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Archives: Christian Living Features

Jesus' ascension has been celebrated by Christians through the centuries. Stained glass by Francois Denis, photo by Crochet.david, via Wikimedia Commons.

Why Ascension Day matters to United Methodists

The Wesleys, leaders of the early Methodist movement, called this an important holy day. A hymn explains its significance. Read More

John Wesley, a founder of The United Methodist Church, had a special Holy Spirit moment. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

Holy Spirit moments: Learning from Wesley at Aldersgate

John Wesley’s heart was strangely warmed during a period of seeking God. We too can prepare ourselves to hear God speaking to us. Read More

Parents must adapt to new ways of parenting as their children grown into adulthood. File photo of 2012 graduation at Africa University courtesy Africa University.

How faith helps parents as children leave the nest

Parents throughout history have had to adjust as their kids age. A United Methodist counselor has ideas for navigating the changes. Read More

A United Methodist pastor and mom shares her experiences in being a mom. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Betsy Singleton Snyder.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Parenting, Chaos, and Community

In this podcast episode, a United Methodist pastor and author shares what she has learned as the mom of 4 boys and the spouse of a US Congressman. Listen

A baby holds fast to his mother's hand. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

United Methodist Prayer for Families

May is Christian Home Month in the United Methodist calendar. Video reflection reminds us to pray for those closest to us. View

Celebrating Pentecost with your family can be a spiritually fulfilling and great learning experience. Photo from pixabay.com, CC0.

Ideas for celebrating Pentecost at home

From red candles on a cake, to a shared prayer, there are many ways United Methodists can mark the church's birthday with family devotionals. Read More

Pastor who built tiny house learned lessons about going green, living simply, and making room for Jesus. Screen capture from a video by United Methodist Communications.

Pastor on going green: Smaller footprint, more room for Jesus

United Methodist pastor Rev. Rebecca Rutter believes living simply benefits our planet and can deepen our spiritual lives. Earth Day is April 22. Read More

The United Methodist Book of Discipline serves as a guide for members and churches. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Ways United Methodists can talk together about war and peace

Violence and military action raise questions for many United Methodists. Talking together about difficult issues can help us hear God speaking to us. Read More

Charles Wesley’s “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” is sung in church of many denominations on Easter Sunday. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Risen today! A Wesley hymn devotion for Easter

United Methodists sing, “Raise your joys and triumphs high!” as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. The final word is life, eternal life with God. Read More

Children's answers about miracles provide great food for thought. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Do you believe in miracles? Children’s answers add depth at Easter

Young people's understanding of miracles can make the season more meaningful. “Stuff that you think isn’t possible becomes possible.” Read More

A street memorial remembers crime victims. Chaplain Bruce Cook runs a support group for families who have lost loved ones to violent crimes.

A United Methodist Prayer: Turning to God in Days of Trouble

When we are struggling with difficult news in our personal lives or in the world, we can ask God for comfort. View

The published and unpublished verse of Charles Wesley teach us a great deal about our relationship with God. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Wesley hymn devotions for Lent and Easter

Many hymns of Charles Wesley focus on Lent and Easter themes. These devotions use some of this early Methodist's work to help us reflect on the season. Read More

The published and unpublished verse of Charles Wesley teach us a great deal about our relationship with God. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Wesley hymn devotions for Advent and Christmas

Charles Wesley, one of Methodism's founders, wrote several hymns for Advent and Christmas. Four devotions drawing on his hymns help us reflect upon the miracle of Christmas. Read More

Photo of cross at Belin Memorial United Methodist by Austin Bond Photography. See more at www.facebook.com/AustinBondPhotography. Please email Austin at austinebond@yahoo.com to use photo, and send him a link or copy of the final project that features his credited photo. (arranged by Kathryn Price)

The Cross: What do YOU see?

“God took that awful thing and redeemed it.” United Methodists reflect on the origin and meaning of Christianity's strongest symbol. View

Sung or read, the hymns of Charles Wesley draw us closer to God. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Lost in love: A Wesley hymn devotion for Lent

The hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” is Charles Wesley’s prayer for God to fill us with love more and more each day. Read More

Charles Wesley shares our theology in song, helping us study the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

Forgiveness for me? A Wesley hymn devotion for Lent

Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be that I Should Gain?” teaches that Jesus' death and resurrection are expressions of God's amazing love for us. Read More

The Rev. Paul Chilcote sings a hymn of Charles Wesley during the 2016 Wesley Pilgrimage in England. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Singing Our Faith in Lent & Easter

Hymns are written to sing! In this podcast episode, the Rev. Paul Chilcote shares that Charles Wesley’s also teach us during the season. Listen

United Methodist bishop part of “Finding Jesus” series on CNN

"Archaeological and historical work cause us to stop and reflect on Scripture in a different way," says Bishop Minerva Carcaño. Read More

Rays of sun breaking through the clouds over water, image by Elms on the photo sharing site Morguefile.

An Easter Prayer for United Methodists

A meditation helps prepare our hearts for those first signs of the resurrection life of Easter. View

High school students and parents shop for prom dresses at Prom Boutique at Woods Chapel United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of Prom Boutique.

Churches offer free formal wear, and God’s love, to teens

Ministries that share donated dresses help students cut costs and look great. 'Maybe she’ll think about the church that made her feel beautiful.' Read More

United Methodists sing of God’s grace during Lent. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“The invitation is to all:” A Wesley hymn devotion for Lent

Charles Wesley’s “Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast” invites everyone to new life in Christ, to communion, and to welcome others. Read More

Candles are lit at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford, England.

A prayer in memory of John Wesley

On the anniversary of his death on March 2, John Wesley is remembered by United Methodists with a special prayer. Read More

Pilgrims visit the tomb of John Wesley and learn a valuable lesson for ministry from his epitaph. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

What we can learn from the words on John Wesley’s tomb

The Methodist movement's founder was remembered as a great evangelist and his epitaph has lessons for every Christian. Wesley died March 2, 1791. Read More

In this episode of Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast, United Methodist pastor Jason Micheli shares how his cancer diagnosis impacted his life and faith. Photo courtesy of Jason Micheli.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Keeping Faith and Humor in Cancer

In this podcast episode, United Methodist pastor Jason Micheli shares what he learned about himself and his faith in the midst of a health crisis. Listen

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky gives ashes to a visitor to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site as part of an act of repentance. File photo by Ginny Underwood.

10 ideas for a more meaningful Ash Wednesday

With a little creativity, you can find ways to observe this holy day that begins Lent in the midst of your ordinary weekday routines. Read More

Lent and Easter quiz graphic. Photoshop illustration by Cindy Caldwell. Photo of Lenten cross and thorns by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. Sunset with cross at Belen Memorial United Methodist Church by Austin Bond Photography.

2017 Lent & Easter Quiz

Test your knowledge of the traditions we celebrate and the symbols we use during the 40 days of Lent and into Easter. More

H. P. Parker's painting of Wesley's rescue was a way of supporting a dissenting faction of the church. Image courtesy WikiGallery.org.

Shaped by tragedy and grace: Wesley’s rescue from fire

On Feb. 9, 1709, 5-year-old John Wesley was miraculously “plucked from the burning,” an event that would change the Methodist leader's whole life. Read More

The inlet cross of Belin UMC gleams brights against the sky over Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina. Photo by Austin Bond Photography.

Before I die, I want to _____: A Lenten reflection

Throughout these 40 days, how will you restore perspective and remember the gifts you've received from Jesus that make life full and meaningful? Read More

A chicken and bananas were gifts to visitors at a church in Kindu, Maniema Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by Matt Crum, United Methodist Communications.

A United Methodist Meditation: Knowing God is Nearby

Even when it seems things could not get any worse, we can take a moment to reflect on the wonder of all creation and to thank the Creator. View

A billboard features 95-year-old United Methodist Shirley Bachelder. Image courtesy of Shirley Bachelder.

95-Year-Old Billboard Star’s Message: Love

Meet the billboard poster gal who reminded a city to love one another. United Methodist Shirley Bachelder helps us count our blessings. View

A Christmas song teaches that peace comes when we live for Jesus. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“Peace upon earth be restored!” A Christmas hymn devotion

A lesser-known Charles Wesley song teaches us the peace we desire in a world of division is experienced only when we allow Christmas to happen within us. Read More

Mike McHargue is the author of ‘Finding God in the Waves,’ and host of podcasts, ‘Ask Science Mike’ and ‘The Liturgists Podcast.’ Photos courtesy of Mike McHargue.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: How Science Led from Atheism to Faith

“There’s always more to learn about God.” Author and podcaster Mike McHargue shares his journey from belief to atheism, then back to a question-welcoming faith. Listen

Hymns like “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” teach us about God’s love for every one of us. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“Glory to the newborn King!” A Christmas hymn devotion

Charles Wesley’s popular carol, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” teaches that God’s love and grace are available to all people everywhere. Read More

Author and professor Paul Chilcote has written a devotional using the Advent and Christmas hymns of Charles Wesley. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Singing our Faith at Christmas

We celebrate Christmas with singing. In this podcast episode, we look at Wesley’s hymns for the season with United Methodist scholar Paul Chilcote. Listen

In his hymns, Charles Wesley highlights many of the aspects of Jesus’ birth. Infographic by Trevor Scruggs, United Methodist Communications.

Christmas in the Hymns of Charles Wesley Infographic

This beautiful infographic highlights some of the Advent and Christmas hymns of Charles Wesley. View

“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” is a prayer we can enter into during Advent and throughout the year. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“Born to set thy people free:” A Christmas hymn devotion

Charles Wesley’s Advent song “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” is a prayer for Jesus to come into history, into our lives, and into our world. Read More

In beautiful poetry, Charles Wesley describes how Jesus was fully God and fully human. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“And God himself is born:” A Christmas hymn devotion

How is Jesus both fully God and fully human? Charles Wesley explains the mystery of the incarnation in beautiful poems for Advent and Christmas. Read More

Two former enemies embrace in Vasconcellos’ sculpture Reconciliation. Photo by Martinvl, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Finding healing and peace in a polarized political climate

United Methodists may feel divided on issues inside and outside the church. An expert in conflict transformation offers tips to help us reconnect. Read More

The Rev. Ken Sloane invites us to see generosity as an opportunity for joy. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Generosity is Good for the Soul

In this podcast episode, we talk about generosity as a way to experience joy through blessing another and connecting with God. Listen

Elysia, 2, hugs a state flag during a visit to Ox Hill Battlefield Park, Fairfax County, Va. More than 1,500 soldiers were killed or wounded during this Civil War battle on Sept. 1, 1862. Photo courtesy of Seth Cooper.

20 ways to reach out on Veterans Day

November 11 is Veterans Day. Learn ways individuals and congregations can engage in ministry with U.S. military, vets and their families. Read More

Youth of Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles serve a meal during their annual

Easy ways to share gratitude this Thanksgiving

Find creative ideas to make this season of thanks more about giving than receiving. Read More

Biblical figures Ruth and mother-in-law Naomi are depicted as strong, caring women by painter Sandy Freckleton Gagon.

Biblical mothers: not a job for the faint of heart

Take a look at some of the strong role models of faithfulness and God's self-giving love we can find in Scripture. Read More

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs by Fra Angelico (15th Century), National Gallery, London. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

All Saints Day: A holy day John Wesley loved

The day after Halloween was a time encouraged by Wesley for Methodists to remember and give thanks for saints gone to glory and those still living. Read More

The window at Lincoln College in Oxford features a depiction of the story of Jonah (2nd from the right) that influenced John Wesley. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Discovering God’s will: John Wesley’s difficult decision

John Wesley set sail for America on October 21, 1735, after a discernment process that included a Bible story and a stained glass window. Read More

Children's Sabbath includes times of celebrating children and reaching out to meet their needs. File photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Why United Methodists observe Children’s Sabbath

Churches mark the Children's Sabbath as a time to renew our commitment to care, protect, and advocate for all children. Read More

Marcia McFee directs an evening of prayer and song held at the West End United Methodist Church in Nashville as part of the Rethinking Worship and Song Conference. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Christmas carols: “Above all sing spiritually”

They feature lyrics you've sung all your life, but do you know the real story behind your favorite Christmas hymns? Read More

Pastors appreciate the time they get to spend with people in their congregations and in the community. A United Methodist Communications photo by Fred Koenig.

Coffee, conversations, and God: Pastors share their appreciation

What's the best part of a pastor's job? Clergy tell us what they love about their work during Pastor Appreciation Month. Read More

World Communion Sunday is celebrated by United Methodists and others all across the globe. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

World Communion Sunday: A celebration of unity and service

This weekend United Methodists in churches around the world will take part in a special Sunday. Here's what you need to know to be ready. More

The unconditional love of a dog helps us understand the nature of God. Photo courtesy of Barbara Bailey Hutchison.

What dogs can teach us about God’s love

Singer Barbara Bailey Hutchison writes about one song that captures the spiritual side of being a pet owner. Read More

A statue of John Wesley greets visitors to The New Room in Bristol, England. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

The method of Methodism expands: Societies and the New Room

Series continues a look at what happened after the Wesleys left Oxford. See how the small group model shaped the Methodist movement. Part 2 of 3. Read More