News & Ideas

Thursday's News & Ideas - 4/11/2024

  • UMC upheaval adds pressure to staff
  • ‘Clash of the patriarchs’
  • Debate over ‘Christian America’
  • Eid al-Fitr celebrations
  • How might God bless a divided America?
  • What exactly is an ‘April shower’?

The United Methodist Church is facing upheaval. These staff are helping prepare for the future*
The Tennessean: Thousands of churches exiting the United Methodist Church have strained budgets and placed greater political pressure on bishops who’ve increasingly taken on additional duties. This instability has meant the work for a group of administrative staff is proving more crucial than ever to the church's future.

Clash of the patriarchs*
The Atlantic: A hard-line Russian bishop backed by the political might of the Kremlin could split the Orthodox Church in two.

As Trump hawks Bible, debate over ‘Christian America’ spreads outside church
Religion News Service: During the heyday of American churchgoing, some presidents sought to use religion to unite the country. In the age of Trump, it is one more thing to fight over.

Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the world — in pictures
The Guardian: Muslims mark the start of the three-day festival that signals the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

How might God bless a divided America?*
The Christian Century: It’s hard to know how to ask God to bless America right now.

The Spark

‘April showers’ — a rainfall scientist explains what they are and why they are becoming more intense 
The Conversation asks: what exactly is an “April shower,” and how is it affected by climate change?

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Nathalie Nelson Parker

Reflective Leadership Grants offer a step back

“The ability to slow down ... allowed me time to listen, explore and be more impactful for the communities I am called to serve.” 

— Nathalie Nelson Parker, Civitas Consulting Group 

Christian leaders from a variety of roles are welcome to apply. The grants provide “balcony time” to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives and discern next steps. The application deadline is May 28, 2024.

Learn More