Faith and Fallacies

My Staff Parish Relations Committee and I worked on our evaluation form last night. We dutifully and fruitfully prayed about and discussed the sense of living into Jesus the vine, and then engaged the questions on the sheet. The first one gave us trouble. We felt like the wires were a little crossed. ... Not… Continue reading Faith and Fallacies

Diary of a Delegate: She Moves in Mysterious Ways

(continued from previous post) When Judicial Ruling 1210 was handed down at about 4:15 pm on Friday (with the General Conference scheduled to recess at 5 and then return for a two-hour legislative session before adjournment), creative chaos ensued. One of my fellow Church and Society B committee members called for a five minute recess,… Continue reading Diary of a Delegate: She Moves in Mysterious Ways

What’s wrong with this picture?

A friend of mine on Facebook pointed out this telling picture from a recent United Methodist News Source story, and the way it captures the heart of the problem with the restructuring proposals coming out of the Call to Action (which I've critiqued here and for which I offered a different approach). The flip chart… Continue reading What’s wrong with this picture?

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

Counting the Unaccountable

It's that glorious time of year when United Methodist Churches hunt down, compile, and report their statistics for the year. For a growing number of us, this is now part of a larger system of reporting of statistics year round, designed to help us measure our churches' "Vital Signs" (part of the Vital Congregations program).… Continue reading Counting the Unaccountable

Sermon: Stepping Out in Faith

"Stepping Out in Faith" (August 7, 2011) Peter responds to Jesus' invitation and steps out of the boat into the water, only to find himself beginning to sink. We can relate to that, because sometimes when we try to move forward, we find ourselves sinking instead. However, like Peter, if we call out to Christ,… Continue reading Sermon: Stepping Out in Faith

Pastors only work on Sundays, right?

Today was one of those days. One of those wonderful, glorious days when it may have looked like I did very little to edit a church bulletin or craft a brilliant sermon, but the church and the people of God were foremost on my mind. I began the day with a meeting in Barre (next… Continue reading Pastors only work on Sundays, right?

Book rec and priority check

Our congregation decided this year to use the stewardship program "Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity" by Adam Hamilton. I ordered one study guide and the program book, and I have been thrilled with what I've seen so far.If you're looking for a program for your church, whatever the size,I highly recommend this one.… Continue reading Book rec and priority check