Centering the United Methodist Church on Christ

National Treasure

I spent the holidays with Dolly Parton. Well, not literally. Like everything else in 2020, it was all virtual – and it was a whirlwind. Throughout her rhinestone-studded career, Dolly has sold over 100 million albums, starred in countless movies and TV specials,...

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Jack Hayford: Pastor to Pastors

Over the last 40 years, one of the most popular modern day hymns is “Majesty, Worship His Majesty” written by Jack Hayford. Congregations from all denominations around the globe have sung it with reverence and gusto.  Included in The United Methodist Hymnal, the song...

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Snake in the Manger

One of my dear friends bought a Christmas tree ornament featuring the Grinch in a Covid-19 mask muttering, “2020: Stink, Stank, Stunk!” That exasperation and frustration is shared by so many. Thankfully, some of our holiday traditions were able to be modified and...

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Gratitude and the Socially-Distanced Thanksgiving

Over the many months of the worldwide pandemic, our nation has weathered wildfires in the West, hurricanes in the South, “murder hornets” in the Pacific Northwest, stay-at-home orders, nationwide protests, shuttered business, postponed funerals, drive-up church...

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Brokenness, Burgers, and Redemption

At the height of the government mandated lockdown earlier this year, Kraft Heinz factories were operating around the clock in order to meet the demand for macaroni and cheese. According to the New York Times, retailers at the same time saw a 50 percent increase in...

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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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