Cynthia B. Astle

The death of her beloved mother-in-law, Evelyn Grebe, resurrects the age-old questions about the deepest mysteries of life and death, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

Salisbury Font

Screencap from Steven Manskar Video

United Methodism's current debates over who has broken or kept "the covenant" ignore the most compelling covenant of all -- our baptismal vows, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge 3 Comments

The convergence of Pope Francis' U.S. visit with the death of religion expert Phyllis Tickle underscores something significant for fractious United Methodists, namely Jesus' call to love the unlovable, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge

Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia showed brotherly love for a Catholic group devoted to LGBT inclusion when the group was refused entry to a Catholic event visited by Pope Francis. Read more

Advocating Justice 2 Comments


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The eruption of violence in Baltimore in the wake of the police custody death of Freddie Gray prompts a response from UM Insight coordinator Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge

Open for Service

Open for

The furor over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration – seen by critics as granting businesses license to discriminate against LGBTQ people – reflects The United Methodist Church's own dilemma over its anti-LGBTQ stances. Read more

Advocating Justice 3 Comments

Emotional First Aid

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A TED talk by psychologist Guy Winch awakens Insight coordinator Cynthia B. Astle to the United Methodist Church's need for "emotional first aid." Read more

Views from a Ridge 2 Comments

Traditionalist leaders who failed to be elected as delegates to General Conference 2020 come from different annual conferences but share a network of connections. Read more

UMC Future 1 Comments

Centrist and progressive candidates sweep General Conference delegate elections in four annual conferences on one day. Read more

UMC Future 10 Comments

Delegates who have been involved with the Commission on A Way Forward and have supported the One Church Plan are asking the Judicial Council to reconsider its ruling on the Traditional Plan's constitutionality. Read more

General Conference 2019 4 Comments

Latest tallies on General Conference elections; one LGBTQ leader departs and another "rides the circuit." Read more

UMC Future 16 Comments

U.S. annual conferences are looking toward the denomination's future in varied ways, including electing younger, more progressive delegates to General Conference. Read more

UMC Future

Participants in the UMC Next and Our Movement Forward summits find commonalities amid their differences, including hope for a more inclusive United Methodist Church. Read more

UMC Future

General Conference 2020 representation by U.S. traditonalist delegates has dropped by 20 percent in recent elections, according to Good News vice president Thomas Lambrecht. Read more

UMC Future 13 Comments

Annual conferences are taking formal action to resist or reject the Traditional Plan. Read more

UMC Future 3 Comments

The Rev. Jane Graner has traveled "40 years in the wilderness" to June 3 ordination as a United Methodist elder in full connection. Read more

Ordained Ministry 6 Comments


Community Engagement

From personal supplies to gift cards to a "tug-o-love," United Methodist conferences are gathering mission resources at their 2019 annual sessions. Read more

Global Health

UMC Next participants will now fan out to their respective annual conferences to share some of the Leawood discussions and lead conversations on next steps. Read more

UMC Future 18 Comments

United Methodists joined other people of faith to rally for the Equality Act's passage by Congress, while media continue to document UMC's internal struggle over LGBTQ inclusion. Read more

Advocating Justice 1 Comments

A Colorado United Methodist communicator has gathered links to many annual conference petitions intended to resist the Traditional Plan. Read more

General Conference 2019 1 Comments

Pacific-Northwest camping ministries pledges full inclusion of all people at its campus and in its activities. Read more

General Conference 2019

The proliferation of secret meetings across the United Methodist Church show how rotten the institution has become, and what future path its members should seek, writes Cynthia B. Astle Read more

Views from a Ridge 14 Comments

An embattled Iowa clergywoman has resigned as a campus minister, while support grows for a Florida pastor facing charges for performing a same-sex wedding. Read more


Chicago Bishop Sally Dyck addresses fears of disaffiliation plan and its deficiencies; Florida pastor faces charges for performing same-sex wedding. Read more

General Conference 2019 1 Comments

Confirmands' rejection of membership captures media; new book looks at UMC's future; California congregation vows to keep welcoming all. Read more

General Conference 2019 1 Comments

Ohio Wesleyan University

Brad Ward

Another Ohio university declares resistance to heightened LGBTQ restrictions; a "unity" meeting gets criticism; and a New Jersey ad hoc coalition deplores and rejects GC2019 actions. Read more

General Conference 2019 2 Comments

The four-page document from BWC's Discipleship Council bases its declaration on parts of the church's constitution and on historic Methodist documents. Read more

General Conference 2019 2 Comments