A Call to Compliance

Greeting me this morning at my assembly table was a slick, polished piece of propaganda for A Call to Action.  Signed by 80 pastors of our largest churches — note no endorsements from laity or congregations, just senior pastors of big number churches — it regurgitates the rhetoric of why […]

Getting Down to Business

We are about to launch into our opening plenary session to be instructed and guided and oriented and introduced and all the wonderful things that have to be put in place to get us started.  There is a LOT of getting started at GC.  We moved through an opening worship […]

Impressed & Depressed

Tampa Convention Center — they get an A+ for hospitality and organization.  They are ready for the hoard of United Methodists.  And the UMC is ready as well.  It is impossible not to be impressed by the pageantry and preparation.  But it is also a little depressing.  I just walked through […]

And So, It Begins…

Barbara and I are here in Tampa, all checked in and registered, poring through pounds of paper, reviewing notes on legislation and slogging through piles of reports and recommendations.  General Conference is a Dickensian metaphor — the best of times, the worst of times.  Gearing up for this GC, I […]

Back Soon!

Thanks for the emails and calls of concern — I am not sick, lost, strayed, stolen, spindled or mutilated… I am in Korea, and with a schedule that isn’t allowing me blog time (plus inconsistent Internet).  I will be back next week with a backlog of blogs, plus I am […]

All For Nought

Zero is an interesting concept.  Is it the presence of nothing or the absence of anything?  Is it a baseline from which to measure or a null point?  Is it normal or is it failure?  Is it a goal for which to strive or a default by which to reset?  […]

God Bless You, George G. Hunter, III!

Our United Methodist Publishing House released five titles in their new Adaptive Leadership Series, and I have had the pleasure of reading each one.  I will be weighing in on each in time, but far and away my favorite is George Hunter’s, “The Recovery of a Contagious Methodist Movement.”  What […]

Inadequate

I guess people actually follow my blog fairly regularly.  I’ve received dozens of emails asking, “Where are you?”  I have taken a couple of weeks off from writing to do more reading — preparing for General Conference, following the streams of points and counterpoints flying throughout the denomination, and catching […]

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 […]

The Power of Story

There is such a fine line between fact and fiction/memory and myth/truth and tall tale, yet fiction/myth/tall tale are no less “real” or “meaningful” or “valid” than fact/memory/truth.  In reality, they are all aspects of the same thing.  When I was younger, I had a friend, Dave, whose mother, Judy, […]