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United Methodist Church

The Lairds Came To America!

Bil Hitchcock | Posted 02.01.2016 | Politics
Bil Hitchcock

249 years ago during a bitterly cold January and February, they were on two ships...Samuel Laird, 41, his wife, Margaret Gibson, 36, and their three s...

The '1 Percent' in Mainline Protestantism? Congregations Attracting Young Adults

David Briggs | Posted 02.01.2016 | Religion
David Briggs

Predicting the future is fraught with difficulty in the rapidly changing, competitive marketplace of American religion. But the prospects for a turnaround in mainline Protestantism are growing fainter as the movement enters its second half-century of precipitous decline.

Methodists Blacklist 5 Israeli Banks Over Human Rights Violations

The New York Times | Jade Walker | Posted 01.12.2016 | Religion

The pension board of the United Methodist Church — one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States, with more than seven milli...

Refrocked and Ready: Franklyn Schaefer, LGBTQ Faith Hero

Suzanne DeWitt Hall | Posted 12.21.2015 | Religion
Suzanne DeWitt Hall

This is the second entry in the LGBTQ Faith Heroes series. In 2013 Methodist Pastor Frank Schaeffer was removed from ministry for performing his g...

Two Crucial Quandaries for the Mainstream Churches

Mark Osler | Posted 09.29.2015 | Religion
Mark Osler

Traditional and Contemporary are not the only options. If Protestant Christianity is to thrive in mainline churches, we must create things that are new and worthwhile and fully worthy of the God we worship. The only guaranteed outcome is what results when we refuse to engage these questions.

This 'River Church' Does Religion Right

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 09.05.2015 | Religion

There are no walls or pulpit at River Church, a Christian community in rural western North Carolina. Instead, members see, hear and feel God in natur...

The Charleston Tragedy: A Conversation on Faith and Forgiveness

Katharine Rose | Posted 07.30.2015 | Religion
Katharine Rose

The ability of the Charlestonians and the affected family members to so readily forgive their perpetrator is not an indication of an apathetic people, nor does it signal the ease with which one is able to forgive. Rather, it is a manifestation of how strong their faith really is.

These Ministers Won't Stop Showing Love For A Gay Pastor Who Lost His Job

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 07.30.2015 | Religion

  Nearly 500 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Germany, United Methodist Church pastors in Lansing, Mich...

I Am A Gay Scoutmaster, And I Can Finally Be Myself

Ryan Scott | Posted 07.28.2015 | Religion
Ryan Scott

I am an Eagle Scout, and I am the Scoutmaster of Troop 179 in Springfield, OR, and I happen to be gay. For the first time in my 18 years in scouting, I can truly be myself.

Remembering The Bittersweet History Of Father's Day

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.19.2015 | Religion

On June 21, Americans will celebrate Father’s Day, a holiday that many other countries observe on different dates throughout the year. What some mig...

When Violence Visits Our Safest Space

Rachel Bohstedt Estes | Posted 06.18.2015 | Religion
Rachel Bohstedt Estes

When I woke up to news of another church shooting -- of nine people killed in the place you feel safest -- I only want to share the parts that ripped me up. The parts that are still confusing and raw. Because that's what it feels like when someone comes into your life with a gun and tries to kill you.

Antonia Blumberg

A Remarkable Thing Happened When This Church Opened Its Doors For A Pro Bono Funeral | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.16.2015 | Religion

The Rev. Grant Tanner, head pastor at Cedar United Methodist Church in Ham Lake, Minnesota, said he never turns down a request for funeral services. W...

Ancient Torah Speaks to the Climate Crisis: From Eden to Manna to Sabbatical Year to Now

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 06.29.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

On the Shabbat of May 15-16, the Torah reading (Leviticus 25-27) sets forth the Torah's most explicit and most powerful regimen for healing the Earth from human over-use.

United Methodist Church Raises Millions In Small Donations To Fight Malaria

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 04.23.2015 | Religion

The United Methodist Church gave $9.6 million on Wednesday to the Global Fund, a health-focused nonprofit based in Geneva, to help the group fight mal...

Methodist Church In South Africa Leads Peace March After Outbreak Of Xenophobia

BBC | Karen Allen | Posted 04.20.2015 | Religion

A march organized by the Methodist Church has been taking place in South Africa, in protest at violence against immigrants from other African nations....

5 Facts About Hillary Clinton's Faith

Religion News Service | Cathy Lynn Grossman | Posted 04.11.2015 | Religion

WASHINGTON (RNS) As she embarks, again, on a presidential campaign, one facet of Hillary Clinton, 67, is unchanged across her decades as a lawyer, fir...

How a Rabbi Found a Methodist Publisher

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 05.31.2015 | Books
Rabbi Evan Moffic

I began to receive invitations to speak at local churches about Passover. I realized a book was needed. What was written was either overly-simplistic, unnecessarily complex or just plain wrong.

Race and the Fabric of Faith: A Timely Letter From Universities and Seminaries

Jack Levison | Posted 05.31.2015 | Religion
Jack Levison

Last week, the Presidents and Deans of America's 13 United Methodist Seminaries -- representing over 5,000 seminarians, including over 1,000 African-Americans -- wrote a thoughtful open letter outlining a vision from which all of us, whatever our faith tradition, can learn.

Most Mainline Protestants Embrace Gay Marriage

Religion News Service | Lauren Markoe | Posted 03.22.2015 | Religion

(RNS) With the largest Presbyterian denomination’s official endorsement Tuesday (March 17), American mainline Protestants have solidified their supp...

United Methodist Church Pushes New Focus On Community Health

The Commercial Dispatch / The Associated Press | JAN SWOOPE | Posted 02.23.2015 | Religion

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - It's not uncommon to hear about missionaries and medical volunteers in far-flung corners of the world who deal with health cris...

Christians: You Have 5 Months

Rev. Jeff Hood | Posted 04.20.2015 | Religion
Rev. Jeff Hood

I call on all Christians to lay down your scriptures, dogmas, doctrines and interpretations long enough to learn how to love your neighbor as your self.

United Methodist Church Makes Small Step Toward Accepting Same Sex Marriage

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 02.14.2015 | Religion

The United Methodist Church is taking a small step towards becoming a more welcoming place for LGBT people. The Connectional Table, a global church...

The Other Rev. King: A Word from Mississippi

Rev. Jeff Hood | Posted 03.17.2015 | Religion
Rev. Jeff Hood

Make no mistake, there truly are ghosts in Mississippi. Most often, they inhabit long forgotten places and toil with hopes that their mortal lives have not been lived in vain. A few years ago, I first traveled to a forgotten place to meet a forgotten man.

Michelangelo Signorile

Pastor Who Will Keep Ordination After Performing Gay Marriage: 'I Will Never Be Silent Again' | Michelangelo Signorile | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices

The Rev. Frank Schaefer was jubilant yesterday, discussing what’s been dubbed his “refrocking" in the United Methodist Church (UMC), calling it a ...

The Pastor Stays

AP | TRAVIS LOLLER | Posted 12.27.2014 | Religion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordain...