Ministry With the Poor

Today, Dr. Frederick Schmidt posted on his blog here about doing ministry with the poor, on of the four areas of focus of the United Methodist Church mandated by the 2008 General Conference (just a meandering thought:  will all those change with the 2012 General Conference–just when I’m starting to figure this out?). Anyway, I thought Schmidt made a particularly insightful comment when he wrote, “I have no way of “knowing” in the sense that really matters. No one who works on a computer, went to college, pursued graduate work, and writes online knows a thing about what it means to be…

The OOOU Pastor and Hope for the Homeless

Homelessness is not pretty.  People who live on the street or in temporary camps or jerry-rigged shelters have no access to normal hygiene facilities. Routine activities such as bathing become a giant challenge. Wearing freshly laundered clothes turns into an uncommon privilege rather than part of a weekly routine. How rarely we remind ourselves of the incredible convenience of washing machines and dryers! The homeless scare us and remind us of our own vulnerability to economic disaster—and more,  of the possibility of discovering that we have fallen between the cracks of a broken health care system. This system, challenging enough for those…