Skip Navigation

July - August 2016



The Rev. Scott McKenzie

Live gratefully, live generously

In a village in Malawi where families were starving, the Rev. Scott McKenzie experienced some of the most genuine generosity he's ever witnessed. He learned quickly that gratitude leads to generosity. Read More


Bishop Kenneth L. Carder

John Wesley on giving

Giving in the Wesleyan tradition: Giving must be more than a response to an appeal to general humanitarianism. It must be rooted and grounded theologically and missionally. Read More


Why I Give

United Methodists from around the world share why they give money and, specifically, why they give through their church. Read More


Michael Reeves

Preaching, teaching generosity

Pastors do not feel equipped to address the connection of faith and money. They generally have not been trained in their theological studies or through continuing education. Read More


Young people engage in Bible study during the United Methodist Seminar Program on National/International Affairs sponsored by the General Board of Church and Society.

Connecting through giving, United Methodists change lives

As they give generously, United Methodists together make disciples and transform the world for Christ. Read More


Isabella Tinte (right) and Hazel Rollolazo are part of the worship team at Beacon United Methodist Church in Seattle.

Giving time and service

Whether you live at a frenetic pace, overextending yourself to the point of exhaustion or are the type who is most comfortable budgeting your time, one thing is certain: As Christians, we are called to be good stewards, balancing the resources given to us by God. Read More


Fourth-grader Faith Watters sells lemonade and art work to support the efforts of her Sunday school class to buy a llama. She is from Los Altos United Methodist Church in California.

Let the children give

When a fourth-grader realized how much money her Sunday school class needed to raise to purchase a llama for a family in need, her passion and creativity stirred. Read More


The Rev. Clif Christopher

The ‘third rail’ of being a pastor: Knowing who gives what

By most accounts, it is the third rail of being a local church pastor: touch it, and you'll get zapped. "It" is the long-standing question, "Should a pastor know how much a church member gives?" Read More


The Rev. Thad Austin

Electronic giving raises techno-, theo-logical questions

The preference among churchgoers for electronic giving is clear. A recent study showed that 79 percent of 24-34 year olds prefer to give electronically with 60 percent of all attendees stating the same preference. Read More

General Conference 2016

Unity stressed in post-GC pastoral letter

Reviving a tradition that is more than a century old and in the wake of General Conference 2016, the United Methodist Council of Bishops on May 23 sent this pastoral letter Read More

United Methodist connection

20 bishops to be elected

Twenty new episcopal leaders will join the United Methodist Council of Bishops in the coming months. Read More

General Conference 2016

Taking time to serve

As thousands of United Methodists worked through General Conference business, others spent several hours serving the people of Portland, Oregon. At the same time, United Methodist Rural Advocates daily let delegates and visitors serve some of the city's homeless. Read More

General Conference 2016

Time to celebrate, time to commit

Reports, presentations and special events reminded General Conference of what United Methodists accomplish together as they seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Read More

General Conference 2016

Legislation expands local church options

For several decades, United Methodists have received a special offering on the fourth Sunday of Lent designated to support humanitarian efforts in the wake of natural and human-caused disasters. In recent years, the offering has supported the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Read More

General Conference 2016

Four constitutional changes need ratification

General Conference 2016 approved proposed amendments to the constitution of The United Methodist Church. Now it is up to the members of the annual conferences around the world to determine if they will be ratified and become church law. Read More

General Conference 2016

Delegates leave coalition, adopt principles

General Conference 2016 ordered two United Methodist agencies to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). That vote and the adoption of two new Social Principles were among the societal issues the assembly addressed. Read More

General Conference 2016

$604 million general church budget passes

Goodbye, historically low budget. Hello, slight increase. Read More

General Conference 2016

Delegates, actions illustrate ‘worldwide’

"Buy reading glasses" may be among the first to-do items for delegates elected to General Conference 2020. Read More

Publisher's Column

Dan Krause

Publisher’s Page: More blessed to give

The essence of United Methodist connectionalism is based on the idea that together we can do so much more than we can do alone. Read More

It Worked for Us

The Rev. Lisa Bandel leads the annual Blessing of the Animals in the Green Cathedral at Davidsonville (Maryland) United Methodist Church.

A natural sanctuary

As the people worshipped, they could hear birds sing above a faint orchestra of bugs, smell the light fragrance of crepe myrtles and feel the gentle breeze. The congregants sat and mediated on God's word in the Green Cathedral. Read More

It Worked for Us

Those needing socks or simple footwear are invited to help themselves to the items on trees outside First United Methodist Chuch in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Bushes sprout flip-flops, socks

While many people hang ornaments on trees for Christmas, First United Methodist Church in Hutchinson, Kansas, began placing socks and flip-flops, covered in plastic, in their evergreens during Easter. Read More

It Worked for Us

The Rev. Dave Serven

Praying for their community

Volunteers cemented tall, white crosses into the ground in front of the Winchester Community and San Jacinto United Methodist churches that Serven serves in California. In front of each is a black mailbox that reads: "Prayer Requests." The mailboxes hold paper and pens to make "sending" the requests easy. Read More

It Worked for Us

Congregants and their neighbors join in prayer during the annual Blessing of the Trractors at Pleasant Corners United Methodist Church in Minnesota.

Tractor blessing a serious ritual

Gary Heslin believes that his farm is blessed. He trusts the power of prayer and that's why he drove his tractor to the parking lot of Pleasant Corners United Methodist Church for a blessing. Read More

Leadership development

New candidacy guidebook available

Answering the Call, a guidebook for group mentoring of candidates for ordained ministry, is now available from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Read More

We asked, you said

WAYS: What does it mean to live a generous life, to follow a generous lifestyle?

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. This issue: What does it mean to live a generous life, to follow a generous lifestyle? Read More

I am United Methodist

The Rev. Wendell and Susan Williams

I Am United Methodist: The Rev. Wendell E. Williams

When the Rev. Wendell E. Williams graduated from high school in 1968, he also "graduated" from the church of his roots. He walked away from organized religion and thought he could live the Christian life in his own strength without the fellowship of other disciples. Read More


While the Rev. Richard Burstall promotes the availability of online giving at Michelson Memorial United Methodist Church, receiving gifts in the traditional plates is still a part of each service.

Online giving can increase blessings – for givers and churches

Making the transition to offering online giving is bigger than acquiring the needed technology and simplifying giving for some congregants. The availability of online giving provides a potentially significant way for increasing total donations. Read More


Watch missionaries tell their stories

A new webpage, "Beyond the Anchor Cross,", features videos of missionaries telling their stories of faith and service. Read More

To Be United Methodist

To Be United Methodist: Why do we have prayers of confession in worship?

Why do United Methodists have prayers of confession in worship? Isn't asking forgiveness just between me and God? Read More