"In my church I find myself comforted and challenged, and I thank God for both. I think that is still a unique calling I am being asked to answer as a United Methodist." - The Rev. Glenn Rowley, director of Justice and Missional Excellence, Virginia Annual (Regional) Conference.
Why I am a United Methodist
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (UMNS) - "I want to be United Methodist because we aren't all expected to think alike and that's OK," wrote Martha Stokes, director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence for the Virginia Annual (regional) Conference. "We have our basic affirmations, our foundational beliefs, which we share in common with all Christian communities, but with that comes a broad-mindedness to allow for dissenting opinions and differing values - with the focus of always striving to live as Jesus modeled for us."
Read how others answered that question
A perspective on why schism is not the answer
CHECOTAH, Okla. (UMNS) - The Rev. Jeremy Smith, who describes himself "a nerd, father, partner and an elder in The United Methodist Church," lays out in his blog Hacking Christianity what he sees as the Top 10 reasons why schism solves nothing. But, he emphasizes, opposition to schism does not mean support for the status quo.
Baltimore pastor's son fatally shot
BALTIMORE (UMNS) -The Rev. Bruce Haskins, pastor of John Wesley United Methodist Church, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of love and concern shown to him and his family after his son, Joseph, was fatally shot May 8. "So many of you have asked what you can do for us," he wrote on his Facebook page. "Well, there are two things all of you can do, so I would like to make these very important requests: Please, keep us in your prayers. We know that your prayers and God's grace and mercy are getting us through. ...We all need your prayers." The Baltimore Sun reported that Joseph Haskins, 20, was shot inside a house blocks from his family's home in the Northwest Baltimore neighborhood of Forest Park.
Reclaim Baltimore from gun violence
Make children's mental health a priority
RICHMOND, Va. (UMNS) - Greg Peters, president and chief executive officer of United Methodist Family Services, reminds us that many children do not get the mental health care they need. "Last December was a wake-up call for America when one mentally ill young adult entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and took the lives of 26 individuals. Sadly, these lives could have been saved if Adam Lanza had gotten the mental help he needed as a child," Peters wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
United Methodist woman helps arrange Boston suspect's burial
RICHMOND, Va. (UMNS) - A United Methodist woman said she was acting out of Christian compassion in helping to arrange the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. "Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not hate them after they're dead," said Martha Mullen in a phone interview with Sam Hodges of United Methodist Reporter. "That's why I kind of got this ball rolling."
Scammers bedevil religious leaders on Facebook
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UMNS) - Facebook hoaxes are nothing new, but there is a new wrinkle - crooks impersonating high-profile ministers, the Kansas City Star reports. Among the targets was the Rev. Adam Hamilton of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
Be part of changing the world
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - On May 18-19, United Methodists around the globe will unite in service with their local communities for the fourth annual Change the World weekend. People in more than 1,500 locations internationally observed Change the World in 2012. United Methodist Communications has created several free planning resources including a sermon series and ideas for service projects.
To locate an event in your area, go to RethinkChurch.org.
Join the Change the World conversation online on Facebook, or on Twitter and Instagram using #changetheworld and #rethinkchurch.