Many people were confused during the 11-day roller coaster ride that was the United Methodist Church's General Conference. It is held to chart the course of the global denomination.
"The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity" -- the very title sounds so heady that we might wonder if our feet are supposed to touch the ground this weekend. But today's opening prayer in the liturgy simplifies the point of the celebration. That prayer addresses and praises God as the Father who so wanted to be known that Jesus became human. It recognizes God who so desires that we share divine life that the Spirit continues to lure us into union with one another and with God. This process is called "sanctification."
The United Methodist Church is struggling to maintain the increasingly tenuous bonds that hold together this global denomination of more than 12 million members.
Amid protest, song and fears of a denominational breakup, United Methodists at their quadrennial General Conference decided yet again not to decide anything regarding LGBT rights.
Essay: My vocation was not to be a Maryknoll missionary or a monk, but something else.
Soul Seeing: The last time I saw my brother in the flesh was three years ago, in his den, just before summer; we talked about hawks and love.
At the Intersection: The saying "Only what you do for Christ will last" checks motivation, inhibits envy and disrupts discord.
Take and Read: St. Augustine's churning, restless ponderings swept me through the narrative, but my truest point of encounter was yet to come.
We might think of Pentecost Sunday as something like the church's Fourth of July celebration. It's not just the attention-getting sound, the pyrotechnics and the excitement, but the here-comes-everybody reunion of a multinational crowd of folks who all heard a message and allowed themselves to get caught up in its power.
NCR Today: Gabriella, a young Muslim woman, is the new character -- and new adviser -- in "Francis, the comic strip."