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Spotlight on United Methodist Faith Stories

 

These inspirational stories describe United Methodists who are using their gifts and their faith to make a difference in the world.

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. leads the Great Plains Annual Conference.  Photo by United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

In this podcast, United Methodist bishop of Nebraska and Kansas (Great Plains) talks about growing up, his call to ministry, and his devotional life. Listen

Bishop Susan Haupert-Johnson was called to ministry after an early career in law. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson

In this podcast episode we chat with Bishop Sue about her early career in law, her love of books and Broadway, and her daily practice of silence. Listen

Paul Gomez is part of a fascinating conversation about faith and life in our Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Living Our Faith Daily

United Methodist college student Paul Gomez shares how he lives out his faith in school, at work, and in his service to the church. Listen

The Rev. Bob Deich leads the Early Response Team for the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. Video image by Todd Rossnagel, Louisiana Conference.

A Personal Call: United Methodist Early Response Team

A Louisiana responder describes serving others after disaster hits. “I can’t stop it now, but I can come along beside people.” View

Members of the South Carolina's Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas during the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Photo by SC National Guard. Public Domain.

Recalling the flood of human kindness after Katrina

Plano pastor says hosting storm survivors changed his church. “Our DNA has been altered by those who came and taught us to love God by loving our neighbor.” Read More

Bishop Harald Rückert once studied food technology, speaks four languages and plays the saxophone. Photo by Volker Kiemle, Communications Germany United Methodist Church.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Meet Bishop Harald Rückert

In this podcast, we explore a bishop's faith journey as we talk with the church leader in Germany. He studied food technology, plays the sax, and speaks four languages. Listen

Rachel Ritchie plays on the inclusive playground that she raised 100,000 dollars to build.

Child’s Dream Inspires Inclusive Playground

A young United Methodist church member wanted to create a play place where all children are welcome. And she raised all the funds to make it a reality. View

Lindsay Stanfield sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items to help homeless people and people with cancer. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Eight-year-old spends summer helping those in need

The young United Methodist sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items in her front yard, with proceeds going to help homeless people and people with cancer. View

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung serves in the Wisconsin Episcopal Area. File photo by United Methodist Communications.

Roots of Faith in Korea: A United Methodist Bishop’s Journey

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung grew up on a small island with a view of North Korea. He credits U.S. missionaries and a kind neighbor for his conversion to Christianity. View

Joe Mykos volunteers at McEachern (Ga.) UMC with the Car Care Ministry. Image courtesy of McEachern United Methodist Church.

United Methodist Mechanics Fix Cars for Free

Volunteers give away an average of 30 cars each year and fix vehicles for those in need. Those physical repairs often heal broken spirits too. View

The sign at Pennington United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., proclaims a message of hope. File photo by Raymond Landry.

The United Methodist Church: More than a name

Learn how our church's name was chosen. “If you leave the name ‘United’ off you’re leaving off both a significant piece and powerful part of who we are.” Read More

Silja Bijnagte organized volunteers to plant gardens to provide fresh vegetables for a food bank near her home in Minneapolis, MN. She attends Lake Harriet United Methodist Church. Image courtesy of the Bijnagte family

11-Year-Old Plants Food Pantry Garden

A dream of providing fresh vegetables for hungry neighbors became a reality for Silja Bijnagte and her United Methodist church. View

Patty and Eddie Gill founded the United Methodist Motorcycle Association, based in Oklahoma. Video image by Reed Galin, United Methodist Communications.

United Methodist Motorcycle 'Gang'

Bikers are modern circuit riders, reaching out on the road. "A lot of people are dying just to be asked to come back to church." View

Caroline Gowan runs a ministry called Loads of Love. Her church, Bonaire United Methodist, provides money and volunteers to help wash, sort and fold alongside recipients.

Teen Washes Loads of Love

Caroline Gowan is a United Methodist student who started a ministry to clean clothes. Every wash cycle, done for free, takes a load off working families. View

James and Jacob Cogman, United Methodist scholarship recipients, plan to follow their mother into ministry. Photo courtesy of the Cogman family.

Twins Follow Mom into Ministry

Meet a mom and a United Methodist pastor who inspired her sons to follow their calls too. “Watching her has really helped me grow.” View

Methodists Ann and Anna Jarvis are credited with creating Mother's Day in the U.S. Courtesy: Historic St. George's UMC.

Mothers of U.S. Mother’s Day were West Virginia Methodists

Ann Jarvis had the idea and her daughter Anna led a campaign in the early 1900s to have Mother's Day recognized as a national holiday. Read More

Image portray Susanna Wesley, mother of the founders of Methodism. Courtesy of General Commission on Archives and History.

Susanna Wesley: Mother of Methodism

John and Charles Wesley's mom was a strong woman of faith. “The differences she made have lived on because of the sons that she raised.” View

Methodist deaconess Kathryn Maurer is seen in a 1935 photograph. Courtesy of California State Library.

Kathryn Maurer: Methodist Angel Welcomed Immigrants

Meet a deaconess whose kindness and dedication to those seeking a new life made headlines in her day. View

Jenny and Elise Bonsky received capes from Kids Capes of Courage and Northampton United Methodist in Ohio. Photo by Gwen Kisker.

Kids’ Capes of Courage

Sewing ministry shares the superpower of love with those in need. "It is The United Methodist Church wrapping themselves around these children." View

The Rev. James Lawson (left) joins Martin Luther King and Ralph Jackson at a March 1968 press conference. Photo used with permission from the SCLC of California.

James Lawson: Reflections on Life, Nonviolence, Civil Rights, MLK

The United Methodist pastor's parents told him “there’s a better way” than violence to resolve conflict. Those words would shape James Lawson’s life, leadership and ministry. View