Centering the United Methodist Church on Christ

Words to Celebrate Christmas

One of the popular activities during the Christmas season is to sing Christmas carols. As a musician myself, I find that music moves me in a deeper way than many other forms of expression. When it comes to Christmas carols, however, sometimes the familiarity of the...

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Waiting for the Church’s Future

It is fitting that we take the month before Christmas (the church season of Advent) as a time of waiting. Historically, the church calendar teaches us to eagerly await the celebration of Christmas and all the joys and excitement we experience during that time. With...

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A Crisis of Identity

The current crisis in The United Methodist Church is often portrayed as a crisis of unity. The unity of our denomination is threatened by deep theological disagreement and the refusal of some parts of the church to abide by the decisions of General Conference and live...

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Both Conservative and Liberal

The United Methodist Church inherited from the Church of England via John Wesley the idea of "the middle way." For Anglicans, this "middle way" meant the church could be both catholic and reformed (the two major theological poles in the 1500's and 1600's when the...

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Judicial Council Leaves Traditional Plan Intact

The Judicial Council has rebuffed several challenges to the implementation of the Traditional Plan as adopted at the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis. These decisions mean that the provisions adopted can take effect January 1, 2020, as planned. The provisions will...

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A Primer on the Conflict (Part II)

In conversations and emails, I have frequently heard frustration and confusion regarding the situation in The United Methodist Church. Perhaps a succinct overview of our conflict will be helpful to people who are lost in the details or new to engaging with it....

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A Primer on the Conflict (Part I)

In conversations and emails, I have frequently heard frustration and confusion regarding the situation in The United Methodist Church. Perhaps a succinct overview of our conflict will be helpful to people who are lost in the details or new to engaging with it....

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“Mainstream UMC” Caucus Distorts Again

The special-interest "centrist" caucus group known as "Mainstream UMC" is running a campaign to show that "harm" is being inflicted on LGBT persons in our United Methodist Church by our accountability process and to call for an end to trials. The campaign rings hollow...

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Will the UM Church Be the First

Over the last 20 years, I have witnessed friends and colleagues in other mainline denominations struggling with principled disagreements over the definition of marriage and the role of LGBTQ persons in the church. It was always clear to me that these other...

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Indianapolis Plan Values Amicable Separation (Part II)

As noted last week, the conversation group working on the Indianapolis Plan has come to agreement and submitted the final version of a plan for an amicable separation in The United Methodist Church. You can read the first part of my analysis of the plan here. This...

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