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The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington was dedicated by President Obama on Oct. 16, 2011. Photo by Maile Bradfield/United Methodist News Service.

Photo by Maile Bradfield/United Methodist News Service

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington was dedicated by President Obama on Oct. 16, 2011.

January - February 2016

The role of the Connectional Table includes

Future Focused/Mission Driven: Strategic Directions for 2017-20

Our 2020 Vision looks forward to a United Methodist Church that can double the number of highly vital congregations excelling in the five markers of vitality: disciples in worship, new disciples (professions of faith), disciples in small groups, disciples in mission and giving to mission. Read More

Healthy churches birth healthy churches

"Vital congregations is the point of our mission" to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, says the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker. Read More

The Rev. Erica Allen (center) welcomes Keith Wright (left) and the Rev. Toi King to worship at East Bank Church, a new church start meeting in the East Park Community Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Church planting is United Methodist tradition

United Methodists inherited a church-planting ethic from founder John Wesley. From the early days of his ministry, he took the gospel to people likely to be uncomfortable – or even unwelcome – in existing congregations throughout England. Read More

Intern Challye Hays laughs with children as they play during a  Project Transformation Family Fun Night at Antioch (Tennessee) United Methodist Church. Project Transformation is among the recepients of Young Clergy Initiative grants.

Discernment, education support starting points to develop Christian leaders

With a focus on leadership, education and young people, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is "Preparing Global Leaders for a Global Church." Read More

The support of the Global Health Initiative has helped improve health care in Zimbabwe -- and given the church a voice when decisions are made about health care matters.

Global health advances merit celebrating

Some of the greatest global health-related celebrations of the past four years have resulted in part from United Methodist-sponsored programs and partnerships, says Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director for the Global Health Unit of the General Board of Global Ministries. Read More

Laity offer thoughts on State of the Church

The perspectives of some laity whose leadership in their congregations and beyond gives them perspectives that are both local and global. Read More

Peter Cibuabua

God unites us

Peter Cibuabua: "I speak of the State of the Church in Democratic Republic of Congo, believing that God is powerfully at work in a similar way around the world." Read More

Courtney Fowler

A different vision

Courtney Fowler: "to see the work to which God is calling us in the world requires a different vision and an intentional choice to be part of this work." Read More

Scott L. Johnson

Reasons for hope

Scott Johnson: "the people called United Methodist have many reasons for hope. The primary reason for this optimism is that the church is starting to see the fruit of the vital congregations' movement." Read More

Chelsea Spyres

Emphasize WITH*

Chelsea Spyres: "Are we going to focus on numbers and what we would historically think of as things necessary to survive, or are we going to focus on relationship building and programs that are changing the world?" Read More

United Methodist Women from Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesvillle, Florida, demonstrated the huddle to intercept human trafficking during a November 2014 district meeting.

Fight will continue until none are trafficked

"Our mission is that we believe that everybody has a right to live as whole persons through Jesus Christ," she said. "Those who are at risk of labor and sexual exploitation are denied that opportunity." Read More

David Bean (right) prepares to introduce Wesleyan Building Brothers to a gathering of men from the Methodist Church in Cuba. Several years ago, Bean introduced the program — endorsed by United Methodist Men — to his congregation.

Wesleyan Building Brothers creates relationships

When Gil Hanke agreed to participate in Building Brothers, he never imagined that he would still be e-meeting with the same men six years later. Read More

The Rev. Alfred T. Day III discusses some of the treasures in the United Methodist

For churchgoers, treasures from the ‘family album’

Just six days before his death, John Wesley roused himself to write one last letter. The 87-year-old's goal: To encourage a fellow abolitionist to keep the faith in the fight against slavery. Read More

New Bible study expands ‘God’ images, names

Participants in the five-week, small-group study explore names and images for God and the ways Scripture reveals God. Read More

Church members (from left) Burnetta D. Fauria, Angelique White-Williams and Andrea Sanchez-Reese show the restored sanctuary at Hartzell United Methodist Church in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. Among the items dedicated last year were new imprinted hymnals from Cokesbury Cares.

Cokesbury Cares helps churches stay in ministry

Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans' 9th Ward. Hard. Levees broke, sending a 20-foot surge of water over the area. Hartzell United Methodist Church suffered major losses. Read More

Two boys enjoy an Easter egg hunt at Calvary United Methodist Church, Holly, Mich. Photo courtesy Calvary United Methodist Church.

Which came first: Easter or the eggs?

Ever wonder about the origin of popular symbols of Easter? Here's a guide to traditions such as decorated eggs, lilies and Peter Cottontail. Read More

A strand of Protestant prayer beads will be given to each person attending the opening worship service on May10 at General Conference 2016. Volunteers are making the strands as part of the prayer ministry surrounding General Conference.

Prayer vigils: Prayer surrounding GC2016: Before, during, after

When the 864 delegates arrive for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, each one of them will come blanketed in prayer. Read More

Judi Kenaston chairs the Commission on General Conference, which is responsible for planning the May 10-20 event in Portland, Oregon.

General Conference 2016: A Primer

The 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon Read More

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sculpture detail

A Letter to Martin Luther King Jr - 2016

In his annual birthday letter to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie White grieves the state of race relations in the United States and calls the church to enter the discourse. Read More

Dan Krause

Publisher’s page: A momentous year has begun

2016 marks a quadrennial year in the Gregorian calendar, better known as the Western calendar and best known as the calendar you and I use each day, year in and year out. Read More

Volunteers of all ages worked side-by-side during Build-A-Bed day at Central United Methodist Church in Florence, South Carolina.

Homemade beds for children in need

As Art Justice was grateful that he slept in a comfortable bed, he wondered how many children did not have the same luxury. Read More


Festival of MinisTrees brings awareness

When Jennifer Plyburn learned that Anna, a young church member, had developed a neuromuscular condition, she wanted to bring awareness of this disorder to the community. Read More

Freedom Party fights human trafficking

When the youth group at First United Methodist Church in Noblesville, Indiana, learned the statistics about human trafficking in the United States and other countries, they were astounded. They decided to get their church involved in fighting trafficking. Read More

UMC pastors, leaders ahead of the tech game

United Methodist pastors and church leaders match or exceed the average technology adoption rates in the United States, according to new research from United Methodist Communications. Read More

WAYS: What is your hope for The United Methodist Church in 2016?

Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter, we send a question to all readers for whom we have email addresses, asking them to respond with a short answer of 50-75 words. A select few are here. Read More

Monica Kleman

I Am United Methodist: Monica Kleman

Monica Kleman understands stewardship. The 37-year-old wife and mother of five has experienced firsthand the adage "you can't outgive God." Read More