WellSprings: Encountering Otherness

By By HiRho Y. Park.

How do people encounter otherness? Of course, “othering” has been useful for forming national boundaries and identities. However, I define “otherness” as a point of connection within God’s creation because it completes the holistic circle of creation by mirroring the other side of revelation of God. We see the other side of God in others from their “otherness.”

The Widow of Zarephath: A Story of Empowerment in Marginality

By Quynh-Hoa Nguyen.

This article represents a Vietnamese woman’s reading of the story of the widow at Zarephath in the context of the Christian marginality of women. The marginal widow of Zarephath, as this reading articulates, represents divine empowerment in her marginality.

Renewal: A New Thing of God in an Age of Decline

By Wendy J. Deichmann.

United Methodists in the United States are tired of Church decline. We have begun our fifth decade of an historic slide toward extinction. This is not an exaggeration; it is the biggest elephant in the United Methodist room, and many of us would prefer not to talk about it. Inquiring minds may wonder, where is God, and what is God doing in the midst of this discouraging movement in a direction we really do not want to go?

Spirit Brush Arts

By Donna Fado Ivery.

In 1994, a disabling brain injury dramatically changed how I form each thought and motion, throwing me out of the pastoral ministry, my beloved vocation. With compromised speech, memory, vision, balance, left-side facility, and endurance, and through five years of rehab and chronic pain, I learned how to shadow the Spirit’s creative movement in order to get “through it all.”

The Ministry of Presence: The Importance of Building Capacity among the Laity

By Joaquina Filipe Nhanala.

African sayings, stories, recalling to memory conversation of the elders in my family, are among my sources for self-education to aid in understanding what is important, as well as the expectations of my fellow African Christians as I use them as a source for the communication of the Gospel. Coupled with this are the informative thoughts that come from my participation in young people’s meetings as well as visits I have received from them.

A Gift as Old as Time . . . Stitching for a New Day

By Julienne Judd.

When I was five, I received a doll for Christmas. It came with one set of clothing; of course I immediately lost her socks and underwear. The next morning, thanks to my mother and my father’s white socks, she had a pair of underwear, tops and bottoms. I remember thinking, Clothes from socks.

The One Million Dream Project

By Yong Hui V. McDonald.

BJesus is truly blessing people in jails and prisons with new life when they come to meet Christ, grow in their relationships with the Lord, and learn how to serve. God also blessed me with a new life as a minister through dreams and visions of how I can reach out to people in different ways and in areas that I had never imagined. I will share how God expanded my ministry and mission in four different ways.

To Places Unknown

By Susan T. Henry-Crowe.

Bewildered by a more visible multireligious world, Christians must become more knowledgeable and sensitive to honest expressions of God in the lives of all people. This reality creates joy, confusion, and fear. Knowing neighbors, welcoming strangers, and offering hospitality to all is the first commandment. Yet, Christian people are often trepid. Denominational Christian identity is far less defined and appreciated than it was thirty years ago. Young people are not nearly as committed to denominational identity as to Christian identity. How is the Church to understand its role in this changing context? How is it to articulate and define the spiritual life of the Christian community called United Methodist?

Imaginative Upcycling and Rebirth

By Molly Vetter.

As I stood at the communion table, repeating the words I use most every Wednesday afternoon at our Vespers worship, one line jumped out at me, as if in full, living color, declaring that Jesus Christ “delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the spirit.” I’d heard it and spoken it so many times—but that day, it was as if I were uncovering something precious and dangerous that had been buried for centuries.

I Am Making All Things New by Mending My Old Self

By Soomee Kim.

I awakened, as if from a dream, and realized that in many ways, I was cloaked. I was dressed in antiquated coverings, worn thin, torn, and needing renewal. I felt emptiness; I was yearning for the invigoration of new wine. Any vision for renewal needs guidance, and that requires an outstretched hand. Trustworthy resources help one choose untaken paths necessary to re-cloak and refill. I first thought the process required complete discarding, out with the old, in with the new. Wondering, my choices ran contrary to Jesus’ consultation in Matthew; I layered new fabric on the old garments of my image. Tears came again and again. I took time to mend, adding one piece of patch at a time. It took time to recall the wisdom of my mothers, artists of making quilts. Mending versus simply patching was difficult but surely effective.