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

Gerry Hills

UM Insight Screen Cap from Arizona PBS

United Methodist laywoman Gerry Hills, chair of the Desert Southwest Conference's Gun Violence Awareness Task Force, shares her views on the critical need for better gun control on Arizona PBS program more

Oct 14, 2017 12:16 PM Global Health, Disasters & Climate Change

Puerto Rico Methodists

UM Insight Screencap from YouTube

Facing unequal response because of racism, Puerto Rico needs United Methodists to hold U.S. officials accountable for providing the same level of aid given to Americans recovering from other recent disasters. more

Oct 13, 2017 3:58 PM Views from a Ridge

Dave Nuckols

Minnesota Conference Photo

United Methodist layman Dave Nuckols of the Minnesota Annual Conference has urged the West Ohio Annual Conference to pray deeply about its response to charges against the Rev. David Meredith, a married gay man whose union violates church law. more

Oct 12, 2017 5:57 PM A Way Forward 1 Comments

After the Las Vegas shooting, United Methodists are wrestling with the public health issue of gun violence in the United States. more

Oct 9, 2017 5:45 PM Global Health, Disasters & Climate Change

America worships a false god – the gun – and it's time to topple the idol that has received too many human sacrifices, writes Cynthia B. Astle more

Oct 4, 2017 5:46 PM Views from a Ridge 3 Comments

Montana Burning Video

UM Insight Screencap from YouTube

The devastation wrought by wildfires in the western United States over the past few years – along with United Methodists' efforts to cope with the effects – pose a long-term disaster recovery challenge for the region as great as hurricanes elsewhere. more

Sep 14, 2017 3:28 PM Local Church

Our string of global disasters – hurricanes, mudslides, wildfires, floods and more – reveals eternal truths about how we affect the world God gives by the ways we live in it, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Sep 11, 2017 6:00 PM Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

SL Mudslide Ethel Sandy Volunteers

Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

United Methodists have woven a "chain of caring" through the many tumultuous events of August, providing rescue and relief, standing up for justice, and bringing hope to wounded souls, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Sep 1, 2017 2:46 PM Views from a Ridge

Rainbow flag and blue skies

Photo Courtesy of Episcopal Cafe'

Conservative evangelicals' 14-point statement on gender draws immediate pushback from progressives and other evangelicals. more

Aug 30, 2017 5:09 PM Advocating Justice

Wolfe House Flooded

Photo courtesy of the Rev. Andrew Wolfe via UMNS

If Hurricane Harvey teaches us anything, the storm should teach us that we must use both belief and knowledge -- Karl Barth's "Bible and newspapers" -- as we seek to interpret the world through our faith, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Aug 30, 2017 4:37 PM Views from a Ridge

Feeding Harvey Evacuees

Photo Courtesy of Josh Hale

With floodwaters near 20 feet high in spots and more torrential rain expected, United Methodists are beginning to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey. more

Aug 29, 2017 5:27 PM Local Church

Island of the Son UMC

Rio Texas Conference Photo

As Texas congregations begin to report hurricane damage, church disaster response coordinators say the best way to help victims of Hurricane Harvey is to donate to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. more

Aug 28, 2017 5:15 PM Local Church

Julie and Vanessa

Photo Courtesy of Julie A. Arms Meeks

LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies say the "Embrace Love" anti-racism campaign initiated after white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., sends a hypocritical message because the UMC rejects LGBTQ sexuality. more

Aug 24, 2017 3:05 PM Advocating Justice 2 Comments

Prison Protest

UMNS Photo by Paul Jeffrey

A summer of research into faith community organizing, combined with the events in Charlottesville, Va., inspire Cynthia B. Astle to new insights about Jesus' subversive teachings. more

Aug 21, 2017 6:17 PM Views from a Ridge 5 Comments

UMW Speak

UMW Photo

Churches and bishops, along with United Methodist Women, responded to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., with vows to resist racism and white supremacy with inclusion, self-discipline and love. more

Aug 15, 2017 5:28 PM Advocating Justice

Charlottesville Meme

UM Insight Screencap from Facebook

Several United Methodist bishops issued letters to their clergy and congregations urging them to take strong stands against racism and white supremacy on the Sunday after violence in Charlottesville, Va. more

Aug 14, 2017 3:07 PM Advocating Justice 1 Comments

Way Forward Ash Wednesday

Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

UPDATE: Commission issues "status report" on Way Forward progress. United Methodist Insight offers two reasons why the closed-door policy of the Commission on A Way Forward is doing more harm than good. more

Jul 25, 2017 10:57 AM A Way Forward 6 Comments

IT Girl

Phillip Martin Illustration. Used by Permission under Creative Commons License.

No matter how small and disconnected a church may seem, its computers are still vulnerable to being damaged or hijacked by malicious software. Experts counsel on the best ways to keep church computers safer. more

Jun 29, 2017 2:53 PM Finance and Administration


GraphicStock Image

The Old Testament Book of Hosea offers spiritual insights into the current situation facing America, marked by the June 14 shooting of five Republicans at a ballfield, writes Cynthia B. Astle. more

Jun 14, 2017 6:23 PM Views from a Ridge 8 Comments

Immigration Airport Demonstrations

Photo by Erik Alsgaard, Baltimore-Washington Conference

The United Methodist Church is expanding its efforts at all levels worldwide to assist many of the 65.3 million people who have been involuntarily displaced from their homes, especially the 21 million classified as refugees by the United Nations. more

May 23, 2017 2:16 PM Global Nature