Guns Don’t Kill People–Toddlers Do

Stop. No screaming “Don’t you dare take away my second amendment rights!!!”” No shouting the mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” None of that until you read this article. Or at least this piece of it; In the seven days that ended Tuesday, in addition to the death of Ms. Price, a 3 ­year­ old [Read More…]

Time to Protest: Beautiful Rape Babies and other Fantasies of Our Male Elected Officials

West Virginia Republican Representative Kurkuba is quoted as saying: “while rape is awful, a child that results from a rape is beautiful.” His apology, as I understand it, was to “anyone who took my comments about the sanctity of human life to mean anything other than that all children are precious regardless of circumstances.” Here [Read More…]

A Violation of Integrity: "Coming Out" as a Lesbian Clergyperson?

She’s been living a lie and I’m deeply troubled about this even as others are cheering her on. I write of the Rev. Cynthia Meyer, a long time pastor, and her announcement to her church on Sunday, January 3, 2016. From this article, “I have been an ordained United Methodist pastor for 25 years. At last, I [Read More…]

The new Apple iPhone

I have just spent the last hour and a half in the Apple Store purchasing a new iPhone. As if I needed it. Nonetheless, the attraction of the best, the brightest, the shiniest technology finally won me over. In other words, I’m just like millions of others. The same thing happens with theology. Who wants [Read More…]

Bill Gothard Resignation: This Gets Personal

“It sounds like the Taliban.” That was my oldest son’s response when I told him about the latest scandal in the Christian world: the resignation of Bill Gothard. Gothard was the founder and president of IBLP (Institute for Basic Life Principles) and ATI (Advanced Training Institute). ATI, an educational institution, supports a fair amount of [Read More…]

Chris Christie and the Bullying God

According to multiple news reports, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey and someone who clearly covets the Presidential office, has declared, “I am not a bully.” Now, he made this disclaimer after the shocking revelations that his minions and closest advisors apparently decided to play havoc with a little town called Fort Lee, New Jersey. This [Read More…]

The Crusty Poinsettias; The Crusted Over Soul

Yearly, members of the church I serve order poinsettias to decorate the worship center during Advent and into Christmas. We purchase them through a local non-profit agency that helps the impoverished in the area as part of their yearly fund-raising efforts. This year, I jokingly challenged the congregation to order lots of them to make [Read More…]

On District Superintendents, Pastoral Care, Condemnation and The General Rules

On Clergy Supervision A little discussed issue in the larger situation with Rev. Schaefer and the church trial: the nature and accountability of clergy supervision in our covenant. Each year, clergy are asked to complete multiple forms relating to our work, our lives, and our particular appointments. One of those is something called a “personal profile” [Read More…]

One Violation and You Are Out: The United Methodist Tragedy

I wish we could just all admit that we simply don’t know. As much as we might claim to know, we don’t know. We don’t know what Jesus would do. We don’t know what real love is about. We don’t know how to come up with definitive answers about  what the Bible REALLY means. We [Read More…]

Two Months, Five Days: Charge Conference Reports

I suppose this is true across all professions when retirement looms and perspective on what is necessary changes, but I admit it for myself here:  for the first time since I’ve been a solo/senior pastor, I am not terribly concerned with Charge Conference reports. Our Charge Conference is next Tuesday. Now, the church administrator and [Read More…]