Centering the United Methodist Church on Christ

Coping with Covid-19

There are good reasons to avoid watching the evening news these days. It is a rough slog, even for those with sunny dispositions. The pandemic has severally thrown us off the normal rhythm of life. Piped-in crowd cheers at baseball games, shuttered businesses on Main...

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Barren Table Faith

Charles Albert Tindley arrived for his first pastoral appointment in Cape May, New Jersey, in the middle of a snow storm. With small children to feed, Charles and his wife had only a stale piece of bread. As parents, they dipped the bread in water to soften it for the...

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Tenor’s Prayer

Perhaps no singular image better captured Easter under the treacherous cruelty of the coronavirus than Andrea Bocelli performing a solitary sacred concert in the spectacularly cavernous Duomo di Milano, the cathedral in Milan, Italy.     By the time the sun had risen...

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The Cross

I was in elementary school when I first grasped that the death of Jesus was a big deal. On Good Friday, my mom and dad signed me out of class in time for the noon church service. It was somber and stiff and formal – but I was out of school for the rest of the day. It...

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Christ on the Wrist

By Steve Beard Her spiritual journey began by asking about a tattoo of Jesus on the wrist of a client. Aimee Burke cuts and styles hair in a hipster neighborhood in Toronto. “She partied a lot and was partial to coke,” reported The Globe and Mail, one of the largest...

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A snake in the manger

There is a grand Christmas tradition at our house on the evening of December 25: separating the crumpled wrapping paper from the bows that can be reused next year. For many families, Christmas Day signals the winding down of the holiday. Soon the decorations will be...

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Generous love: The Salvation Army

For more than 150 years, The Salvation Army has been the most consistent, creative, and trustworthy symbol for a warm hearted faith and a generous helping hand for those in need. With a legacy of rushing into where the need is greatest, it has earned a coveted...

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Gratitude and the Rock of Ages

I can still faintly visualize it. Many years ago, I was watching the first game of the NBA Championship series when it was announced that the rock band U2 would be performing for the half-time show. U2’s concert was in Boston while the basketball game was being played...

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Sinners in the Hands of a Singing God

Set in 19th century France, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is an epic tale of the spiritual consequences of sin and the search for redemption. In the 1998 movie version, there is a noteworthy scene with the story’s protagonist Jean Valjean (played by Liam Neeson), a...

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Soul food

In the grand scheme of things, it may seem like an insignificant victory – but Eddie O’Neill sees it from a different vantage point. In July, Sunday services finally were begun for Christian prisoners at a medium-security London mental health unit – and the services...

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