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Test Your Knowledge

UMC.org Advent Quiz logo. Illustration by Cindy Caldwell.

Advent Quiz: Take the Challenge!

Do you know how the first Christmas trees were decorated? Try the latest question in our quiz. Read More

Living Spiritually

A candle burns during a service. Photograph by Angelia Sims of Angelia's Photography.

Sad at Christmas? Advice for coping with holiday blues

December 3, 2014

'Tis the season we feel pressure to be jolly, but what if we’re not? United Methodist pastors and counselors offer ways to deal with... Read More

Making a Difference

A man salvages electrical wire in January 2005 from an area of former beachfront homes that were flattened by the tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

10 years later, pointing to a good tsunami recovery

After a generous outpouring, United Methodists invested millions to work with communities displaced by Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami. Read More

Meet a United Methodist

United Methodist Chaplain William “Tom” Carter (center), age 26, helps an injured man whose truck hit a mine 30 miles north of Saigon, Vietnam. Carter added the cross to his helmet with a grease pencil.

Chaplain looks back on 50 years of service to church

Chaplain Tom Carter said, “My ministry started with this agency and is coming to a time of wonderful reflection of what I have done in this service.” Read More

Across the Globe

A woman carries a 25-kilogram (55-pound) bag of rice she received through the food distribution in Topoe Village outside Monrovia by the United Methodist Committee on Relief and The United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Food arrives in time for Christmas in Ebola-ravaged village

Food distribution makes Christmas a little brighter for Ebola survivors and others in Liberian village. Read More

Ministering to Students

Students work on computers in the library at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. File photo courtesy of Philander Smith College.

What churches can do when kids are home on Christmas break

December 4, 2014

College students will soon return for the holidays. These ideas will help United Methodist Churches make the most of that time. Read More

Special for the Season

Screen grab from video. Nativity figure courtesy of First United Methodist Church in Tullahoma, TN.

Nativity scenes: More than meets the eye

The figures in that familiar Christmas decoration offer faith lessons, too. Learn about the symbolism in the creche. More

Featured Resource

Epiphany Worship Planning Resources

Find liturgies, prayers, music and more for Epiphany worship planning. Read More

Profile

The Rev. H. Eddie Fox reads the gospel lesson during morning worship at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Fox has retired as head of World Methodist Evangelism after 25 years.

Evangelist: Traveling the world to spread gospel

As head of World Methodist Evangelism, the Rev. H Eddie Fox has traveled millions of miles to spread gospel of Jesus Christ. Read More

You Can Help

Screen grab from Imagine No Malaria video, thirty-second spot for 2014. Courtesy of Imagine No Malaria.

Imagine No Malaria video for social sharing

Thirty-second 'shareable' video lets you show others why you support the church’s efforts against this deadly disease, and how they can help. More

In the News

President Obama greets supporters from the doorway of Air Force One upon his arrival at Berry Field Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tennessee. Obama spoke about his recent executive actions on immigration at Casa Azafrán, an immigrant community center.

President Obama: Faith is seeing the stranger as yourself

Obama speaks at Nashville immigrant community center about shifting priorities on deportations. Read More

Wesleyan Heritage

File photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS

5 ways to reclaim Wesleyan evangelism

Expert says truly sharing and living out the good news means developing relationships. “Are we friendly, or are we in the practice of making friends?” Read More

Commentary

How is the church doing with injustice?

United Methodists must once again reclaim the denomination’s rich tradition of holiness and social activism. Read More

Featured Resource

Blue candles. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Blue Christmas service for those who mourn

Christmas can be a time of loneliness for those who are grieving. Special service creates sacred space for people 'where they are' and offers hope. Read More

Around the church

Blind students help lead the singing during the celebration of United Methodist Student Day at Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Liberia. The church distributed food and other items to the physically challenged students and their families.

Amid Ebola, Liberian church celebrates Student Day

United Methodist Student Day was observed in Liberia although the Ebola crisis meant it was not the usual day of pomp and pageantry. Read More

For Reflection

The Rev. F. Willis Johnson speaks at Howard University in Washington in an economic class where students did a case study on Ferguson. Photo courtesy of Akyiah Phillips.

All lives matter — A lesson from Hebrew midwives

Ferguson pastor shares what two lesser-known heroes of Exodus can teach today in responding to two grand juries' decisions. Read More

Featured Resource

Artwork for Rethink Church's Advent campaign,

Free Advent Resources: Sharing the Greatest Gift

Rethink Church has door hangers, sermon starters, graphics and a video to help your church share the true meaning of Christmas. Read More

Advent Meditation: O come, Emmanuel

The human condition can, at times, be one of struggle, yet through faith, the spirit rises above even tragedy, and hope and love prevail. View

Feeding the Spirit

Candles set a reflective mood for Advent. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist News Service.

Rethink Christmas: More joy, less stress

Tips for being ‘in the present,’ more focused on others and for worrying less this holiday season. Read More

Video Worth Watching

A creche from Columbia is part of the Nativity Museum at First United Methodist in Tullahoma, Tenn. Photo by Kathryn Price.

New Ways to See the Nativity Scene

Video points out small details in the familiar figures of a manger scene which give added meaning to the story of Christ's birth. View

Around the Church

An office at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church has been converted into a bedroom for Francisco Perez Cordova since he took sanctuary at the church to avoid possible deportation. Photo courtesy St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church

Arizona church takes lead in offering sanctuary

United Methodist advocates call on other churches to consider harboring immigrants at risk of deportation. Read More

Featured Resource

The Star of Bethlehem, a watercolor by Edward Burne-Jones, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Topic: Advent and Christmas

Find stories, worship resources, prayers, videos and links about how The United Methodist Church celebrates the season of Christ’s birth. Read More

In the News

Staff members of Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, sing during a memorial service Dec. 2, 2014, for their colleague, Dr. Martin Salia, who died from Ebola. The service was held at Brown Memorial United Methodist Church, on the hospital grounds. Photo by Phileas Jusus, UMNS

Doctor who died of Ebola remembered as hero

Salia’s death called ‘irreparable loss’ at memorial and thanksgiving service in Sierra Leone. Read More

Special for the Season

Advent Reflection: Waiting on the Light

"Advent done well helps us center ourselves." Watch and share a meditation on how to prepare yourself for the birth of Jesus. View

The sun rises outside Bo, Sierra Leone. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service.

Daily Devotional

See today’s food for thought from the Upper Room. More

Dec. is AIDS Awareness Month

These two children in India were born HIV-free, thanks to a clinic in Namakkal that was initially started with a grant from the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Photo courtesy of Don Messer.

This Christmas, help a child be born AIDS-free

Join United Methodists in fighting AIDS with a number of resources aimed to JUST SAVE ONE. Read More

Church History

One of the panels in a quilt at the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History depicts two women in a reflective pose, representing the struggle of women for representation and ordination. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History

A United Methodist story of welcoming the immigrant

The current debate over immigration brings The United Methodist Church's history of working with long-ago immigrant women into focus. Read More

Special Coverage

Maps courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, labeling of United Methodist hospitals and clinic by United Methodist Committee on Relief.

The Church Responds to Ebola

United Methodists continue to combat the deadly outbreak across West Africa. Find latest updates and ways you can help. More

Forum

Photo by Hidesy / iStockphoto.com

Personal Perspectives on Homosexuality and the Church

The topic can be challenging for people of faith. Read a variety of first-person reflections, meant to help us understand one another better. More

Young Adults

‘Pie Girl’ uses pastries to fund missions

Cat Gleason spends her summer breaks in an unusual way: she’s raised over $20,000 for missions by baking pies. ‘All along is was not about... Read More