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September - October 2016


Navigating Change

Navigating change

Most members want their church to grow. But ask if they want the church to change, and they will backtrack and wonder aloud why a good thing needs to change. Read More

Navigating Change

When you have a new pastor ...

Pastors have been in their new churches for several months and are beginning to understand their new congregations. Here are some suggestions to consider as your congregation makes the transition. Read More

Navigating Change

It's a picture of multiethnic diversity when the congregation of Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, gathers.

Move to multiethnicity is not easy, but worth it

"If heaven is not segregated, why on earth is the church?" Read More

Navigating Change

The Rev. Shawn Anglim leads worship at First Grace United Methodist Church in New Orleans.

Churches Begin, Die and Live Again

The story of Christ is the story of birth, death and resurrection. That's also the story of some selfless churches. Read More

Navigating Change

Five Clues for Successfully Changing while Growing

Every church needs to ask two questions: Why do some churches thrive in times of growth and change while others struggle just to survive? Why do some congregations resist change at all costs while others seek it out? Read More

Navigating Change

Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards

Thinking about adding or changing a worship service?

Before swatting at the potential hornet's nest of tweaking or adding a worship service, consider the issues involved in making the change and learn from the experiences of those who have been there, done that. Read More

United Methodist history

New Room on Wesley Pilgrimage

Wesley Pilgrimage inspires today’s leaders

At first glance, the Wesley Pilgrimage to England looks to be an exciting way to learn the history of The United Methodist Church and the lives of John and Charles Wesley and Francis Asbury. Ultimately, though, the pilgrimage is about the work of the Holy Spirit and how it still empowers us to follow where Jesus leads. Read More

United Methodist connection

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. is consecrated July 16, 2016, as a new bishop in the South Central Jurisdiction during a ceremony at Wichita First United Methodist Church. Photo by Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference.

Bishops begin new assignments in U.S. on Sept. 1

Members of The United Methodist Church in the U.S. have elected 15 new episcopal leaders. Read where they will serve. Read More

United Methodist connection

Bishops’ executive committee affirms unity, moves forward

Meeting in Chicago July 19-20, the United Methodist Council of Bishops' executive committee approved a framework for implementing the Commission on a Way Forward and took a step toward a called session of the General Conference in 2018. Read More

Campus ministry

Campus ministers provide a critical link

It is a fitting analogy for an Olympic year, but the Rev. Mary Haggard, pastor to the Wesley Foundation at the University of Delaware, thinks of herself as the second leg of a "spiritual relay team." Read More


2015 ordination in Arkansas

More ordinands are UM-seminary grads

Almost two-thirds of the United Methodist deacons and elders ordained in 2015 received their seminary degree from a United Methodist-affiliated institution. This represents the highest concentration of ordinands from denomination-related institutions in recent years, according to a report by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). Read More


One Matters Award to Lander UMC

Outreach, willingness to change common threads for One Matters churches

Discipleship Ministries in 2016 recognized 80 United Methodist churches for remarkable gains in baptisms, professions of faith and disciple making. Each of the churches received a One Matters Discipleship Award. Read More

Publisher's Page

Dan Krause

Publisher’s Page: Transformational change

Change. When reading that word, what comes to mind? Do you cringe? Do you feel fearful? Does your imagination soar? Read More

It Worked for Us

Fiesta Night fun for families, children

The Rev. Diana Phillips and Michael Christopher turned around and stood in awe. The pastor and lay leader of Colonial Hills United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas, stood still for a few minutes and watched as more than a thousand children and adults enjoyed themselves during Fiesta Night. "We just paused and soaked all this in," said Phillips. Read More

It Worked for Us

Cold water for mail carriers

On Mondays during the hot summer months, members of City on a Hill United Methodist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, make mail carriers very happy by giving them bottles of ice cold water. Read More

It Worked for Us

Trunk or Treat Books

Special treats for Trunk or Treat

It's time for many churches to plan for Trunk or Treat. As some volunteers are gathering treats and decorating their trunks for the Halloween season festivity, others are thinking of "extras" to enhance the event. One added books to the give-away stock. Read More

It Worked for Us

Showing appreciation for law enforcement

In the fall of 2015, a community and a church mourned the loss of a fallen sheriff's deputy, Steven Sandberg, who was killed in the line of duty. Read More

We asked; you said.

WAYS: How does your faith help you get through times of change?

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. Read some of their answers here and more at Interpreter OnLine, We hope you will join the conversation. Read More

I am United Methodist

I Am United Methodist: Wanda Carpenter

"What we do serves as proof of what we believe," says Wanda Carpenter, a member of Faith United Methodist Church in Mooresville, North Carolina, part of the Western North Carolina Read More


Robby Balbaugh

Technology: @LocateWesley connects students, ministries

Each year, as college students were beginning their migrations to campuses, Robby Balbaugh, youth minister at First United Methodist Church in Weatherford, Texas, would make plans to stay connected. Developing @LocateWesley gave him the solution to meet his goals. Read More

To Be United Methodist

To Be United Methodist: Faith when the world seems wicked

In times like these, we need to remind one another of the hope we know in Jesus Christ. Here are suggestions to keep the swirl of negativity from becoming all consuming. Read More