Final Reflections on General Conference

I’ve read all I can find about the final, inconclusive, disturbing and yet almost liberating end to General Conference.  I wish I could have been there, but this way from the distance I was free to spend many hours in prayer for the situation. The badly need restructuring just didn’t happen.  Huge, scary trust issues, or lack of trust issues, surfaced. Nearly half the delegates walked away saddened and defeated by the church’s continued focus on sexuality as the root of evil and sin rather than far more significant issues that permeate and hurt the witness of The United Methodiist … Continue reading Final Reflections on General Conference

Lean and Mean or Deep and Wide?

I’m sitting on an airplane to NYC to begin my Sabbatical, which will include much thinking and writing about the nature of a healthy church culture. I am both pastor and gardener.  The first by occupation, the second by avocation.  I love both venues.  I also often say that there is no place like the church, and the garden, to break my heart. In the garden, weather, insects, weeds and pestilence often combine to destroy hours, weeks, months of hard work.  In the church, we break hearts routinely by our breaking of covenant with God and with each other. Covenant … Continue reading Lean and Mean or Deep and Wide?

A Modern Day Parable

Jesus had just experienced a really busy day.  He’d healed some guy who had been unable to speak, freeing that dear person from being chained to silence by evil.  When the newly freed one began to speak, the crowds turned on Jesus, accusing him of being the Evil One himself! Jesus explained to them that the very kingdom of God had come into their presence and invited people to be with him, to gather others as well.  He reminded them that God brings signs of grace through the strangest people, like the cowardly Jonah and even a very rich queen. … Continue reading A Modern Day Parable

Sleepless Night, Soul Agony

It was a night spent in prayer for every single person involved in this situation at St. Luke UMC.  Whatever happens here, the ripples will go far and wide. The older I get, the more aware I am that there is no such thing as a neutral action.  We either help grow the kingdom of God, or we help shrink it by all that we say, do, think and believe. Anger against injustice, especially when there is injustice toward the especially vulnerable, i.e., the very young and innocent, the very old and frail, and those without normal defenses, does seem … Continue reading Sleepless Night, Soul Agony