Posts by Category: Editor’s Views

Columns by the editor of the Advocate, Jessica Brodie

Editor's Views November 27, 2013 posted by

A celebration of Christ

By Jessica Connor. It’s hard to keep things holy when every store you enter breaks out the tinsel and the plastic Santas before Halloween is even over; when you get gift-shopping sale ads that rival the size of small magazines day after day in your mailbox. Popular Advent ministries like the Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child get popped right into the mix like items on a to-do list.

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Editor's Views October 23, 2013 posted by

Holy moments

By Jessica Connor. There we were—my mom, sister, hospital chaplain and I—gathered in a loose circle around my grandmother’s hospital bed. Gram is elderly and already struggles with Alzheimer’s and respiratory issues, but she’d just been dealt a double whammy: a stroke and congestive heart failure.

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Editor's Views September 25, 2013 posted by

Fear factor

By Jessica Connor. Fear is a powerful motivator. It can be used for good purposes by kicking in survival mechanisms (a healthy fear of lightning might keep you safely inside during dangerous storms, while a fear of getting burned keeps your hand out of the flame). But fear can also be used in negative, harmful ways, resulting in the oppression, alienation and victimization of other human beings usually because they are different. 

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Editor's Views August 27, 2013 posted by

Bold works for Christ

By Jessica Connor. I am consistently heartened when I learn about — and get the opportunity to write about — people who are doing novel and extraordinary things for the Kingdom. A lot of times, they don’t think they’re doing so much. I’m just knitting,  a woman will tell me, her head tucked shyly; yet to the homeless veteran who wears the soft gloves that her hands lovingly crafted, her skill means the difference between a cruel night and comfort.

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Editor's Views July 24, 2013 posted by

Moving forward together

By Jessica Connor. One case does not a nation make. And as we move forward in the weeks following the acquittal of neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, we would do well to remember that.

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Editor's Views June 18, 2013 posted by

Can I God-size that?

By Jessica Connor. Suddenly, that’s all I’m hearing: God-sized vision. God-sized dream. God-sized goal. God-sized reality. God-sized worship. Popularized by Bishop Jonathan Holston, the phrase was repeated everywhere at Annual Conference—in conversation, on the stage, on the floor, in the Twittersphere. And I’ve got to say, the phrase really works.

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Editor's Views April 25, 2013 posted by

Love prevails

By Jessica Connor. Two sweet-faced young women and a grinning little boy lost their lives doing absolutely nothing but participating in a family-friendly activity: the Boston Marathon. Others now face life as an amputee. Countless more will surely struggle through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. All because two world-hating men decided they wanted to make a statement, or something.

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Editor's Views March 26, 2013 posted by

Do something

By Jessica Connor. In our faith, I’ve heard it over and over again: once we are saved in Christ, it shouldn’t be enough to merely rest in the knowledge we are now guaranteed a spot in the Kingdom. While nothing we physically do can get us into heaven, once we are safely in the arms of Jesus, we’re not supposed to just sit around on our laurels, eat bonbons and rest comfortably in our state of grace.

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Editor's Views January 29, 2013 posted by

Now what?

By Jessica Connor. While job security and the overall financial health of the nation seem to be on the upswing, I don’t think anyone expected the S.C. Conference to see its best year in apportionments giving since 2003. After all, the recession nearly crippled many in this state, and economy experts are calling this year’s Christmas shopping season the worst since 2008. Most people expected something on par with last year, if we were lucky.

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Editor's Views December 18, 2012 posted by

Let it shine

By Jessica Connor. January is the clean month, the time when I ceremoniously tear off the December page in my desk calendar and gaze down upon all the fresh blank spaces, just waiting for me to plug in meetings, events and occasions.

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Editor's Views November 20, 2012 posted by

Jesus’s birthday party

By Jessica Connor. Red-faced and sad, I have to confess: This morning I asked my 7-year-old son, “Do you remember why we celebrate Christmas?” and he responded, “Because it’s Santa Claus’s birthday.” With a crash, all my happy notions that I was doing right by him as a Christian parent crumbled to the ground, replaced with shock and disbelief.

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Editor's Views October 29, 2012 posted by

My election prayer

By Jessica Connor. Prayer is a powerful, powerful thing. We pray for safety, for health, for strength, for comfort. On prayer lists and church bulletins, in worship and in small groups, we pray for a friend diagnosed with cancer or an acquaintance recently widowed.

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Editor's Views August 28, 2012 posted by

From Martha to Mary

By Jessica Connor. I can be a Martha — so caught up in working and spinning my wheels that I lose sight of the big picture. I value Mary’s style: relationships, contemplative learning, being in the moment. But all too often, my anxiety or my workaholism takes over, and I spend way too much time doing instead of being. My recent mission trip to Zimbabwe made me realize my deep need for a lot more Mary  in my life and a lot less Martha. 

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Editor's Views June 18, 2012 posted by

Feeling the love

By Jessica Connor. There I was, standing in the Pee Dee Room Sunday afternoon at Annual Conference, surrounded by a sea of Advocate supporters, all talking excitedly and sharing stories. It was the Advocate’s celebration reception, the afternoon when our board of trustees marked 175 years of newspaper ministry with an Advocate birthday party, complete with cake and plenty of friends. What a beautiful thing!

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Editor's Views April 26, 2012 posted by

The ‘united’ in United Methodist

By Jessica Connor. There I was, hairnet on, notebook in hand, all prepared to cover the Great Day of Service hunger packaging event in the Greenville District. Except I couldn’t really move. I stood there, mesmerized, looking around at the sea of faces. I watched kids younger than my young son being runners,  transporting plastic bags of rice, soy and dehydrated vegetables from the stuffing table to the weighing table, their heads high with pride and determination.

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Editor's Views March 26, 2012 posted by

Why should we care?

By Jessica Connor. A set-aside bishop. A General Council for Strategy and Oversight. Whether 13 agencies will morph into nine. Whether oversight of the church will rest in the hands of 600 or 45 or 150. Does any of this really impact me at the local church level?

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