Values

Remembering Who We Are

One of the things I love about the church is that you never know what kind of impact you’re going to make on the lives of those around you.  At a very simple level, the church offers an opportunity to do good and, at the very least, do no harm.  […]

Blind-Sided

I always feel that I am serving some purpose when I blog and it turns out that I tick off everyone.  By “weighing in” on all the talk of splitting the church (officially) I have “taken sides.”  However, which side is a bit confusing and hard to determine.  Consider these […]

To Read Or Not To Read…

I am a reader, and proud of it.  I rarely spend less than 3 hours each day reading, and I mean books, not just emails, articles, blogs, letters, ads, magazines, Post-It® Notes, etc.  On days off, I read more like 6-7 hours.  I am an eclectic reader.  There are few […]

The Obvious Truth Nobody Seems to Know

Okay, here it is — the answer to all our problems in The United Methodist Church.  It is so simple, you probably won’t believe/accept it.  It comes in two parts — the first part is fundamental conventional wisdom, the second part, not so much.  It answers the question: “what is […]

Jumping to Confusions

What is it about we human animals and our tendency to climb the ladder of inference and leap blindly into a steaming pile of assumptions?  Each and every day we create chaos, confusion and pain for ourselves by ascribing intention, assuming motives, projecting values and jumping to conclusions.  Compounding this […]

Functional Filtration

Another aspect of the complexity around navigating our differences and disagreements of our personal filters and mental models.  By basic premise the past couple blogs is that we need better ways of disagreeing and living with differences of opinion, worldview and values.  However, it has been interesting fielding emails that […]

Debatable Disagreement

I regularly encounter people who believe that disagreements in the church are evidence that we should split the denomination, that somehow we are defined by our differences rather than a common faith, a shared baptism, a risen Savior, and a God bigger than our pettiness.  Probing deeper reveals that the […]

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 […]

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 […]