Values

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 […]

I Love a Mystery

Though I am not overly superstitious, I DO try to pay attention to unusual coincidences.  Over the last three days, I have been led, in one way or another, to look up four passages of scripture:  Ephesians 6:18-20, I Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-10, and 1 Timothy 3:16.  Each of these […]

What Am I Missing?

On a more frequent basis than I am comfortable with, I seem to be missing some pages of the script for simple human interaction.  Two things happened today, and it is not yet ten in the morning… I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop in one of two comfortable […]

Different Worlds

Perhaps the most egregious error many people make is to assume that the way they think is normative.  When we operate from the assumption that other people see and make sense of the world the same way we do, we open ourselves to a world of hurt.  Each of us […]

Who Matters?

My heart breaks as I see more and more statements about who “matters.”  Oh, I understand the intention to stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters who find themselves on an unpublished endangered species list because of the hidden -isms of our US culture (racism, classism, fascism, etc.).  My concern […]

The Intercultural Imperative

Take a few minutes and watch this video Children Shall Lead Them.  The image of the four young people walking down the hall hand-in-hand — two Hispanic/Latino, one African-American, one with Downs Syndrome — is incredibly powerful for me.  It illustrates the world we need to be living in — not […]

Sides

If God is unity and totality, and all things come from God and all things are under the command and control of God (God the ground of ALL being), then how many sides does God have?  An infinite number or one?  And if infinite — including all sides with no […]

Accidental Witness

As Epiphany closes the Christmastide once more, a few incidents stand out in my mind as symbolic of the current state of the church and our faith in the present day: At a hotel where I stayed this week, a manager was giving instruction to her maintenance crew — at […]

Antagonisn’t

It has been interesting entering the conversation about the future of our denomination and our interest, inclination and ability to stay at the table to work things out.  While I feel strongly that we are better together than apart, I acknowledge that others feel strongly that enough is enough, it […]