Entries by Katy Kiser

Renew Christmas 2019

“Behold I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”   Isaiah 43:19 Much of Isaiah unfolds God’s grand scheme for the restoration of His people. The prophet announced that something new was going to happen. God’s vast divine plan, made before the foundation of the world, was going to take a new turn. The long awaited Messiah was going to be born. For the Israelites, life leading up to the birth of the Christ Child […]

Mexit: Why United Methodism Is Coming Untied by Chris Ritter

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 […]

“Come As You Are” and Be Inspired

“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 […]

Mark Your Calendar for Celebration’s National Conference

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 […]

Ongoing Aftermath of General Conference 2019 by Katy Kiser

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

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 […]

Do not be Conformed but Transformed

Dear Renew Network, Paul perfectly describes the choice before The United Methodist Church as delegates and concerned Methodists make their way to St. Louis, where in just three weeks, they will decide the dividing issue of our time. Will we be conformed to the demands of our culture? Or not.  Will we give in to the loud voices who want the church to liberalize her sexual ethic? Or not. We are well aware that the church has been dealing with this issue for decades. The Commission on a Way Forward has been deliberating since shortly after General Conference 2016 and has come […]


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. […]

Are We Really Better Together?

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.

The Adoration of the Shepherds

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 […]