Cynthia B. Astle


M. Unal Ozmen

While the highest levels of the church struggle, local congregations enjoy vitality and spread the virtues of community and service. Read more

Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

LGBTQ-friendly congregations continue to resist UMC's tightened policies against homosexuality and look toward a denominational split. Read more

UMC Future 1 Comments

Insight Editor Cynthia B. Astle found this year's "futuring" program at the Church of the Resurrection's Leadership Institute proved that true reform for the UMC is unlikely to come from those invested in the existing institution. Read more

Views from a Ridge 12 Comments

Activities around the UMC's future around the question of LGBTQ+ inclusion ebbed this week, but they'll come back soon. Read more

UMC Future

United Methodist Insight joins other news outlets in expanding coverage of the global climate crisis that threatens all of God's creation on planet Earth. Read more

Disasters and Climate Change

Two high-profile proposals for the United Methodist Church's future – including separation into different denominations – were presented at the annual Leadership Institute held by the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Read more

UMC Future 2 Comments

Part history lesson, part camp meeting and part church politics, the future of The United Methodist Church as a worldwide denomination took center stage at the 2019 session of the Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church Read more

UMC Future 2 Comments

A United Methodist layman in Tennessee has devised a plan to extend the discernment process for new denominations in order to foster continued connections among differing Methodist expressions. Read more

UMC Future 7 Comments

A revised Indianapolis Plan, a regional resource from New England, and a new proposal called "Plain Grace" are now in the works. Read more

UMC Future 3 Comments

Media guru Terry Mattingly thinks crucial questions about UMC-related Duke University's student government rejection of the evangelical organization Young Life deserve deeper probing. Read more

UMC Future 1 Comments

United Methodist program boards and agencies have been working for many years on caring for God's creation and reducing harmful climate change. Read more

Disasters and Climate Change 4 Comments

A board member for the Wesley Foundation at the University of Iowa said it would be "naive" to think that the conflict over LGBTQ acceptance wasn't behind recent higher education funding cutbacks in the Iowa Annual Conference. Read more

UMC Future

The quiet you hear is the sound of many United Methodists pushing to get their petitions to General Conference 2020 by the Sept. 18 deadline. What's lacking in many cases is input from United Methodists outside the United States. Read more

Views from a Ridge

A new communications program from Reconciling Ministries Network will offer online conferences to inquire about the reconciling process and share stories of LGBTQ inclusion. Read more

Views from a Ridge

A welter of "plans" for somehow dividing The United Methodist Church along lines of LGBTQ+ acceptance now face the denomination. Read more

UMC Future 7 Comments

Labor reformer Frances Perkins, a devout Christian, would object to a proposed Labor Department regulation that would erode workers' protections under the guise of protecting employers' faith-based discrimination. Read more

Views from a Ridge 1 Comments

Anna Blaedel

Photo by Arthur McClanahan, Iowa Conference

The Rev. Anna Blaedel will be tried for a third time on a charge of violating the Book of Discipline for being a queer person in ordained ministry. Read more

Views from a Ridge 2 Comments

Religious leaders who visited El Paso five days before the Aug. 3 shooting have issued a call for all "people of conscience" to speak out against racist policies and speech – including that of President Trump. Read more

Advocating Justice 1 Comments

Charlottesville Shelter

Photo by Richard Lord, UMNS

Christians are called to stand up – in words and actions – against the climate of rage and hatred fostered by the president's racialized rhetoric. Read more

Views from a Ridge 6 Comments

United Methodist academics who favor full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church will gather to hear presentations on what future direction the denomination could take. Read more

UMC Future 9 Comments

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

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. Read 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. 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


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. 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

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." Read more

Views from a Ridge 2 Comments