The United Methodist Church

Hate Mail Disguised As Love Letters

I’ve kept a file since my first General Conference in 1988 of the letters, phone calls, conversations and emails detailing the “concerns” individuals and congregations raised in preparation of the quadrennial meeting.  This file is a reminder of the diversity of opinion in our denomination, the level of fear and disrespect […]

False Profits

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 11, verses 15-31; Original Old Prophetic Scripture In English (Oopsie) Version — (this is satire and parody; I am fully aware that these things AREN’T really in the Bible… but thanks to those who have expressed concern!) And Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets […]

Synecdoche

It’s taken us a long time to get where we are. It will take us a while to get somewhere better. A focus on quality will take us somewhere different from a focus on quantity. There are dozens of congregations in United Methodism who know this (though dozens out of […]

Diss-cipleship

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 6, verses 31-45… Then Jesus said, ‘Think well and hard before you respond to the call to be my disciples, for many are called but few are truly prepared.’ Robert the follower, also called Bob, piped up, saying, ‘What’s that ‘disciple’ thing?  Is that […]

Simple Isn’t Easy

I received a number of responses and comments on my Simplicity Itself post.  I think three in particular deserve specific response: Dan.  I hear you, and agree with many of your points, but I am curious to how you propose to live this out either in your ministry in the […]

Simplicity Itself

Following the endless conversations about “what comes next?” in The United Methodist Church, it becomes more and more apparent that most of the suggestions, reports and recommendations made thus far are all designed for just one purpose: to avoid the hard work that actually must happen.  In my humble opinion […]

Reform or Refunction?

Well, what do you know, I basically agree with the General Secretaries of our General Boards and Agencies (with a few exceptions): we should be very clear about the missional outcomes we are trying to produce before we determine the best structure to adopt.  Amazing.  There are some in the […]

Settling

I was speaking with one of our retired bishops recently, who framed the current recommendations this way, “Well, it’s better than no plan at all.”  There are so many things wrong with this statement, and each one is more depressing than the last.  If the plans are poor plans, then, […]

Occupy Christmas

I need to confess.  I missed four opportunities to witness to my Christian faith this week, where I had clear occasions to challenge, confront or correct opinions about Advent and Christmas.  I didn’t say anything then, but I’m going to say something now. #1 Advent is NOT Christmas (or Epiphany) […]

The Folly of Form-Focus

I have been asked by a number of people to comment on the 2009-2012 Study of Ministry Commission Report & Recommendations.  This I am about to do, but I need to set up the criteria by which I am judging the current effort.  There are three fundamental lenses (if you […]