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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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


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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. 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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With 127 wildfires burning in the West and flash floods continuing to threaten the East in the United States, United Methodists are urged to continue supporting the church's efforts at disaster relief and recovery. more

Global Health, Disasters & Climate Change

Alabama-West Florida Conference leaders determined that the complaints brought against the U.S. attorney general referred to actions related to the performance of his public service, not personal behaviors. more

Advocating Justice 4 Comments

A talk by the Rev. Adam Hamilton on interpreting the Bible offers a way to keep the United Methodist Church together: dropping our assumptions about scripture and one another. more

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Panelists at the July 16-18 Uniting Methodists' conference in Dallas spoke with deep emotion about being accepted by the church and about their devotion to seeing the church stay together. more

A Way Forward

Combining revival with strategy, Uniting Methodists lay out their plan to promote acceptance of the 'One Church' unity model at the 2019 General Conference. more

A Way Forward 3 Comments

Sponsor of teams to bring worship to detained immigrant teen-agers, Highland Park UMC in Dallas translates the youths' prayer requests into English and posts them for intercession by its members. more

Advocating Justice

An interfaith team from North Texas brought joy and hope to youths at a U.S. immigration detention camp near El Paso. more

Practicing Faith

Proponents of the "Traditional" Way Forward model argue that the UMC should forego social justice for "pure evangelism," while progressives see the two as inextricably linked yet they often don't follow through on the linkage. more

Perspectives 5 Comments

The machinations of United Methodist "powers that be" give a feeling that the playing field for the 2019 General Conference is being rigged for a certain outcome. more

Perspectives 11 Comments

La Trinidad United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas, has become a gathering place where people can discuss and work on community issues such as gun safety. more

Advocating Justice

An uncomfortable spiritual discernment leads Cynthia B. Astle to question whether retributive actions are ethically correct for American Christians in the face of today's widespread injustices. 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

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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

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