitler constructed imposing stadiums, all adorned with swastikas. He attended the games in military dress and was hailed with the Nazi salute.

How Can United Methodists Believe in Hell?

By William O. Reeves

Isn’t it supremely ironic that the ones who preach on hell shouldn’t, and the ones who have the theological basis to do so don’t?

Lessons on Leadership for Church Leaders

By Vicki Brown

District superintendents and directors of connectional ministries—working collaboratively with church pastors and lay leaders—can lead the adaptive change necessary for the United Methodist Church to have a future with hope, the Rev. Jorge Acevedo told 81 new district superintendents and seven directors of connectional ministries attending a training in early September.

Aldersgate becomes a Place of Spiritual Refuge

By Frank Billman

“Aldersgate has become a city of refuge for me, a place where I can come and I can magnify and praise the Lord—a place where you are stripped of all titles…and you can just enjoy the goodness of the Lord,” Bishop James Swanson of the Holston Annual Conference told participants at Aldersgate 2011. “The Council [of Bishops] has not assigned me to Aldersgate. The Holy Spirit assigned me here. I come of my own volition as I have become a regular attendee.”

News: Worldwide persecution of Christians on the Rise

By Kristin Rudolph
Christians continue to top the list among the most persecuted religious groups in the world. According to The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life’s recent report, “Rising Restrictions on Religion,” threats to Christians and religious freedom around the world are rising. The report found that nearly two thirds (59 percent) of the world’s population lives under high government restrictions on religion, and almost half (48 percent) live in areas with high religiously motivated social hostilities. Because some of the world’s most populous countries also have the highest religious restrictions, only about 20 percent of the world’s countries have high religious restrictions and hostilities.

News: UM Pastors write Open Letter to Council of Bishops

Fifty-nine pastors of prominent United Methodist churches from across the United States have written an open letter to the denomination’s bishops in regard to ministerial colleagues who have pledged to perform same-sex weddings, despite the church’s prohibition against such ceremonies.

Making Disciples in Peru

By Reed Hoppe

Arthur and Mary Alice Ivey are Mission Society missionaries who have served in Huancayo, Peru since 2001. Arthur graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering. He worked as an engineer for many years while he felt a growing call to serve cross-culturally. Mary Alice graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in early childhood education and taught school for several years. The Iveys participated in short-term mission trips for 13 years while praying about moving overseas.

The Wonder of Delivery

By Duffy Robbins

I’ve never given birth to a child.

But, I know something about the birthing process.

Letters to the Editor

Wesleyan spirituality

Thank you Good News, and Steve Harper for distilling the essence of Wesley’s spirituality. “Embracing Wesleyan Spirituality” (July/August 2011) reads like an invitation to join together in experiencing a warm and wonderful place of the heart.

Death, Where is your Sting?

By B.J. Funk

Realizing that he would soon be gone from this world, Dwight L. Moody said to a friend, “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody is dead. Don’t you believe it. At that moment, I will be more alive than I am now.