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. more

Apr 3, 2017 9:40 AM 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. more

Sep 14, 2016 5:37 PM 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. more

Oct 2, 2015 11:14 AM 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. more

Oct 2, 2015 11:14 AM Advocating Justice 2 Comments


Photo Courtesy of RealTimesMedia

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. more

Apr 29, 2015 11:48 AM 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. more

Apr 1, 2015 4:21 PM Advocating Justice 3 Comments

Emotional First Aid

YouTube Screen Capture

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

Feb 27, 2015 10:15 AM Views from a Ridge 2 Comments

"Evangelicals" have been held up to scorn and scrutiny in the media recently, but their public disgrace prompts Cynthia B. Astle to counsel compassion for them rather than revenge. more

Mar 13, 2018 5:25 PM Views from a Ridge 3 Comments

Collection plate

Photo Illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS

The finances of the worldwide United Methodist Church almost take an accountant to unpack, but we did our best to answer readers' questions about Discipleship Ministries' money and recent personnel cutbacks. more

Mar 8, 2018 3:57 PM Finance and Administration 1 Comments

UMW Speak

UMW Photo

Yes, I make mistakes, and I try to correct them and keep going. more

Mar 2, 2018 2:34 PM Views from a Ridge 7 Comments

Climate March

Foundry UMC Photo

With a year of experience, the Sacred Resistance Team of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. is ready to join with local congregations across the United States to share in advocacy for local and national issues. more

Feb 21, 2018 4:54 PM Local Church 2 Comments

Hale Graham English

World Methodist Council Photo

From his earliest career, the late Rev. Billy Graham was influenced by prominent Methodist evangelists and pastors. more

Feb 21, 2018 3:14 PM Practicing Faith

The contrast between the biblical interpretations of the Rev. Robert Jeffress and the Rev. William Barber could not be more striking – nor more indicative of the need to watch out for using scripture to support oppression, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Feb 14, 2018 4:26 PM Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

The Post movie

21st Century Fox Photo

The movie "The Post" holds an important lesson – that all institutions, including religious ones, should be scrutinized by journalists who protect the interests of the governed, not the governors. more

Feb 8, 2018 6:06 PM Views from a Ridge

Personnel cutbacks at Discipleship Ministries have cut deeply into its longtime expertise and aroused questions about why personnel and positions were terminated. more

Feb 2, 2018 1:48 PM Finance and Administration 4 Comments

Donald Trump

Photo Courtesy of Richard L. Brooks

Offensive as it can be, sometimes we have to break conspiracies of silence to give the evils we encounter their right names, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Jan 25, 2018 11:56 AM Views from a Ridge 13 Comments

Judicial Council 2016 New

Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

A rare cancellation of a Judicial Council sessiin raises a flurry of questions about the body and its proceedings, which typically are kept confidential. more

Jan 17, 2018 3:37 PM Finance and Administration 3 Comments

Interfaith Shabbat

Photo Courtesy of Temple Emanu-El

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, urges people of faith to carry on the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and bring forth a radical revolution of values in America. more

Jan 15, 2018 3:25 PM Views from a Ridge

Stand for Justice

Church and Society Photo

United Methodists and other people of faith are actively urging Congress to pass a "clean Dream Act" to halt the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people brought to the USA as children. more

Jan 11, 2018 1:37 PM Advocating Justice

First Responders

UM Insight Screencap

This Christmas is one of most sorrowful, most defiant and most hopeful of all the holidays she can remember, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Dec 14, 2017 3:24 PM Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

Marse Robert

UM Insight Photo by Cynthia B. Astle

Discovering an ancestor's Civil War military service renews her struggle dealing with her white Southern family's history of racism, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Dec 5, 2017 5:24 PM Views from a Ridge 3 Comments

Christ and the Adulteress

Wikimedia Commons Photo

In our apocalyptic times when so much corruption is being revealed, Christians need to face up to our own failings to love as Jesus teaches, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Nov 30, 2017 8:16 AM Views from a Ridge

David Field Uniting

UM Insight Photo by Cynthia B. Astle

The true heart of United Methodism's threat of schism isn't power or sex; it's the lack of love for those with whom we disagree, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Nov 17, 2017 2:08 PM Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

What's Next Panel

Insight Photo by Cynthia B. Astle

Three members of the Way Forward Commission impressed some 200 United Methodists by speaking candidly about the challenges of their work and the prospects for the church's unity. more

Nov 14, 2017 6:32 PM A Way Forward 2 Comments

Bishop Karen Oliveto encouraged United Methodists to resist becoming "nonchalant" about gun violence in America. more

Nov 2, 2017 5:31 PM Global Health, Disasters & Climate Change

Chain Link Fence

Photo Courtesy of Christy Thomas

There’s a big difference between sick and evil, writes the Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas. It's time to stop conflating the two and stop excusing the inexcusable. more

Nov 2, 2017 3:37 PM Christy Thomas

2016 Book of Discipline

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

The Judicial Council should have the authority to decide constitutional questions posed by any legal unit of The United Methodist Church, not just General Conference or the Council of Bishops. more

Oct 30, 2017 6:30 PM Perspectives