Entries by Katy Kiser

The Coming Train Wreck: Progressive UMC Plans for General Conference 2016 By KatyKiser

  Disclose, Divest, Disrupt. This slogan, worn on the shirts of many at the Gather at the River conference sponsored by Reconciling Ministries Network and Methodist Federation for Social Action in San Antonio, Texas, perhaps summarizes what can be expected from progressives at the United Methodist General Conference 2016.  It is easy to dismiss such blustering as empty rhetoric only meant to galvanize the progressive United Methodist base. But can it continue to be written off as such, especially considering their past performance at General Conference and the rhetoric and clear messages propagated from Gather at the River? Speakers at […]

Where Will Progressive United Methodists Go From Here? By Katy Kiser

This is my third and final article on the Gather at the River conference.  In Methodist Protest Caucuses: “We Are Coming For the Institution” I covered the progressive UMC caucus leaders’ harsh and angry words for the institution of the United Methodist Church. My second article, The Coming Train Wreck, dealt with progressive plans to disrupt General Conference 2016. Gather at the River boasted 700 plus attendees, most of which appeared to be middle aged or older, white, married and possibly just sympathizers of the LGBTQ movement in the church. Of the few young people in attendance, the majority were […]

Yesterday, Then and Now: A New Testament Vision for the Church: September 2015 Update

2015 Fall Update Dear Renew Network, In September 2015, I received the Newsletter of Lifewatch, which is a sister renewal group in the Methodist Church.  I always look forward to Rev. Paul Stallworth’s excellent writing.  In the September letter was a special report titled God’s Own People by Bishop Timothy Whitaker. The essay challenged the church to rethink its identity and purpose by asking, “What does it mean to be the church?” Bishop Whitaker believes, if the church is to be faithful to God’s own plan, we must recover the meaning of the church revealed in the New Testament.  This […]

Summer 2015 – Beyond Pentecost

July 2015 Dear Renew Network, Team Renew and I hope you are enjoying this summer. For some of us, it is a time of vacation from the scheduling demands of the school year, and hopefully it includes a vacation to an exciting or at least peaceful destination. It is also the time after Pentecost, which some traditions call “Ordinary Time.” That is curious; for if you know even just a little about what followed Pentecost in the book of Acts, you realize that those days were anything but ordinary. Starting with Pentecost Sunday, my pastor began a sermon series on […]

The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness I know all members of the Renew Network share my shock, dismay and grief over the killing of 9 innocent men and women of the Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooting was particularly shocking because it happened in a church, during a Bible study. It was one more incident in a string of incidents where loss of life occurred in the African American community. In the last ten months or so, it appeared to me that we were going backward, not forward, in the struggle to eliminate racism. Demonstrations […]

Mission Through Everyday Friendship

Friendship Partners In 2011 our church began to participate in an outreach program to the  International students at the University of Texas, Dallas.  The program is called, Friendship Partners. Mary Beth, one of our members, headed the program for our church; she is a professor in the business school at UTD. Her husband’s job had taken her family to China just a few years earlier. She brought back with her a love for International students, particularly Chinese students and a burden for their salvation. The program is designed to give foreign students the opportunity to interact with an American Family. […]

Making LENT Meaningful and Intentional

There are many ways to observe Lent, but in whatever way we choose, we should be intentional about coming closer to Christ and deepening our understanding of what He has done for each of us through His death and resurrection. The Easter season is different from Christmastime in that we do not have the pressure of decorating, gift buying, holiday parties and big family meals that so often robs us of time to prepare our hearts for the birth of our savior. But at the same time, because we are not involved in those extra activities, Easter can sneak up […]