by Chris Ritter Note: This is an article prepared for some friends overseas who requested a summary of what is happening in the world’s largest Methodist denomination. I offer it here as an opportunity for those not previously engaged with UMC issues to catch up and understand the season in which we find ourselves. This might be a good resource to share with your church council and other key leaders. United Methodists finds themselves in a season of sober negotiations. The 12.4-million-member global denomination, many believe, has arrived at a point of irreconcilable differences following a February 2019 General Conference in […]
About Katy Kiser
Katy teaches in her local church and serves on several committees. She served for seven years on the Good News board of directors. Along with writing for Renew, Katy is a freelance writer, and co-author with Faye Short of Reclaiming the Wesleyan Social Witness – Offering Christ.
Entries by Katy Kiser
“Inspire: Come As You Are” Women’s Conference! For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) In Florida, women of Melbourne First United Methodist Church are preparing for a weekend of hope, laughter and fun, November 1-2 that is open to all women. This year, they hope to reach even more than the 67 churches who were represented at the last Inspire conference. This year their conference theme is, Come As You Are, and will focus on the love of Christ that […]
In the Texas Conference, Judy Graham shares Celebration Women’s Ministry plans for their 2020 More National Conference. This past April, the conference took its theme, Known, from I Corinthians 8:3, “But whoever loves God is known by God.” Rev. Carolyn Moore and Rev. Madeline Henners were the featured presenters. Both women brought some powerful teaching emphasizing knowing our identity in Christ, and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Women were drawn closer to the Lord and received a deeper revelation of Him. Next Spring, the Celebration National Conference takes its title, MORE from Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him […]
Dear Renew Network, Ongoing Aftermath of General Conference 2019 A month after the 2019 General Conference in St Louis, where the work of the Commission on a Way Forward was received and the Traditional Plan was passed, the United Methodist Women’s annual Program Advisory Group and Board of Director’s met in Nashville, TN. I attended the meetings as a press representative. At the opening plenary of the Program Advisory Group, Bishop William McAlilly preached from his personal experience, which has given him compassion for the marginalized LGTBQ+ community. He told the women that UMW was needed more now than they […]
2019 General Conference Stands Firm on Biblical Teaching March 2019 Dear Renew Network, During the days just prior to the 2019 General Conference, one African woman pastor declared, “We are here to give the church back to Jesus.” And so they did. For without their strong support of orthodox, evangelical Christians, the One Church Plan would have prevailed. Instead, the church passed the Orthodox Traditional Plan. Many were disappointed with bishops who did not move the process along, which in turn left no time to adopt petitions which would have addressed some of the unconstitutional issues cited in an earlier […]
Authors of Renovation Core Group Study – (l-r) Rachel Knight, Lauren Shirley, Denise Beckman. By Katy Kiser Last summer, I took a friend who lives on the East Coast to Waco, Texas, on a tour inspired by the popular show “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines. The show is about what families go through to fix up a house. Not all remodeling is about building something new; it can also include tearing down what needs to come out so the house can reach its in- tended potential. For the families that embark on this process it can be scary. […]
Dear RENEW Network, It is December and literally everywhere we go are reminders that “Tis the Season.” For Christians, it is the season of Advent, the coming of the Christ Child, the Emmanuel, the arrival of God with us, God Incarnate. The incarnation of God is a great mystery. Jesus leaves heaven and allows Himself to be born a baby, a fully human baby. The birth of a baby is generally a happy thing, a blessed event. But in the case of the birth of Jesus, it is a miracle, and one which cannot happen in the normal course of […]
Reverends Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton give an evangelical perspective on the division in the UMC in their book, “Are We Really Better Together?” This book gives the most comprehensive yet succinct understanding of the issues that divide the UMC. This book tackles why we are divided over the authority of Scripture, the biblical understanding of human sexuality, the meaning of mission, and the division over the best way forward. This book is a great resource for starting or continuing a conversation in your local church about the crisis in the United Methodist Church.
Renew Christmas Newsletter Dear RENEW Network, I love these words spoken by Gabriel to Mary in the first chapter of Luke, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” This is a remarkable passage of hope. The Christmas Story begins with the Annunciation; Gabriel tells Mary she will give birth to the savior of the world! Mary was an unmarried virgin; she knew that having a baby was impossible for her. She does not doubt that what the angel has proclaimed to her will come about. But she does ask “how.” Christmas brings with it many “how” questions: how will I […]
Dear Renew Network, Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst . Dear RENEW Network, It is December and literally everywhere we go are reminders that “Tis the Season.” For Christians, it is the season of Advent, the coming of the Christ Child, the Emmanuel, the arrival of God with us, God Incarnate. The incarnation of God is a great mystery. Jesus leaves heaven and allows Himself to be born a baby, a fully human baby. The birth of a baby is generally a happy thing, a blessed event. But in the case of the birth of Jesus, it is […]
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