Vision

Hate Exhaustion

I am heartbroken.  There are those in the Christian church who want to hate and call it love.  I was listening to a young, self-proclaimed evangelical preacher talking about the Bin Laden situation on a Wisconsin radio station yesterday, and the gist of his argument is this:  as Christians, we […]

Souled Out

When will we get tired of playing the numbers game?  We have been misled to believe that the answer to all the problems of The United Methodist Church is more people.  We don’t care about who these people are or whether they will benefit from being United Methodists — we […]

Walking in the Light

There is an unnecessary tragedy associated with our current obsessive-compulsive fixation on death, decay and decline.  The tragedy is that we are living a lie.  We are walking by sight, not by faith.  We are choosing to accept darkness as truth, and in so doing we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  […]

Dead, Or In Exile?

I watched some of the Global Leadership Summit videos over the weekend and have to admit they depressed me.  It felt like another missed opportunity.  Hopeful rhetoric infuses a blurry and misdirected vision for a limited and inwardly focused future.  It is all about us — and not all of […]

Dress for Success

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord – has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  (Colossians 3:12-13, NRSV) For a very short […]

DMC – Divided Methodist Church

I have been dismayed by the recent “unanimous support” claims for our Call to Action report — since I have had personal conversations with people directly involved who are anything but fully on board.  Oh, I understand the act of solidarity and presenting a unified public face and the potential promotional […]

A.D.D.-U.M.C.

Church, church, you are distracted by many things…  In response to a pastor’s call to pray for the people of Haiti (and the current cholera crisis), I heard a lay person whisper, “I thought we took care of that!”  I think she was referring to the earthquake response earlier in […]

Not Our Issue

I am attending the North Central Jurisdiction CORR (Commission on Religion and Race) learning event this weekend in Milwaukee.  As I gather in this place with these people I notice three things about myself.  First, I can breathe.  I don’t feel at all constrained or worried about what others might […]

Holy Warps

Okay, I understand disagreements over theology.  I understand disagreements over fundamental beliefs — between different religions.  I think most of the divisions and debates are pointless, but I understand them.  What I don’t understand is the virulent and vehement disagreement over discipleship and church membership.  What are our defining features? […]

Brace for Impact

Why are we here?  I don’t have one answer that applies equally to all congregations, but I believe this question is THE question every congregation should discuss and wrestle with.  Why do we exist?  What difference are we making — in the lives of our members and friends, in our […]