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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Views from a Ridge 2 Comments

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

Views from a Ridge 4 Comments

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

Views from a Ridge

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

Views from a Ridge 5 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Way Forward 2 Comments