Untied Methodist (John 11:44)

A working preacher in Washington, D.C., wrestles with Scripture, the (sigh) United Methodist Church and his soul.

Location: Washington, D.C., United States

Currently the pastor of Foundry UMC in Washington, DC, a wonderful and blessed reconciling congregation. Formerly a United Methodist communicator and editor. Formerly a campus minister. Formerly pastor in Philadelphia for 24 years. Graduate of Albright College and Boston University of Theology. Husband of Jane Malone and father of David, Nancy and Naomi. Resident of Capitol Hill, a wonderful place to live! Articles published in Zion's Herald, a must-read magazine for Methodists, a variety of United Methodist publications, the Christian Century, newspapers.


Welcome Faithwriter, Steve Swecker, to Methodism's Blogosphere

Steve Swecker, editor of Zion's Herald, has begun a blog at www.faithwriterblog.com/. Swecker is an excellent editor and Zion's Herald is an important magazine. It is good to have him blogging.

It has long disappointed me that United Methodism has such a minimalist independent press. The United Methodist Reporter is independent, sort of. Much of its income comes from annual conferences and local churches that contract with the Reporter to produce their conference newspapers, including pages of national news and opinion provided by the Reporter. Alienate the leaders of those conferences and churches, and your publication could go down the tubes pretty quickly.

Zion's Herald truly is independent. Although it is underwritten by an endowment, it is not obligated to any part of the structures and hierarchies of United Methodism.

Don't get me wrong; I think United Methodist News Service does an excellent job. I am also very impressed by the professionalism of the editors of our conference newspapers throughout the denomination. These are people who love the United Methodist Church and who, at the same time, are committed to the highest standards of honesty, full disclosure, and objective reporting.

Yet, if the bills are paid by the General Conference or the annual conference, there will always be a sense that the news and commentary in our publications will tend to represent the interests of the church hierarchy. Zion's Herald is special because it is beholden to no one.

I wish we as United Methodists were willing to pay reasonable (or even generous) subscription fees to more independent publications so that they could have enough income to pay the salaries of editors and reporters to tell us the good and bad news about United Methodism and to provoke discussion and debate even when it ruffles feathers.

Bloggers help us learn more about the church and stimulate good discussion, but most of us blog in stolen moments. We are not reporters or editors. So I value Zion's Herald, and look forward to reading Swecker's blog. Welcome.


Blogger John said...

Fortunately, the blogosphere levels the playing field. Now anyone can be a publisher. There's a lot more room for dissent now.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Dean Snyder said...

Yes. Right. I love the blogosphere. But we are mostly dependent on other sources of news and information to which we react. Having independent reporters whose full-time work it is to search out the news to which we can react is a good thing. I wish we Methodists had the range of independent publications --from America to the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal-- that the Catholics have.

1:34 PM  

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