Christian Community

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.  […]

Three Little Words

You know what The United Methodist Church needs?  A Day of Atonement.  A good old-fashioned nation-wide, denomination-deep day of saying “I Am Sorry!” — to God, to each other, and to ourselves.  For a vast number of reasons, we United Methodists have seemingly lost the capacity to apologize, to humble, […]

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 […]

Segregation of Church & State

It has been an interesting few weeks here in Wisconsin — making the national news almost daily due to our governor, Scott Walker, and his crusade to eliminate collective bargaining rights as a cost-cutting measure to help balance the budget.  There is no doubt that it would produce a short-term […]

Dia-Gnostics

¶252.7 Book of Discipline — The Church Council shall endlessly discuss the best course of action for the local congregation, finally approve it, and then present it to the whole church where it will inevitably be rejected after contentious debate. No, don’t bother looking this up in the Discipline.  It […]

Hearing and Listening

I remember strolling down a church hallway toward the Sunday school rooms, when I heard a sweet, little piping voice singing.  At first I couldn’t make out the words.  All I knew was it was the voice of a 4 or 5 year-old girl, and the tune was “We Are the […]

The Driver’s Seat

In college, I had three friends that I hung out with on a regular basis.  Whenever we went anywhere, there was a brief battle over who would drive and who would ride shotgun.  I am a very basic, boring driver — taking the easiest route, staying within 7 miles per […]

Perfect Church 2011

Recently, there was an interesting discussion being held by some clergy leaders in the Wisconsin Annual Conference about the “ideal congregation.”  This brings to mind old conversations we used to have in New Jersey about “the perfect church.”  In both cases, most of the answers revolve around faithful commitment on the […]

Sleeping Dragon

I have worked with churches in a wide variety of settings and a wide range of relative states of health.  From these experiences, a conceptual frame emerges that I have found helpful as a consultation tool, and as a way of understanding not only what is happening in a given […]