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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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." more

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United Methodists, including former first lady Laura Bush, have increased their opposition to the Trump Administration's policy of separation immigrant children from their families. more

Advocating Justice

The forced separation of immigrant children from their parents by the U.S. Border Patrol is state-sponsored child abuse that United Methodists should be working to stop immediately. more

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An ad hoc group had hoped to elect an entire delegation of LGBTQ clergy and laity, but the composition of the New York delegation fulfills the goal of a 2017 conference resolution to elect more LGBTQ delegates. more

A Way Forward

Members of the New York Annual Conference will vote June 9 on delegates to the special 2019 General Conference on United Methodist unity. more

A Way Forward 7 Comments

Two eminent United Methodist jurists warn that the church is facing a constitutional crisis as its leadership has violated church law in the Way Forward process and other events. more

Perspectives 5 Comments

In what is widely seen as a blow to the Commission on A Way Forward process, the Judicial Council rejects the Council of Bishops' argument that the 2019 General Conference is limited to hearing only its Way Forward proposal. more

A Way Forward 8 Comments

Sometimes, Cynthia B. Astle's Southern heritage just wins out when it comes to considering events in religion news. more

Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

A decision to charge $200-per-person registration fees for the 2019 General Conference is already having the opposite effect of what the General Conference Commission intended. more

Perspectives 3 Comments

Two parallel campaigns – one interfaith and one Christian – debuted this week as ways for Christians to join in public witness to Jesus and his teachings in America. more

Views from a Ridge

It's time to "call BS" on the false narratives making their way around The United Methodist Church, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

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The real issue for the 2019 General Conference isn't homosexuality or even unity, it's domination, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

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A chance meeting with two members of the National Rifle Association brings some expected and some surprising results. more

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Surprising moves by two noted pastors demonstrate the deep discernment and flexibility that will be needed as The United Methodist Church seeks a path into its future. more

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Judicial Council President Oswald Tweh is drawn into a political war of words in his native Liberia that disquiets United Methodists who remember the country's 12-year civil war. more

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Just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer challenged an American system that shut out some citizens, two United Methodist congregations have voted to challenge the United Methodist ban on same-gender marriages. more

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"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

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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

Finance and Administration 1 Comments

UMW Speak

UMW Photo

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

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

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

Practicing Faith