Core Values

United! In What Ways?

There is a great deal of discussion these days about what makes United Methodists “Methodist.”  What I find more challenging is what makes us “United” Methodists.  The fractures to our connection are deeply painful to me.  There is no real freedom to disagree in love.  People talk about one another […]

Blaming Christianity on the Christ

I caught the tale end of the discussion of a number of “Christian leaders” (that I couldn’t identify) on a television talk show on the topic of “holy hatred.”  I learned that: hatred is a critical aspect of love it is not wrong for Christians to hate — in fact, to […]

Mean Christians Suck, Too

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to own and display bumper stickers.  Going home from the office, a little Honda swerved around me, causing me to slam on my breaks and almost hit another car in a turn lane.  The driver popped his arm out the window and gave me a […]

Stewardship TOE

          In the scientific worlds of physics and astronomy an enormous effort is underway to discover a unifying force or principle that underlies all of creation.  Scientists are pursuing nothing short of a theory of everything, or T.O.E.  Since Einstein transformed our understanding of the known world, the universe, and […]

What Kind of Church…?

Today has been a day for introspection — thinking about the future by reflecting on the past.  Thinking particularly about the three churches of my childhood and what they taught me about what it means — and doesn’t mean — to be church.  And, at least in my case, three […]

Minding Our Own Business

A forty-something woman was talking on her cell phone in the coffee shop where I was pretending to read.  The shop was moderately full, with a handful of children and teenagers present.  It became apparent that the woman was fighting with — perhaps being dumped by — a man on […]

This Is A Day of New Beginnings

Today, I become a member of the Wisconsin Annual Conference.  Today, I assume responsibility as the Director of Connectional Ministries in Wisconsin.  Today, I leave behind fifteen years serving the national church to focus on the ministries of a single episcopal area.  In one week, my wife Barbara and I […]

Preach Green, Teach Green, Save the World

We’re obviously in the midst of a “green” movement — but so what?  I listen to the ongoing debate about “global warming” and it gives me a headache.  The fate of the planet has been turned into a political playground, where “experts” on each side wastes an incredible amount of […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This is the reprint of an article that appeared in The Wittenberg Door (September/October 2007), Alive Now! and on the General Board of Discipleship website, and a sequel to yesterday’s, The Church in the Plastic Bubble.  Since I wrote the original article, I discovered that this is not an aberration, […]

The Church in the Plastic Bubble

A week ago I posted a blog entitled, Driven to Abstraction, where I shared a story of a young pastor disillusioned with his congregation after they refused to accept the presence of homeless people in their midst.  Today I received an email that I know was meant to be helpful, […]