NEWSpirit Blog

The NEWSpirit Blog shares diverse, connectional viewpoints from conference, district and local church leaders, serving as a companion blog to the NEWSpirit Weekly Digest and NEWSpirit quarterly newspaper.

From Pulpit & Pew

From Pulpit & Pew is an experimental blog through which we hope to attract and share interesting news and views from clergy and laity about key concerns in congregational and community life.

Featured image for “Be Flexible”
01/04/2023
NEWSpirit Blog

Be Flexible

By the Rev. Steven Morton

“Who knows whether he will not turn and relent?”  (Joel 2:14a) The Washington Post, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in the midst of Advent, led off its Sunday Books section with an inquisitive, bold headline: “Can we still change each other’s minds?” Within the first paragraph, the use of such words… Read More

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01/03/2023
From Pulpit & Pew

‘Star Words’

By the Rev. Julia Singleton

It’s that time of year again to choose a new Star Word. What is a Star Word?  It’s a tradition gaining in popularity where people choose life-guiding words on Epiphany Day (Jan. 6) or on Epiphany Sunday. This is a word chosen at random to help guide you on your… Read More

Featured image for “<em>Drop by drop:</em> Employ random acts of appreciation”
12/09/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

Drop by drop: Employ random acts of appreciation

By the Rev. Steven Morton

“I do not cease to give thanks for you…”  (Ephesians 1:16a) A recent card I received in the U.S. mail warmed my heart in an unusual and lingering way.  It was an expression of thanks for something I had done—in-and-of-itself, no big deal!  But the sentiment was unexpected and, in… Read More

Featured image for “<em>What we have here is a need to communicate*</em>”
11/23/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

What we have here is a need to communicate*

By the Rev. Steven Morton

“We speak of these things in words—words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.”   –I Corinthians 2:13 “What did you say?” Some of my best ministry ideas have gone unheard or underappreciated, at least initially.  I remember 20 years… Read More

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11/23/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

Thankful Giving

By John W. Coleman

In all this, I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  Acts 20:35 The apostle Paul was departing for Jerusalem to preach the… Read More

Featured image for “Veterans Day: Honoring former Buffalo Soldier, revered church scoutmaster”
11/11/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

Veterans Day: Honoring former Buffalo Soldier, revered church scoutmaster

John W. Coleman

As America honors its military veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, Wharton-Wesley UMC in Philadelphia, is proud that one of its own served during World War II in a U.S. Army unit with a special inherited history. Louis M. Stukes Sr., the church’s oldest male member at 99, was a member… Read More

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11/01/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

The best leaders champion their teams

The Rev. Steven Morton

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,…let us RUN.”   (Hebrews 12:1) When my granddaughter Mia scores an occasional goal during a soccer match, there is jubilation on the sidelines—her father, her grandfathers, all the wives and mothers unsuccessfully masking their absolute delight at her success. Mia… Read More

Featured image for “All Saints Day/All Saints Sunday”
10/31/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

All Saints Day/All Saints Sunday

John W. Coleman

All Saints Day (Nov. 1 or All Saints Sunday, the first Sunday in November) is a day of remembrance for the saints, with the New Testament meaning of all Christian people of every time and place. We celebrate the communion of saints as we remember the dead, both of the… Read More

Featured image for “A sacred reunion”
09/21/2022
NEWSpirit Blog

A sacred reunion

By the Rev. Steven Morton

For me, it was always just a stopping point for a whitefish sandwich and a refreshing drink 13 hours into the 14-hour drive to see my wife Joan’s parents in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.  For the indigenous peoples of that region, however, St. Ignace is sacred…… Read More