A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to the offices of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. There I participated in a Consultation on the Social Principles, one of eight planned meetings "to consider a process about how to make the United Methodist Social Principles more succinct,… Continue reading Reflecting on the Social Principles Consultation
I'm offering these reflections honestly, as part of my own thinking and growing, and to share what I see. I'm claiming no special awareness or insight, and I really don't want to compare how enlightened I am to anyone else. Spoiler: not very. You probably have more non-white friends than I do, and that's cool.… Continue reading The White Echo-Chamber
"Your Call Cannot Be Completed as Dialed" (January 25, 2015) Sometimes, God calls us to our vocation with a fancy, funny, unavoidable moment; other times, with the long, slow, persistence throughout our lives. I tell the stories of my call from God, and invite us hear a call in all our stories. The real fun… Continue reading Sermon: Your Call Cannot Be Completed as Dialed
There are many voices lifted up this week in thanksgiving for the life and evangelism of scholar Marcus Borg. Perhaps all the stories that need telling have been told. But this one is mine. The whole long post is now six and a half years old, and is worth the fun reading if you want… Continue reading After Borg: How one lecture gave me atonement to believe in
"More Service in More Places" (January 15, 2015- United Methodist Building, Washington, D.C.) When prophets and disciples are called, some are sent far away to prophesy and preach and teach, but many are called in place, activated for service exactly where they are. Are we too focused on going and creating new churches and new… Continue reading Sermon: More Service in More Places
I think there are several ways to accomplish [something less than schism for The UMC], but to me the most promising involve the creation of an United States (or Jurisdictional) Central Conference/s, and a two-volume Book of Discipline, with the option of emending the second volume in each Central Conference. Kind of a way, I hope, of holding together those things we do well-- our ministry and mission, our Social Principles (SOME of them-- I'll get to that), our ways of funding and equipping local ministries across the globe-- and allowing one another the grace and space to carry out our ministries in our contexts. As Wesley would say, in essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity.
When I worked on the reproductive rights subcommittee at General Conference, we found that a great number of people from a huge variety of contexts, backgrounds, and beliefs could come to the table and discuss abortion in fruitful ways. We reached an impasse every time we tried to proscribe what doctors and patients should and should not do. But every time we refocused on who were were as United Methodists and how we were called to be in ministry before, during, and after crisis pregnancy, we were able to reach a closer consensus despite our vast differences. When we listened to each others' stories and asked what our proactive, loving, spiritual response should be, we could live in harmony. Despite our differences, Love was enough.
This week, I am heading for Washington, D.C., to the United Methodist Building. Did you know that The United Methodist Church owns a building next door to the Supreme Court? We do, and it's pretty amazing. It's the home of The UMC's General Board of Church and Society, and there I will be receiving some… Continue reading D.C.-Bound
All the world is my parish. That's what Methodism's founder, John Wesley, said. Ironically, I think he said it to clarify his commitment to itinerant ministry, to his particular sort of traveling, voyaging, never-rooted-for-too-long preaching of salvation in every place he could reach. I might be tempted to say I blog for that reason-- to… Continue reading Why I Blog