Saturday, February 16, 2013
Monday, June 27, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
But first, a clip from the most brilliant episode of South Park, ever.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
There's a general understanding among some United Methodists that if one is a candidate for ordination, it is not one's place to criticize (even constructively) the denomination, its board, agencies, doctrine, or discipline. In accordance with my conscience, I respectfully disagree.
I'm not happy with the shift of more power to the top of the hierarchy.
Off the top of my head, this is what I'd like to see change if we're committed to this course of action:
- The ability to opt out of the pension program.
- A clear metric which can be adapted situationally to each unique pastor/parish pairing to measure clergy effectiveness. Effectiveness looks different in a deeply wounded small declining rural church as it does with a reasonably healthy mid-sized suburban church. For my internship at Perkins, I will write a learning covenant in which I will state my learning goals that has to be approved by a earning committee at the internship placement and the internship director. I'm then expected to meet those goals in a time specified. Perhaps a pastoral covenant should be developed at each charge with the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, the District Superintendent, and the pastor. What this means, is actually having a purpose behind charge conference paperwork and year end reports at the local church level.
- Greater consideration of family situations in appointment making. My wife is most likely going to be the primary bread-winner in my household. I know of a clergy person who cannot commit to the interent because her husband is a M.D. committed to his call. Other considerations would be educational support for special needs chidden and medical consideration for immediate and extended family members under the car of pastors. Perhaps all or some of this is done in some Annual Conferences already.
- Longer appointments. In other words, a guarantee of three years or more at a charge instead of the one-year-at-a-time model used now. From my understanding, bishops and District Superintendents are appointed that way (I'd look it up, but I foolishly packed my Book of Discipline, already).
- Conference pay structure. This may be a peripheral issue, but I think that if the Cabinet is going to determine whether or not clergy persons have a job, then the Conference needs to pay our salaries. (This may also fix some of the issues behind the jacked-up clergy tax status.) Salaries would be supported by an apportionment line-item broken down for each congregation by a decimal or some other equitable means. This will allow greater flexibility in the appointment process, taking the size or financial strength of a congregation out of the equation. Thus, a pastor with significant gifts in rural church ministry can be appointed to a church that could currently only support a part time local pastor. This would better insure that a clergy person is truly being employed according to his or her graces.
To those who are invested in this system, what say you?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
- Trying to find the word "Jesus" in the AR is harder then in the CF.
- "Baptism" is bigger in the CF and "Supper" is bigger in the AR. Could this be because of the Methodist strong connection to the Anglican tradition and the EUB connection to the German Pietist/Anabaptist traditions?
- "God" is slightly larger than "Christ" in the CF, and "Christ" is slightly larger than "God" in the AR.
- "Spirit" in the CF is more prominent than "Ghost" is in the AR.
- Both lack inclusive language for humans.
- "Repugnant" is such a cool word, but it's only found in the AR.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
My God, Our God, sometimes we find the words of your Son upon our lips:
Why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping us?
Do you not hear us calling out to you?
In long days and even longer nights, we cry out to you but so often we receive no answer; we find no relief.
The rest of the year we hear stories from your scripture of how others cried out and were saved.
But tonight we feel the full burden of our helplessness as we see Jesus,our friend, our brother, mocked, scourged, and killed upon the cross.
Those of the world mock us for believing in what seems like foolishness, that God became like us to be killed for all our wrongdoing.
You are the God of our childlike faith, but now that we are older, doubt assails us from all sides.
Those who do not believe in you grow in boldness every year.
Our bodies and minds age and fail us.
Our nation struggles economically.
Nations war against nations—people against people.
Suffering and death surround us.
Civility passes by the way side.
Friends turn against friends.
Religious communities are rend apart.
In our darkest days the Evil One works in our midst scattering us as the disciples were.
But into your hands, O Lord, we commend our entire selves.
We trust in your Son.
We trust in what we memorialize this day, his mighty act on the cross.
Even when we cannot hear your voice, sense you are listening, or feel your presence, we trust and know you are with us, that you hear our cries to you, and that you continue to speak to us through your Holy Spirit.
So we praise you together as a congregation.
We tell the story of your love to all we can, in every way we can, for as long as we can, so that people from around the world may turn to The Christ--the one who has freed us from the power of sin and death.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
To establish The Kingdom of God on the earth, we must claim and possess The Seven Mountains of Culture, namely: Business, Government, Religion, Family, Media, Education and Entertainment. - Jeremy Smith quoting a seven-mountaineer.
Monday, December 14, 2009
At the end of John's account of the Gospel, Mary Magdalene finds the tomb of Jesus empty and runs to tell the other disciples that his body had been stolen. When Peter and the "disciple that Jesus loved" arrive at the tomb, they discover that it is empty just as Mary said.