The Death Penalty and The United Methodist Church

In addition to being proud of my state, I am proud to be part of a denomination that takes a strong stance against the death penalty. On the subject of capital punishment, The United Methodist Church says: We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings.… Continue reading The Death Penalty and The United Methodist Church

Justice with Temperance (the Death Penalty and our Better Angels)

I'm proud to live in a state that does not have the death penalty. I'm a staunch pacifist, and I believe that nonviolence isn't weakness, but requires profound strength. It is by no means easy. Vermont State Police arrested a couple yesterday, and charged them with second degree murder in the death of Melissa Jenkins.… Continue reading Justice with Temperance (the Death Penalty and our Better Angels)

Spirituality that speaks to the rest of us

I have bad days. Bad weeks, even. Last week was one such example. I was feeling like "church" was an old, dead concept (I still think this, at least in the way most of us think about church), and that progressives/liberals like myself would have no space whatsoever in the spiritual culture of the future--… Continue reading Spirituality that speaks to the rest of us

The Problem of Evil

The community where I grew up, affectionately known as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, is reeling this morning. 33-year old Melissa Jenkins, a single mom and a high school physics teacher and basketball coach, disappeared Sunday night. Her car was found late in the evening, pulled alongside the road near her house, running, with her… Continue reading The Problem of Evil

Sermon: Heart Transplant

"Heart Transplant" (March 25, 2012) Submitting oneself to a heart transplant procedure must be a terrifying thing, and submitting ourselves to God's heart transplant and transformation is also daunting. It requires a death of the old so that something new can be born. Are we ready to have new hearts? (John 12:20-26, Psalm 51:1-12, Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Letter to the Editor– Associated Press

An article appeared yesterday in the Associated Press with a headline that I felt was way off. Here is my letter to the editor of the AP. Dear Editor, I am writing to express my disappointment and anger over a very poorly worded headline "Was Fla. shooter a vigilante or good neighbor?" article by Mike… Continue reading Letter to the Editor– Associated Press

Diary of a Delegate: Abortion and the language of abuse

The following conversation will be very blunt, and may not be for the faint of heart. Persons having experienced pregnancy loss may want to skip this one. Being on the Church and Society 2 Committee for General Conference means that, in addition to reading and talking about homosexuality a lot, I also have the privilege… Continue reading Diary of a Delegate: Abortion and the language of abuse

Vital Signs – an alternative report

As I wrote yesterday, I really struggled with trying to input goals for my congregation in the Vital Congregations website. Part of my struggle arises because I do not think that this tool measures the right things and for the right reasons, but the biggest challenge arises because our tradition is one of storytelling, relationship,… Continue reading Vital Signs – an alternative report

(Diary of a Delegate) Vital Signs and Flat Lines

This week is the deadline by which my Annual Conference wants me my church to submit goals into the dashboard of the "Vital Congregations" website. Coming out of the UMC's "Call to Action" report, we are supposed to be working on creating and supporting vital local congregations (which I think is a good idea), by… Continue reading (Diary of a Delegate) Vital Signs and Flat Lines