May 24, 2000
Seizing the blessings of a rising stock market and unexpectedly plentiful reserve funds, the United Methodist General Conference approved millions of dollars for innovative programs serving overseas churches, ethnic groups in the U.S., young people, older adults, urban needs, ministries to the deaf, and even the production of cable TV spots to attract new members. But good feelings about expanding the mission of the 9.6-million member church (which includes 1.4 million members overseas) were dampened by a stormier-than-usual conflict over homosexuality.
Keeping the Faith (2000), directed by Edward Norton
Starting a review with a plot summary is commensurate with saying, "You know, that Shakespeare is almost as good as Jackie Collins." Of course, now I'm going to do just that, but I have a reason: a cursory look at the plot of Keeping the Faith can trick readers into thinking something religious goes on, and I need to correct that impression as early as possible.
Perpetua, Macrina, Theodora, Sara, Syncletica, Melania the Younger and Melania the Elder, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Ávila—I didn’t hear about any of these great women of faith when I was growing up. It’s not that teachers withheld knowledge of them from us. Rather, I think they themselves hadn’t heard of most these women.