Jan 2014 – Two church disagreements in the news

Conflict about whether UMC clergy should be allowed to perform same-sex marriage and whether homosexuality is a sin, and whether “online Communion” should be allowed, are in the news. UMC rules are inconsistent and hard to change, and the process is chaotic.

Feb 2014 – Are church rules God’s rules?

Not necessarily. Responses to the January Connections lead to more thoughts and questions about Communion.

Mar 2014 – Ash Wednesday reflections

Sara Miles’s books City of God and Take This Bread relate thought-provoking views about food, Communion, and being Christian.

Apr 2014 – A resurrected congregation

First United Methodist Church of Bartlett, Texas is an inspiring example of how a tiny congregation in a tiny town can be powerful, thanks especially to its lay leadership.

May 2014 – Fighting injustice by making it public

“When you have no power, go public … The public is where the real power is.” So says Senator Elizabeth Warren in A Fighting Chance.  

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is like a secret legislature that exerts harmful power by keeping the public in the dark.

July 2014 – Nations hiding in plain sight

Our true founders didn’t have an “original intent” that we can refer back to in challenging times such as this…

Aug 2014 – America’s long-standing religious differences

In his book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (Penguin, 2011), historian and journalist Colin Woodard explains that our continent was originally colonized by 11 different “nations” — cultural groups whose influence is still apparent today.

Oct 2014 – Religion’s role in schools—informing or evangelizing?

Given our Constitution’s requirement that church and state remain separate, religion should appear in public schools only in a balanced historical context that informs students about the world’s religions. But too often, Christian evangelism is allowed instead. That’s the crux of a fierce debate now raging in Texas. The problem may be greater here than in most other states, but it also exists to some degree in many other places.

Nov 2014 – Coping with old age

Much as I hate to realize it, I’ve gotten old. So have a lot of the people closest to me. I’ll be 81 next month, my husband turned 85 a few months ago, and many of our friends are now in their 80s or 90s. In many ways, I have been much more fortunate than most people my age and older. People often tell me I don’t look 80, and I am always glad to hear that. My hair has very little gray, evidently because of the genes I got from my parents, and I’m still in generally good health.