Find by topic

This grouping of Connections issues by their topics is far from perfect. Many issues of Connections address more than one of these topics, and some of the topics overlap. Some issues are therefore listed here under more than one topic. The difference between the topics “dissent,” “tradition and change,” and “misfits” is especially fuzzy here. Also, in several issues, the box on page 1 or page 4 addresses a different topic from the main body of the issue. However, if you’re interested in a particular topic and want to see a Connections issue that deals with it, maybe this list will help.

If you’re looking for an issue that reviews a particular book, please look under the Books heading on the navigation bar at the top of this website, instead of here.

Barbara’s story
Spiritual journey 
Beliefs: God  Jesus  Bible  Fundamentalism
Spiritual practices:  Discernment   Dreams   Labyrinth   Reading   Prayer   Wisdom    WorshipCommunion  Lectionary
Church:  Purpose   Christian requirements   Methods   Laity, clergy, seminaries   Community   Justice  Money  Tradition   Misfits   UMC   Congregations’ stories
Dissent
DifferencesGender & sexuality   Generations   Personality types   Stages of faith  U.S. regions  Worldviews
Nation:  Empire   Patriotism   War & peace
Religions
Personal stories
Readers’ responses

Barbara’s story

November 1992 – 1st issue of Connections

November 1993 – Our stories connect us

December 1993 – (p. 2)

April 1993 – Step into new life

September 1994 – A life-changing dream

December 1994 – (p. 3)

November 1995 – Looking back and forward

May 1996 – (pp. 2-3)

November 1997 –  (p. 1 box)

November 1998 – Birthdays (65)

November 1999 – Favorite scriptures

June 2001 – Why Connections

August 2002 – Food for the journey—favorite books

October 2002 – 10 years of Connections

July 2003 – (p. 4 box)

December 2003 – Why I am a Christian

January 2004 – Why Methodist

August 2005 – A disturbing disconnection

March 2006 – The shock of the truth

August 2008 – Rethinking Connections

October 2009 – Time to blossom

November 2009 – Beliefs

February 2011 – (p. 4 box)

March 2011 – (p. 4 box)

October 2013 – (p. 4 box)

November 2013 – Still in the wilderness (FUMC-Temple)

December 2013 – replies to 11-13

November 2014 – Coping with old age

November 2016 – Reconnecting

May 2017 – How do we experience God?

June 2017 – Reconsidering the past

The spiritual journey

April 1993 – Claiming the new life God offers

July 1993 – God makes pebbles powerful

July 1994 – We can’t stop with what we learned in kindergarten

September 1996 – A desert journey

December 1999 – The most important holiday

May 2000 – Letting our lives speak

November 2000 – Journeys, spiritual and physical

January 2001 – Pilgrims and tourists

August 2003 – The journey toward mature faith

January 2008 – Hearing the spiritually homeless

October 2009 – Has your time to blossom come?

Beliefs

May 1994 – We aren’t God’s police force

July 1994 – We can’t stop with what we learned in kindergarten

December 2003 – Why I am a Christian

May 2004 – Surviving through thick & thin

April 2005 – (p. 1 box)

December 2005 – Seeking community & truth

January 2008 – (p. 1 box)

June 2009 – A courageous book

November 2009 – Beliefs

May 2010 – Belief and faith

July 2010 – Trying to describe Christianity

September 2010– Opinions that need examining

February 2011 – The insight that age can bring

August 2011 – A story that churchgoers need to examine

October 2013 – Secrets that need to be known

About God

January 1996 – God isn’t one of the guys

March 2003 – Connecting religion with reality

September 2004 – (p. 4 box – experiencing God)

October 2004 – (p. 1 box)

February 2006 – Churches hiding the truth

March 2006 – The shock of the truth

February 2008 – Nets that can’t hold water

April 2007 – Pictures of God

May 2006 – What kind of God?

April 2009 (page 1 box)

March 2010 – Reflections

May 2017 – How do we experience God?

About Jesus

December 1994 – Here comes Jesus!

August 1995 – Finding the real Jesus

July 1999 – Picturing Jesus

August 1999 – Jesus talk & Jesus pictures

December 2000 – What would Jesus do?

March 2008 – Jesus’s politics & ours

April 2008 – Using the strategies Jesus used

December 2008 – The Bible’s Christmas stories

April 2009 – Jesus’s way of life matters most

July 2009 – A fork in a long road

March 2010 – Reflections

November 2010 – (p. 4 box)

September 2011 – A hard job that requires a choice

January 2011 – Does love move us into need?

July 2012 – What can Christians do?

November 2012 – Granddaddy or Jesus?

About the Bible

September 1995 – Eye-openers about the Bible

May 2002 – The most divisive issue

November 2004 – Seeing the Bible with open eyes

February 2008 – (p. 1 box)

December 2008 – The Bible’s Christmas stories

January 2009 – Reading the Bible selectively

February 2013 – Harmful school Bible courses

Fundamentalism

February 2001 – Fundamentalism in the church

March 2001 – (p. 2 box)

October 2010 – (pp. 3-4)

November 2010 – An unbridgeable gulf?

July 2011 – Looking at fundamentalism

June 2013 – (pp. 2-3)

October 2014 – Religion’s role in schools

Spiritual practices

Discernment

March 1998 – Spiritual discernment in the church

April 1998 – Discernment

February 2007 – (pp. 3-4)

Dreams

September 1994 – A life-changing dream

Labyrinth

September 2003 – Walking a path to God

Reading

September 1995 – Eye-openers about the Bible

March 2001 – Recent reading

August 2002 – Food for the journey—favorite books

February 2009 – Warned against life-changing books

August 2009 – More intriguing books

January 2012 – Thought-provoking new books

February 2012 – Opportunities for explorers

March 2017 – (p. 1 box)

Prayer

September 1993 – Prayer in a busy world

January 1999 – (p. 1 box)

November 2001 – What kind of school prayer?

October 2004 – Thinking about prayer

January 2006 – A welcome book about prayer

April 2008 – (p. 4 box – pastoral prayers)

August 2012 – An assortment of topics  (p. 3)

April 2013 – (p. 1 box)

March 2013 – (pp. 3-4)

July 2013 – Public prayer & religious freedom

Wisdom tradition

May 2005 – A life-transforming tradition

Worship

March 1994 – Many ways to worship

May 1995 – (p. 4 box)

August 1996 – The language of heart, spirit, & hope

October 1996 – A surprising response

March 1997 – The worship wars

April 1997 –  (p. 4 box)

July 1997 – Making what’s important interesting

January 1999 – Thinking about worship

February 1999 – Our most important activity

March 1999 – What’s missing?

August 2001 – Thinking about sermons

September 2001 – Sermons—a pro’s view

June 2003 – (p. 1 box)

October 2003 – Looking at what connects us

November 2003 – (pp. 3-4)

May 2004 – Surviving through thick & thin

August 2005 – A disturbing disconnection

September 2005 – Connecting with worship

October 2005 – Personalities influence worship

November 2005 – Worship at different stages of faith

July 2006 – (p. 1 box)

December 2006 – Worship that revives

June 2008 – Welcoming worship for today

June 2009 – (p. 4 box)

March 2010 – Reflections

March 2014 – Ash Wednesday reflections

Communion (Eucharist)

February 1994 – “Do this in remembrance of me”

September 2002 – Communion, change, & community

July 2006 – (p. 2)

January 2014 –  Church disagreements in the news

February 2014 – Are church rules God’s rules?

March 2014 – Ash Wednesday reflections

Lectionary

October 1996 – A surprising response

August 2001 – Thinking about sermons

September 2001 – Sermons—a pro’s view

The church

Purpose

April 1997 – We want members, but why?

March 2004 – Dropping out, staying in

April 2005 – What is effectiveness?

June 2011 – Living in the wilderness

April 2012  – A movement or an institution?

April 2013 – What makes church church?

September 2013 – What’s important—numbers or purpose?

February 2017 – A time for quiet courage

August 2017 – Can anything hasten change?

September 2017 – Books calling for change in the church’s focus

Christian requirements

June 1994 – God’s priorities and ours

March 1996 – Who qualifies as a Christian?

August 1997 – (p. 1 box)

May 1998 – An interesting challenge

January 2003 – Who’s entitled to throw stones?

February 2003 – A great separation

December 2003 – Why I am a Christian

December 2004 – Which moral values?

September 2006 – Making disciples

October 2006 – Leaving without leaving

June 2007 – What makes someone a Christian?

January 2008 – (p. 1 box)

September 2010 – Opinions that need examining

January 2011 – Does love move us into need?

May 2011 – Is the church Christian?

October 2012 – (p. 1 box)

November 2013 – Is there a line? If so, where is it?

January 2014 – Church disagreements in the news

Methods

January 1993 – Power for ministry

April 1994 – Sunday School

October 1994 – Who’s feeding today’s sheep?

November 1994 – Broadcasting or narrowcasting

March 1995 – The church can learn from the business world

September 1998– Dialogue, discussion, debate, discernment

June 1999 – Sending horses against tanks

July 2001 – Joining what God chooses to bless

October 2003 – Looking at what connects us

April 2005 – (p. 1 box & p. 4 box)

November 2006 – Purpose driven? Undriven?

May 2007 – Vital signs

January 2008 – Hearing the spiritually homeless

December 2009 – (p. 1 box)

April 2010 – (p. 1 box)

September 2012 – Beacons in their communities

November 2012 – (p. 4 box)

December 2012 – A new Christianity emerges

February 2017 – A time for quiet courage

March 2017 – (p. 4 box)

May 2017 – How do we experience God?

Laity, clergy, seminaries

August 1993 – God calls each of us to ministry

August 1994 – Lay voices in the church

February 1995 – The grass roots & the ivory tower

April 1995 – A letter to a beginning pastor

July 1997 – (p. 1 box)

August 1997 – Evaluating effectiveness

January 1998 – Uncontrollable voices

February 1998 – Religious tourists or real Christians?

October 1998 – By our love or by our clothing?

August 2001 – Thinking about sermons

September 2001 – Sermons—a pro’s view

June 2002 – Misfits again

March 2005 – Loving and serving—pastors’ first responsibility?

June 2005 – Vitality in turmoil

January 2007 – (p. 1 box)

December 2007 – What should seminaries do?

April 2008 – (p. 4 box – pastoral prayers)

October 2008 – (p. 1 box)

February 2011 – The insight that age can bring

March 2013 – (p. 4 box)

January 2017 – Mentioning two unmentionables

April 2017 – Can pastors be lay people’s friends?

Community

February 1993 – Finding kindred spirits

May 1993 – God invites everyone in

January 1995 – God calls us into community

June 1996 – Silence isn’t always golden

July 1996 – Making conversation

December 1998 – Searching for unity

March 2000 – The insider-outsider gap

July 2000 – Sharing faith, building community

August 2000 – Seeing how faith grows

September 2004 – Personal stories in the church

September 2005 – Connecting with worship

February 2010 – Finding kindred spirits

Justice

February 2000 – Thinking about prisons & prisoners

July 2006 – (p. 4 box)

April 2008 – (p. 1 box)

July 2008 – Community organizing

December 2011 – Charity is not enough

April 2013 – (p. 4 box – health care)

June 2013 – Compassion plus justice

May 2014 – Fighting injustice by making it public

March 2017 – Refugees and sanctuaries

July 2017 – Addressing divisive issues

Money

June 1994 –  (p. 1 box)

October 2000 – What to do with money?

April 2006– Giving money to God

September 2000 – Money talk—taboo for churches but not for God

September 2007 – (p. 1 box & p. 4 box)

December 2011 – Charity is not enough

Tradition and change

March 1993 – Gift wraps don’t last forever

October 1993 – What century is this?

December 1993 – Christians and the world

May 1994 – We aren’t God’s police force

July 1995 – What do these stones mean?

May 1996 – Our traditions aren’t God

November 1996 – New ways of being the church

December 1996 – Reminders of the early church

October 1997 – Challenges for the church

November 1997 – A golden opportunity

April 1999 – Kicking harmful church habits

October 1999 – Two systems in tension

January 2000 – Y2K—a time for seeing clearly

April 2001 – Finding hope in change

November 2002 – Standing by a river, dying of thirst

November 2003 –  (p. 2)

January 2007 – Wrappings, old and new

February 2007 – Signposts of renewal

March 2007 – More signposts of renewal

November 2007 – A vision that became reality (Living the Questions)

March 2009 – Afraid of what we’ll see?

October 2010 – Vessels that don’t hold treasure

Misfits

February 2002 – The missing misfits

April 2002 – Christian misfits—lifelines for each other

June 2002 – Misfits again

September 2005 – Connecting with worship

December 2005 – Seeking community & truth

October 2006 – Leaving without leaving

January 2008 – Hearing the spiritually homeless

September 2008 – Connections readers speak

November 2009 – Beliefs

December 2009 – Peace, comfort, & truth

February 2010 – Finding kindred spirits

June 2010 – Progressive Christians’ dilemma

June 2012 – Misfits again

UMC

December 1992 – If I were a bishop

February 1993 (p. 4 box – responses to 12-92)

May 1995 – Who will speak for the church?

October 1995 – (p. 2 box)

April 1996 – A crucial time for the UMC

June 1996 – (p. 2 box)

May 1997 – We really have two systems

June 1997 – Two different reactions (to 5-97)

June 1998 – Help for today’s churches, from John Wesley

July 1998 – Conference as Christian conversation

May 1999 – A dangerous policy

March 2000 – (p. 1 box & p. 4 box)

April 2000 – Hearing all the voices

June 2000 – Whom shall we send?

February 2004 – (p. 1 box)

April 2004 – Covenants with God & each other

January 2005 – Reaching today’s people

September 2006 – Making disciples

August 2008 – (p. 4 box)

March 2011 – How can we protest effectively?

October 2011 – Communicating with church decision-makers

January 2012 – (p. 1 box)

April 2012  – (p. 1 box)

June 2012 – Members need to know

August 2013 – Beyond conflict to content

November 2013 – Still in the wilderness (FUMC-Temple)

January 2014 –  Church disagreements in the news

December 2016 – (p. 1 box)

May 2017 – (p. 4 box)

Congregations’ stories

May 2012 – An amazing congregation

September 2012 – Beacons in their communities

November 2013 (p. 1 box)

April 2014 – A resurrected congregation

Dissent, conflict, disagreement

January 1994 – Agreeable disagreement

June 1995 – Rocking the church boat

October 1995 – Heresy is making a comeback

September 1997 – Following the party line

December 1997 – Conflict in the church

January 1998 – Uncontrollable voices

February 1998 – Religious tourists or real Christians?

August 1998 – Accentuating the positive

March 2003 – Connecting religion with reality

April 2003 – Affirming and dissenting

June 2003 – Anger in the church

July 2003 – Responding to anger

November 2003 – The unheard minority

February 2004 – Prophetic voices in the wilderness

June 2004 – Pebbles and steamrollers

July 2004 – Mainline or margins?

August 2004 – Joining God on the Margins

July 2005– God and politics

February 2006 – Churches hiding the truth

March 2006 – The shock of the truth

June 2006– Empowered by God to resist

July 2006 – Becoming the healers we need

August 2006 – Church conflict—how can we help?

October 2006 – Leaving without leaving

November 2006 – Purpose driven? Undriven?

May 2007 – (p. 1 box)

June 2009 – A courageous book

March 2011 – How can we protest effectively?

March 2012 – The subversive way

July 2012 – What can Christians do?

August 2013 – (p. 4 box)

November 2013 – Is there a line? If so, where is it?

December 2016 – A time of dislocation

March 2017 – Refugees and sanctuaries

July 2017 – Addressing divisive issues

Differences

Gender & sexuality

December 1995 – Women aren’t 2nd-class people in God’s sight

January 1996 – God isn’t one of the guys

February 1996– Seeking God’s will about homosexuality

September 2002 – (p. 4 box)

May 2008 – (p. 4 box)

August 2012 – An assortment of topics  (I’m not a guy)

September 2013 – (p. 1 box)

January 2014 –  Church disagreements in the news

December 2016 – (p. 4 box)

Generations

January 1997 – Today’s generation gaps

February 1997 – Generation X

January 2011 – Time to stop getting it wrong

May 2013 – Concerns from young & old

Personality types

June 1993 – God creates us with differences

September 1999 – All spirituality isn’t the same

January 2005 – (p. 1 box)

February 2005 – (p. 4 box)

October 2005 – Personalities influence worship

Stages of faith

November 2005 – Worship at different stages of faith

U.S. regions

July 2014 – Nations hiding in plain sight

August 2014 – America’s long-standing religious differences

Worldviews

May 2001 – Which worldview do you choose?

June 2009 – (p. 1 box)

Nation

Empire

August 2007 – Empire, then and now

September 2007 – Empire—still present today

October 2007 – Empire & the realm of God

Patriotism

October 2001 – Disaster raises questions

July 2002 – Patriotism & Christianity

July 2013 – (p. 1 box)

War and peace

October 1999 – (p. 1 box)

March 2002 – War—a hot-button topic for Christians

December 2002 – Wondering about peace

May 2003 – Should culture and the arts matter to Christians?

May 2008 – Thinking about war

January 2010 – Asking about war and peace

February 2010 – (p. 4 box)

Religions

October 2001 – Disaster raises questions

November 2001 – (p. 1 box, p. 4 box)

December 2001  – Christians relating to other religions

January 2002 – Pluralism—sinful or faithful?

February 2005 – The search for the Real

November 2006 – (p. 1 box)

July 2007 – A time that changed the world

August 2011 – (p. 1 box)

March 2013  – Examining religious freedom

July 2013 – (p. 4 box)

Personal stories

November 1993 – Our stories connect us

July 1997 – (pp. 3-4)

July 2000 – Sharing faith, building community

August 2000 – Seeing how faith grows

September 2004 – Personal stories in the church

October 2008– A family of Christian dynamos (Dykes family)

November 2008 – Noticing and acting (Don Manning-Miller)

May 2009 – Curiosity that led to growth (Julie Fuschak)

April 2010 – A theologian’s story (Joerg Rieger)

August 2010– A plea for prophetic voices (Bob Jensen)

June 2013 – Compassion plus justice (Bob Guinee)

April 2014 – (p. 1 box)

May 2014 – Fighting injustice by making it public (Elizabeth Warren)

May 2017 – How do we experience God?

Readers’ responses

April 1993 – (p. 3 box)

June 1993 – (p. 3 box)

July 1993 – (p. 3 box)

August 1995 – (p. 4 box)

June 1997 – Two different reactions (to 5-97)

March 2001 – (p. 2 box)

September 2005 – Connecting with worship

November 2006 – (p. 4 box)

September 2008 – Connections readers speak

March 2011 – (p. 1 box)

April 2011 – Readers speak

October 2012 – Similar concerns from all over

November 2012 – (p. 1 box)