Spiritual Diversity

De-Loved Community

We face a tragic reality in our United Methodist Church today — the inability to disagree in Christian compassion and fellowship.  For the past few years I have been promoting a vision, albeit personal, for beloved community.  This vision is fairly specific, and contains the following propositions: Beloved Community is… […]

Mythtaken Identity

A conversation at the Commission on Religion & Race in Milwaukee this past weekend brought to mind three encounters — two from my time in Tennessee and one since coming to Wisconsin.  About eight years ago, I got into a conversation about peace, and what it means to be a […]

Make Us One, Lord

I used a hymn at this year’s annual conference that I wrote the words to about 20 years ago when I was charged with merging two congregations that didn’t really want to merge.  There was loads of competition and strife, so I wrote this song as a call for unity. […]

Irrational Rationalization

I had a conversation with a friendly atheist recently that leaves me scratching my head.  The reason is that, as I have found so often to be the case, he wouldn’t play by his own rules.  This young man wanted to only address what was “provable” as true, but kept […]

That’s the Old Team Spirit

This past weekend I had the exceptional dining pleasure of chipped beef on toast (with eggs over easy) at the Dry Dock restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota.  It followed morning worship (of God) then proceeded to the afternoon worship (of football) with the Vikings-Ravens game on one screen and the Packers-Lions’s […]

Church Is Easy, People Are Hard

“My people won’t let me take a day off,” confessed a colleague. “What do you mean “won’t let you?” I asked. “I mean that they call me and they hunt me down.  They will not leave me alone.” “Well, what are you doing about it?  How are you defining and […]

Shape Ball Spirituality

Who hasn’t seen a shape-sorter ball for infants and toddlers?  From the earliest days of our cognitive development, we learn to identify, differentiate, associate, and categorize.  It is so much fun to watch the joy of a child slipping the appropriate shape through the proper slot.  It obviously imprints strongly on […]

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