Wild dogs, babies and betrayed trust: why the UMC is disintegrating

Trust serves as the glue that holds any society together. We trust that others will obey the traffic laws, will pay their fair share of taxes, will be faithful to their spouses, will respect one another’s property, will contribute a proportionate amount to the common good. When that trust is betrayed, the wounds go deep [Read More…]

The truth about the future of the United Methodist Church

The truth about the future of the United Methodist Church? There is no future. It is as simple as that.  There is no future. I have been putting off writing this post for six months now, but it is time. I attended the 2016 General Conference as part of the United Methodist Reporter journalistic team. I [Read More…]

Standing Up to Oppression: Will We Pay the Cost?

A man sits in a house of worship, struggling with despair, staring at his useless hand.  He couldn’t harness an ox, hold a plow, slaughter an animal, or build a shelter.  Total ruin for his family loomed.  He’d beg, but his wife and children would be sold into slavery. Others entered into the worship space, [Read More…]

A Violation of Integrity: "Coming Out" as a Lesbian Clergyperson?

She’s been living a lie and I’m deeply troubled about this even as others are cheering her on. I write of the Rev. Cynthia Meyer, a long time pastor, and her announcement to her church on Sunday, January 3, 2016. From this article, “I have been an ordained United Methodist pastor for 25 years. At last, I [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Hate the Sin of Homosexuality or Assume Truth?

How can conservative Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin support  and show respect to their gay family members, coworkers, and friends in ways that will not compromise their personal faith? The adage, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” is blatantly offensive to those who do not believe that homosexuality is sinful. Is there [Read More…]

The UMC At the Crossroads: Elitism or Inclusion–or Holy Love?

“Nothing, I would argue, is more effective at driving people away from religion than watching its most elite representatives—the whitest, malest, straightest, most educated, with the biggest platforms—devolve into kindergarteners, ganging up on others, bullying, preaching a Gospel of intractability and exclusion.”  The woman who wrote this, Kaya Oakes, is the author of The Nones [Read More…]

When Following the Rules Denies the Hope of Grace

Most of us know the story of the moving moment just after Pope Francis arrived in Philadelphia when he told the driver to stop his car. Francis opened the car door, walked over to a barrier and kissed a 10-year-old wheelchair bound boy. The boy, Michael Keating, has a twin brother, Chris, and a sister, [Read More…]

The Church's Gay Obsession and Our Hypocrisies #UMC

I simply stole that headline, “The Church’s Gay Obsession” from this superb editorial in the October 5, 2014, edition of the New York Times. Frank Bruni speaks eloquently of the Catholic church’s decisions to fire various teachers and leaders in Catholic schools and parishes because they were either in same-sex relationships or decided to marry their same-sex [Read More…]