Article Submitted by Rev. Dennis Meaker: Rev. Dennis J. Meaker is an Elder in the Tennessee Conference. He entered the ministry in 1998 and will be retiring in June of 2017. Many trials taking place under the United Methodist Judicial Process in the last 15 years or so have involved matters where there were few disputed […]
In a Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway wrote that the world breaks everyone eventually. The bad news is that if you’re not broken yet, you will be, and there is no good news. According to Hemingway, you either break or you die. Sometimes, like Hemingway, you do both at the same time. Sometimes, like Hemingway, […]
This article submitted by Brian Snyder, a layperson and member of First United Methodist Church Baton Rouge. You can submit your own article for posting via our submission page. I’m as devout a Christian as they come, but lately I’ve been thinking that there are quite a few things that Jesus doesn’t seems to understand. I’ve […]
A common sign carried at recent Black Lives Matter protests reads “No Justice, No Peace”. While this may be intended as a threat, it is also a truism. Our peace will grow only in proportion to our justice, but we have butchered our understanding of justice, conflating justice with vengeance. The prophet Micah sums up […]
This article submitted by Brian Snyder, a layperson and member of First United Methodist Church Baton Rouge. You can submit your own article for posting via our submission page. Read Part I here. And so the cycle of violence continues. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana and in Nice, France. In Syria and Turkey. Hate and anger are […]
This article submitted by Brian Snyder, a layperson and member of First United Methodist Church Baton Rouge. You can submit your own article for posting via our submission page. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said that the line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human. However, Solzhenitsyn had not read the recent online comments in […]
**Article submitted to the MethoBlog. You can do the same. Sometime in the early ‘90’s I began to learn about how critical it was for a church to have a vision statement. Somewhere in the intersection of business, academia, and the practical administration of the church the idea of a compelling mission or vision statement […]
Christians, Jews, Muslims show support for Syrian families through rally, prayer vigil at Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.
What is expressed in Psalm 10 is why there seems to be little concern in the minds of tyrants for those who they go after. The tyrants seem to feel confident that God will not come to the rescue of … Continue reading →
Advent is the season of waiting. Ultimately, we are waiting for things to be made right. The world has seen so much violence, pain, and suffering, so much hatred in the name of ideology. Each new outrageous act of violence triggers a swarm of angry slogans and political opponents pointing fingers. In the midst of this same turmoil, the gift of God’s peace came in the form of a helpless newborn. In the midst of this same violence, the Christ child fled to Africa to escape harm. In the midst of this same ideological zealotry, the Messiah chose the way of cross and resurrection over silencing one’s enemies by the sword.
The popular Christmas carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was originally the poem Christmas Bells by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. During the Civil War, Longfellow’s son signed up to fight for the Union army and was seriously wounded in battle. Still grieving from the loss of his beloved wife in a fire, Longfellow could not bear to face the otherwise joyous season of Christmas with the possibility of losing his son as well. His poem has resonated with me since I was a young teenager. I have always struggled with joy during Advent because it seems like peace is so hard to truly find on this planet. So many people experience despair and sadness at Christmas time. I believe that despair is a marker that we are longing for what was promised to us at that first Christmas…a time when peace on earth and goodwill towards all humanity is finally realized. Though Longfellow was Unitarian, I see a lot in common with Wesleyan theology in this poem, a hope in the coming reign of Christ, and the call to all Christians to name the darkness, speak out against injustice and violent ‘solutions,’ and claim hope in God’s power to overcome.
I chose to have Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, the founders of the AME denomination, to be the bell ringers for this comic. I don’t know if Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC has bells or not, but that congregation has really demonstrated to me what the church is supposed to look like when it is faced with evil.