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. Read more

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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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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." Read more

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What is the true authority of scripture, its lists of rules or its witness to God's heart for reconciliation? asks Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

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We face a direct existential threat from climate change this Advent, and our seasonal reflections must turn us toward radical action to stop it, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

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After a breakdown in negotiations, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño announced that a lawsuit has been filed by the California-Nevada Annual Conference against Glide Memorial UMC to reclaim its downtown San Francisco property. Read more

Local Church 3 Comments

Sharing with NASA's Martian lander the name of this online journal gives Cynthia B. Astle an opportunity to ponder the importance of their similar missions: to find "new things" of both science and God. Read more

Views from a Ridge

October wasn't all pipe bombs and horrific shootings. There were also moments of grace. Read more

Local Church

In the wake of the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue, Cynthia B. Astle reflects on the many ways her life has entwined with Jewish friends. Read more

Views from a Ridge

Observe the differences between the ways that two prophetic pastors were treated when speaking truth to power, and you'll understand what's happening with race in America, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

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Dr. Dale McConkey applies principles of sociology research and John Wesley's theological method to The United Methodist Church's division over homosexuality in a new book with a fact-based focus. Read more

Local Church 2 Comments

Pisgah United Methodist Church is preparing to serve its Florence, S. C., community in the wake of one of the nation's worst police shootings that took place barely a mile from the church campus. Read more

Local Church

Institutional power structures in society and in church, in which women who speak out about sexual abuse they've suffered are disbelieved, must be overthrown by Christians committed to overcoming evil with good. Read more

Views from a Ridge 4 Comments

Remnants of Hurricane Florence are still dropping rain on U.S. regions, and flooding continues to threaten many locations. Read more

Global Health, Disasters & Climate Change

Along with the new "animated Wesley" videos from United Methodist Communications, the Wesley Bros playing cards offer a surprising tool for teaching Methodist history, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge

A new "religious typology" offered by the Pew Research Center suffers from a basic flaw – it fails to recognize that it's possible to be both religious and spiritual, writes Cynthia B. Astle. Read more

Views from a Ridge

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. Read 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. Read 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. Read more

Views from a Ridge 3 Comments

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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read more

Practicing Faith