Author Archives: Jessica Brodie

News October 23, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

‘Church of the locked gate’ swings doors wide open

By Jessica Connor. It used to be known as the church with the locked gate —locked to keep out teens doing wheelies on the grass, but locked nonetheless. But today, symbolic of its new direction, Joseph B. Bethea United Methodist Church keeps its gates, and its hearts, minds and doors, open wide.

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News October 23, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Better: Chapin workshop helps church leaders take ministry to next level

By Jessica Connor. Are we going to go the path of the status quo, or take some Kingdom-sized risks to help our church be better? A free daylong church leadership conference—aptly titled Better—tackled that and more as a hundred United Methodist leaders gathered Sept. 26 at Chapin United Methodist Church, Chapin.

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News October 23, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Imagine no malaria: Olive’s mission

By the Rev. Fran Elrod. In early July, 4-year-old Olive approached me after worship one Sunday morning with an enthusiasm and passionate spirit that immediately captured my attention and the attention of those around me: “Pastor Fran, we have to save the children from malaria! We need to buy nets and give them to the children in Africa!”

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Editor's Views October 23, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

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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News September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Scamming the church: Telephone fraud ring targets the UMC in S.C., nationwide

By Jessica Connor. The Rev. Carleathea Benson knew something was shady when she got the phone call last month. “The (Anderson) district had sent out a notice the week before about a scam, and on Aug. 28 they sent another notice, and as soon as I finished reading it my phone rang,”  said Benson, who pastors Fairfield United Methodist Church, Piedmont. “The gentleman asked me if I was Rev. Lea Benson, and I said yes, and he never identified himself, he just said, ˜Would you hold, Bishop Bledsoe would like to speak to you, and then Bishop Bledsoe allegedly got on the line.”

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News September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Hand in hand with the homeless

By Jessica Connor. United Methodists are among a large group standing in solidarity with homeless brothers and sisters after a monthlong firestorm of rumor and speculation about a crackdown on that population in Columbia.

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News September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Bishop leads S.C. group to tour AU, launch hunger project

By Jessica Connor. “We will no longer just hear the story of Africa University as it is told. We will witness it in person.” With those words, S.C. Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston is leading South Carolina United Methodists 8,000 miles across the globe.

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News September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Children’s Sabbath: A how-to guide

This month, faith communities across the nation — including United Methodist churches in South Carolina — will celebrate the annual Children’s Sabbath Celebration.

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Editor's Views September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

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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Bishop's Corner September 25, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Being neighborly

By Bishop Jonathan Holston. An anonymous writer penned these words titled A Collection of Attitudes, referencing the parable of the Good Samaritan, saying: To the expert in the law, the wounded man was a subject to discuss; To the robbers, the wounded man was someone to use and exploit; To the religious men, the wounded man was a problem to be avoided; To the innkeeper, the wounded man was a customer to serve for a fee; To the Samaritan, the wounded man was a human being worth being cared for and loved; To Jesus, all of them and all of us were worth dying for. 

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News August 27, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Modern-day circuit riders

By Jessica Connor. How do we reach out to the unchurched and bring them to Christ? For a group of bikers in the Columbia District, you start by revving up the engine and hitting the open road.

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News August 27, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Guiding campus ministries

By Jessica Connor. A new task force has begun work this fall exploring the unique and critical needs of campus ministries in South Carolina. Headed by the Rev. Josh McClendon, associate pastor at Shandon United Methodist Church, Columbia, the task force will examine leadership, oversight, growth, sustainability and financial need, ultimately fleshing out a strategic plan for campus ministries that helps it shift strongly into the future.

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News August 27, 2013 posted by Jessica Brodie

Three S.C. clergy to lead major UMC groups

By Jessica Connor. Three of South Carolina’s own—Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, Dr. Colleen Keith and the Rev. Telley Gadson—will assume major leadership roles within the global United Methodist Church.

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