Spiritual seekers

Which Jesus?

I wonder which Jesus we are hoping for this year?  Your initial reaction may be, “hold on, there’s just one Jesus!” to which I would reply “you haven’t been paying attention.”  Even in scripture we have no fewer than four accounts (canonical) as well as dozens (non-canonical) that offer us […]

Knittin’ Mittens for a Snake

When will we begin to listen?  Much of what we are offering people, they don’t want, can’t use, and don’t value.  A growing population of deeply devout people — of all ages — have determined that organized religion is for the judgmentally insane.  I was sitting in a meeting with […]

Too Busy to Learn

Yesterday, I had the great honor to launch a new learning academy in our annual conference — something we have been talking about for a long time, but for a variety of reasons couldn’t get launched earlier.  We are attempting a conference-wide, ongoing Leadership Learning Academy for clergy and laity […]

Growth Imperative

The Christian faith is about growth and maturing.  In recent posts, I’ve talked about “mature” faith, and the response has been interesting.  Many frame the term “mature” as judgmental, exclusive, and unkind — when compared to “less mature” or “immature.”  But developmental and qualitative growth — improvement, strengthening, seasoning, evolving — […]

Vital Is As Vital Does

How are we defining “vital” in the UMC?  Is vitality mere existence?  Is a congregation with a lot of warm, passive bodies vital?  Are people huddled inside their doors happily waiting to be friendly to unsuspecting visitors vital?  Is a congregation that hosts a dozen small groups that do movie/football/bowling […]

Manipunativity

I can quite honestly say I am having a “cognitive dissonance Advent”.  Late in November I received a monograph from two graduate students for review and comments.  One of the most intriguing aspects of the monograph is that its authors are young females — one Israeli and one Palestinian.  Their […]

Beyond Label or Category

I sat with a table of clergy and laity leaders talking about reaching “young people.”  In frustration, I asked them to define for me who these “young people” are and what they are like.  It became apparent that the “young people” we want to reach are a generic, bland hash […]

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