Grace-free Living

Two recent conversations (that I eavesdropped) cause me a moment to pause.  Both occurred in United Methodist churches, both involving long-time members.  Conversation one went something like this: Obamacare is going to kill America.  Giving free health care to those who give nothing back is ridiculous.  No one is giving […]

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 […]

What Color is Your Prayerachute?

I am still wrestling with a shock I had the other day.  A person I know and respect was asked to pray for the situation in Syria.  I consider this person to be a fair-minded, mature Christian committed to love, peace, harmony and justice.  For this reason, I was shocked […]

Shmoo Church

Showing my age, one metaphor that comes to mind for the contemporary United Methodist Church is the Shmoo, from the Li’l Abner comic strip — originally appearing culturally in the late 1940s, and appearing in my young awareness sometime in the early 1960s when my passion for comics and cartoons hit its […]

Han Church

Okay, this is one of those cases where I probably should run what I am writing by my Korean-American bishop before I make a fool of myself – but, oh well, why start something new at this late date…  I spent time this week at the North Central Jurisdiction Urban […]

Parallel Universes

I sat listening to two older couples talking at my favorite coffee shop.  I was working on a presentation for an Urban Ministry Strategy seminar I will be attending next week, and I have been immersed in the demographic and ethnographic realities of poor inner city life for a few […]

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 […]