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Articles by lay and clergy members of the Annual Conference representing the specific viewpoints of the author and not necessarily the position of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference.

Physically distant but socially connecting

Reflecting on the way United Methodists have been resourcing each other, Patrick Scriven writes that this "may be what connectionalism ought to look like — a missional falling away of our individualistic competition replaced by collaboration and the knowledge that we need each other."

Religion is supposed to bind us together; don’t use it to cast others out

"What religious tie binds/blinds you to persons you don’t agree with, or you negatively, harshly judge?" Rev. Paul Graves wrestles with the polarizing effect of religion in culture today, noting how it is better purposed to bind us together.

Are we ready to embrace the future?

While many United Methodists long for the Church of tomorrow, are we ready for it? Patrick Scriven wrestles with this question.

Does it even matter if Jesus was a refugee?

Offering hospitality and compassion to the stranger is a foundation and repeated message of the Bible. How then, is Jesus' childhood status as a refugee something to deny?

Franklin Graham, Barack Obama, and how we respond to difference

By Patrick Scriven On Tuesday, conservative Christian provocateur Franklin Graham offered his support to a Catholic priest in South Carolina who denied former US Vice...

Don’t Confront Alexa!

The Rev. Paul Graves has an occasional practice of sharing a letter to his three grandchildren in his column for The Spokesman Review. In his most recent, he explores confrontation as a practical and spiritual matter.

The Spiritual Practice of Being Something Else

By Patrick Scriven Over the next week, millions of Americans will throw on a costume and pretend to be someone they are not. I, for...

Jesus wasn’t a Zero-Sum Game Player

"From benign bicyclists ignoring stop signs to increasingly toxic shoving matches to the horrors of mass shootings, zero-sum games are played every day." For the Rev. Paul Graves, the pervasive winner-takes-all mentality this engenders stands in contrast to the ministry and teachings of Jesus.

Tree of Life

"For those of you who never went to North Mason UMC in Belfair, the Tree of Life was the centering theme for the sanctuary and the spiritual life of the church." The Rev. Justin White shares this beautiful reflection on the closing of the church and the life it will "continue to birth."

In moments like this, we need each other

Recent racist tweets by President Donald J. Trump have gotten new SeaTac Missional District Superintendent Derek Nakano thinking about the challenges of understanding racial bias, and how much we need each other to grow unawareness and cultural competency.