A book that boasts of being "the first of its kind" to document the history of the Methodist Church's involvement in American politics has been released.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute of Religion and Democracy, wrote Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century as a chronicle of the history of the denomination's influence on society.
A Methodist himself, Tooley first became interested in the topic of Methodism and politics as a college student who was part of his church's delegation to the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. more >>
A new project by The United Methodist Church called Spark12 is focused on reaching and keeping youth in the church. The initiative will give young people tools, and funding, to create ministries that tackle their interests.
The Rev. April Casperson, an executive member of the Spark12 team, told The Christian Post that many young adults are already involved in secular social justice initiatives. She said her team found "that young adults want to make a difference in the world, but don't always have the confidence in religious organizations." more >>
Minnesota's First United Methodist Church has taken a new approach to reconnecting congregants to their faith.
The church in St. Cloud is asking people who have averted from their faith to attend their services, which will be less "preachy."
Starting Saturday, First United Methodist will offer congregants who "aren't so sure about church" a service that consists mostly of just music and meditation, said the Rev. William Meier. more >>
A drive-thru prayer service has popped up near Atlanta. But volunteers at Snellville United Methodist Church say it’s not just for convenience, it’s for the connection as well.
Drivers sitting in rush hour traffic along busy Highway 78 can pull in for a quick prayer and a little stress relief. Iris Green, a volunteer for Drive-thru Prayer, said on a video for the project: “A lot of people, through their busy life, don’t take time to pray. Or sometimes they might feel that their prayer is not heard and if they can get someone to pray for them and with them, that kind of encourages them.”
Volunteers for the service stand out in front of the church waving a small red flag with signs that read: “Drive Thru Prayer Today.” Cars can drive up to the church underpass and volunteers will take prayer requests and pray with them through their car window – in true drive-thru fashion. more >>
As the Occupy Wall Street Movement continues to demonstrate in major cities across the world, an increasing number of United Methodist Church members are joining the cause.
Methodism’s involvement in the protests is seen with churches in states like New York and California encouraging parishioners, as well as Facebook groups like “Methodists @ OWS.”
“The United Methodist church has no official position about the Occupy movement. However, there are a growing number of United Methodists taking part,” Jim Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society told The Christian Post. more >>
Hundreds of United Methodist clergy are expressing deep concerns over a pledge made by a large group of fellow ministers to marry same-sex couples. They argue that if the pledge is carried through, the future of the denomination is in jeopardy.
"We do not know how many, if any, marriages or 'holy unions' of same-sex couples will be performed by UM clergy in the near future," reads a letter, currently signed by more than 400 pastors, to the Council of Bishops. "But we do know the destructive effects that will result in our local churches and throughout the denomination if such services are performed by UM pastors."
The concerned clergy are referring to a pledge that some 900 ministers have endorsed in support of same-sex civil unions. By signing the pledge, they agreed to defy the denomination's ban on blessing same-sex unions. more >>