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Christmas

United Methodist congregations have particular reason to be hopeful of fuller pews this Dec. 24. A survey commissioned by United Methodist Communications this year found an increase among U.S. adults interested in visiting a United Methodist church. Read more

Local Church

A young Russian Christian's testimony in court prompts the Rev. Jim Burklo to ask what narrative guides our lives if not the Christmas narrative. Read more

Practicing Faith

The Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant has three simple rules for observing Advent, outlined in a video. Read more

Practicing Faith 1 Comments

The Wesley Bros are pondering the Grinch-like effect of the UMC's turmoils on this year's giving campaigns in local churches. Read more

UMC Future

Christmas' familiar rituals can lead us into unexpected paths of following Jesus, if we'll let go, writes the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

The real work of the Christmas season – inspiring the world to take action about the crises that face us – begins once all the decorations have been put away, writes the Rev. Chuck Currie. Read more

Perspectives

An Advent poem from Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

Practicing Faith

Much as we enjoy our communal festivities, the best place to celebrate Christmas is among the people to whom Jesus came – including the migrants and refugees so feared by some today, writes the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

Perspectives

Tongue firmly in cheek, the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant gives a stripped-down version of the Christmas story. Read more

Perspectives

The Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant is really ready for Advent to begin. Read more

Perspectives

In her annual advice column, the Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas counsels how to survive the hectic holiday season with body and soul intact. Read more

Christy Thomas

In the silence, we’re left to ponder a God who has become a person, a God with no crib, a God surrounded by animals, and a God who made himself so vulnerable he died, writes the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

Practicing Faith

The First War on Christmas, with a real battle scene and everything, ends with a decision on Jesus' nature, writes the Rev. Charlie Baber. Read more

Perspectives

Mary's words reveals that the entrance of the Savior into the world is a subversive act on the part of God, initiating a social revolution against unjust rule, writes the Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas. Read more

Christy Thomas

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. Read more

Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

Still No Room

UM Insight Photo by Cynthia B. Astle

Nativity scenes that distract us from the harsh realities of Jesus' birth – still felt by too many today – ought to be done away with, asserts the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

Perspectives 1 Comments

In the second part of his holiday treatise, Charlie Baber finds Arius still arguing neo-Platonic ideas about Jesus, while Athanasius swings in with a godly rebuttal. Read more

Perspectives

Christmas Nativity in the Night

Pew Research Center

New studies from the Pew Research Center document Americans' declining beliefs on the religious aspects of Christmas. Read more

Perspectives 1 Comments

Confronted by a complaint about her church's annual Santa Breakfast for the community, the Rev. Jen Stuart finds herself overwhelmed to the point of tears at the complexity of human emotion during the season. Read more

Beware the simple slogans of Christmas' "reason," because God doesn't need a reason, writes the Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant. Read more

Practicing Faith 1 Comments

  • Star of Bethlehem

    ID 63708715 © James Larkin | Dreamstime.com

  • Garfield UMC Welcoming

    Garfield Memorial Church near Cleveland, Ohio, finds various ways to be make people feel welcome, including having a backdrop where people can take Christmas photos. From left are David Chung, Cheri Shumaker, Johnnie Hilliard and Nikki Froehlich. (Photo courtesy of Garfield Memorial Church.)

  • Garfield UMC Santa

    A family poses with Santa during a Christmas event at Garfield Memorial Church near Cleveland, Ohio. The multi-ethnic, multi-campus United Methodist church hosts different holiday events to share the joy of Christmas with its community. (Photo courtesy of Garfield Memorial Church.)