Arkansas United Methodist

The Arkansas United Methodist is the monthly publication of the Arkansas Conference, designed to bring the good news of the faith and witness of United Methodists across our state.

Looking to the past, preparing for the future

In his book The Singing Thing, author John Bell says, “We are creatures of our past, we cannot be separated from it.” He was referring specifically to the music of our past, particularly hymns and religious songs that evoke strong feelings or memories, but smells can...

A prayer for General Conference

A few days after publishing this column, I will -- with God’s help -- deliver a sermon in my local church that I have entitled “Living in the presence of God.” As some of you will probably imagine, I have spent a great deal of time, study, and prayer preparing this...

My favorite nativity

Every year as I unwrap my favorite Nativity from its storage box, I inevitably spend a few moments reflecting while I put all the figures in their proper place. Quite frankly, and somewhat surprisingly, it’s always a bit depressing as I remember how often Jesus...

What is Advent? And why do we celebrate it?

Starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, – for 2018, that’s Dec. 2 – Advent is a December celebration rooted in deep Christian traditions. Unlike the more widely-celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays, Advent is about far more than gift giving, hot...

From the Editor: The season of outrage!

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. Not just for the typical festivities like family gatherings, gift exchanges, the colorful lights, good food, the beauty surrounding the celebration of the birth of Christ, and eggnog – yes, I am a believer in the...

How Julie got her daughter back and her life

On Jan. 11, 2013, Julie Johnson’s daughter, Anna, didn’t come home from daycare. At first, Julie didn’t know where Anna was, but at least she knew who had taken her: the state of Arkansas. Before long, she began to appreciate why. She and her estranged husband were...