Mission & Purpose

GC2016 — Text, Subtext, Context

Today is the first day the rumor mills churned out of control.  If you skim social media, you might pick up any of a hundred different rumors about what is happening behind the scenes at General Conference.  It caused us to change our agenda so that Bishop Bruce Ough could […]

Baptism Is Thicker Than Water

At what point should The United Methodist Church admit its failures and simply split over the issues of human sexuality raised by LGBTQI people and those in the church unwilling or unable to accept them?  For me, the answer is simple — at the point that we admit that we […]

Christian Discipleship for Dummies

I was in conversation with some of my colleagues about the state of The United Methodist Church.  We each took a Post-It® Note and wrote what we thought was the most pressing need/critical issue facing the church.  Most of the notes were about declining numbers — not enough new members, […]

Taylor-Made: A Secular Age

I will move this to “best books” in a week or two, but for now, I want to add Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age to my list of books I believe every pastor should read.  This book came out in 2007 and I am embarrassed to say that it took […]

Systemic Ambivalence

Systemic — pertaining to or affecting a whole system Ambivalence — holding two competing values in equal regard If the unexamined life is not worth living, then perhaps the unexamined institution is not worth having.  And we try desperately hard not to look too closely at the institution we serve […]

Who Are We Again?

At a recent event, I made the statement that today’s United Methodist Church exists because our predecessor denominations held three critically important functions in common: missional service, evangelism and social justice.  In other words, we hold core values of caring for others, inviting all people into a life-changing, life-fulfilling relationship […]