About Me

21 bus clths ub p frt 8My name is Christy Thomas, and I am a retired Elder in The United Methodist Church.  I have written extensively on church matters and particularly on matters relating to The United Methodist Church. With my retirement, more of those will be coming.

I write weekly for the and Denton Record-Chronicle newspaper, blog regularly here and have finished one book (An Ordinary Death) and have several others in the works.

I like to think, to ask questions, to make connections, and to read as widely as possible.  I believe that God holds the world together and is interested in redeeming all of creation, not just a few selected people who have managed to say exactly the correct words or believe in a certain set pattern.  Yet, I am also utterly convinced that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life–and this way, truth and life is the only way we actually do find the fullness of God.

I also find myself, as I am getting older and perhaps wiser, more and more delighted in ambiguity and mystery and less and less tolerant of those who call themselves people of God and then use that self-description as a way to abuse others.

Further background information:

Current Activities:

Author, An Ordinary Death: Where Grief and Relief Hold Hands, an e-book published by Family Manor, LLC..
Author, Two Skunks In A Room and Church is Boring, both in publication process.
Blogger on multiple current issues, http://www.christythomas.com. Blogs featured in The Methodist Daily Standard , The United Methodist Reporter and Ministry Matters.
Columnist, Religion Section, Denton Record Chronicle.
Columnist, Denton Lifestyles Magazine

Other Publications
Contributor: The Minister’s Manual 2003 and The Minister’s Manual 2004. Ed. James W. Cox, Jossey-Bass, 2002. 2003.
Author: The Pebble, A Newsletter of Distance Education,
Author: The Damaris Salon, a scholarly curriculum geared toward the non-churched but highly educated woman; The Damaris Press, 2001.
Co-author: “Evangelical Theology and Religious Education” in Theologies of Religious Education, ed., Randolph Crump Miller, Religious Education Press, 1995.
Co-author: “Mind Over Management: The Role of Critical Thinking in Educational Administration” in the Christian Education Journal, Fall, 1994.
Award-winning writer for Kindred Spirit magazine. Published in WebCT Your Way Newsletter, Bibliotheca Sacra, Home Life, Covenant Companion and Anchor devotional series.
Community columnist for the Wichita Falls Times Record News.
Religion columnist for the Krum Star newspaper.

Background
June, 2006 to December, 2013
Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Krum, TX
Krum, a small community on the growing edge of Denton, saw the Krum Church have an increasingly significant presence in this community. Under my leadership, the church grew by 50%, saw its ministry to children gain significant impact, and relocated to a new facility one mile east of the original structure. We established a community gardening ministry to teach organic gardening methods and feed our children and shut-ins with home grown vegetables. Our well-regarded Children’s Day Out program expanded from a small two day a week pre-school to a full-service day care, after-school care and preschool.

2003-2006
Associate Pastor, Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX.
Primary responsibilities: Single Adult Ministry, Adult Christian Formation, and Website Coordination.

2000-2003
Associate Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, Wichita Falls, TX. Part-time associate with primary responsibility for leadership training, spiritual formation, and small group development.
Independent consultant for educational and training institutions to enable instructors and administrators to integrate Internet course delivery systems with the traditional classroom setting. Specialized in the implementation and faculty training of WebCT and Blackboard, course shells that served both as supplement to on-campus courses as well as the entire learning environment for on-line courses.
Professional webmaster with clients in Texas, Oklahoma and New York.

1998-2000
Assistant Dean for Off-site Programming and Adjunct Faculty in Christian Education for North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Responsible for innovative delivery systems and programming to provide educational alternatives to residential education for the non-traditional student. These innovations included both Internet courses and external site courses and programs.
1992-1997
Director of External Studies; Instructor in the Departments of Christian Education and Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX

Education and Credentials
June, 2008: Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church and received as full member of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church
December, 2004: Awarded Doctor of Ministry Degree, Perkins School of Theology. Dissertation project topic: An Evaluation of the Pastoral and Evangelistic Impact of a Multi-Media Enhanced Worship Service for the Single Adult Ministry at Lovers Lane UMC, Dallas, TX.
1999-2000: Auburn Theological Seminary, NYC, New York: Colleague Program for Directors of Theological Continuing Education.
1988-1995: Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX: Master of Theology/Christian Education. Graduated Magna Cum Laude, recipient of Mary T. Seume Award; twice named (1991, 1992) in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
1967-1971, Rice University, Houston, TX, B.A., Anthropology.

20 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I love the way you think! I was on my way to wisdom and maturity of faith when I made at stop at the 32nd Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation. By the time I completed that, I believe I’d come near the point you speak of in your “About Me” entry. It is Christ’s Way, it’s bigger than we are, and it is absolutely inclusive! I look forward to keeping up with your blog.

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  2. Pingback: Is Schism in Our Future? The Community Responds! | DreamUMC

  3. I joined your blog today because I really enjoy your Fri. column in DRC. It sounded like you were taking a break from that.
    I really appreciated your words on leading worship, and I plan on sharing these words with the worship team that I work with. I sometimes walk a tightrope between practicing to make sure the special is ready and meaningful without it becoming a performance.
    I enjoy reading your thoughts.
    I am your neighbor – you can see my front door from yours. Its the one with the red door.

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  4. Christy, thank you for stopping and following my blog today. Similar to you, I find myself more comfortable and interested in the ambiguity and paradox of life, but I am not sure it is because I am wiser. I look forward to following your blog.

    Take care,

    Ivon

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  5. I like what Sandy wrote, and can relate. I have found that my faith is based not on how many Sundays I sit in a pew, but how many kindnesses I can bestow on those less fortunate than me. Right now, I am trying to reinvent myself, so I have some time to give but no money (spouse ran off). As such, I am involved with a number of charitable organizations – such as Soroptimists Int’l. – and local organizations – e.g. Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York – where I am assured that donations (in my case, business clothing for women) go right to the source.

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  6. Just discovered your blog and I’m loving it. You have hit the nail on the head re: bishops, NTexas Conference and many other things. As a member of the West Ohio conference and one just finishing a three month renewal leave, I resonate with much of your reflections. Thank you and keep on.

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  7. I just want to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts. I attend Grace UMC in Sherman, TX. Our pastor John Flemming got me to reading your blog and I have shared with several others. Keep up the good work.
    Lee Yeager

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  8. I’m lost in the world of “church”. After 40 years of being an active lay person, I’ve recently become so discouraged and absolutely SICK of country clubs who say they are churches. My spirit is wounded from it all. I need healing, comfort, relief … and I find power struggles, an impotent minister to enact change, and a ridiculous piety from well meaning people who just have no clue. I have recently found some comfort in a Richard Rohr book … and I see some things that helped me make some sense of it. The “black and white” “all or nothing” thinking is just so unattractive to the world and me. My gosh! Even non-profits are more loving. So there … I’m lost, struggling, misplaced … an orphan. I guess by reaching out, there is still hope. That is good to see.

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    • Dear Sandy,

      Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts out. Before I became a pastor, I also experienced much wounding at the hands of church people. At one point, one of my sons asked me why I stayed with a Christian. I said, “I’m a Christian because of Jesus–and for no other reasons.”

      I think sometimes we hurt each other so badly within the church because we are more vulnerable there, more willing to trust–and therefore more likely to be hurt. We also tend to have high expectations of other church members, and just like people everywhere, they let us down. What I have to recognize is that I’ve also let people down–and people have been wounded by my actions as well.

      That’s what always brings me back to grace and my need of it. However, in the process of finding grace, I also had to completely leave behind the world of black and white thinking and start moving in the world of mystery–and apparently you do as well, which is why Richard Rohr would be helpful for you right now.

      Have you ever read Kathleen Norris’ The Cloister Walk? I found that book immensely healing as well.

      There are good church communities out there. I serve one in Krum and am awed by their love for one another and their willingness to serve the world with that love. Even so, we have our problems and occasional deep conflicts because that is what human beings do.

      Yes, you do have hope–the Spirit of God still beckons you to come into that place of forgiven intimacy. My prayers are with you. **

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    • Sandy has accurately identified the prime weakness of way too many congregations out there, including many UMC’s. We have “nurtured” our churches to a place where the benefits of membership are key (like country clubs), rather than the responsibilities of discipleship. There are clergy out there who can turn any church around, but what we need are lay people who will support and act on the leadership they receive from the Connexion! Far too many of us are measuring what our dollars are buying, rather than what God has given us for us to share. Love is vital, but it must be love shared out of deep-seated beliefs. It’s up to every one of us to decide what we believe, then witness to that belief, and love everyone else whether they share those beliefs or not.

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  9. Thank you for you post today. Even though this expression of deep conviction is pointed at the particular situation in North Texas, it is so very helpful as we engage and deliberate on many life-changing matters before us as a Church. I came away deeply moved and hopeful after reading it and forwarded the link to our entire ac delegation.

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  10. Thanks, Pastor Christy, for reading and commenting on my blog. I do love my Methodist beginnings in First United Methodist Church of Olympia, Washington. I enjoy your thinking and writing!

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