Wild dogs, babies and betrayed trust: why the UMC is disintegrating

Trust serves as the glue that holds any society together. We trust that others will obey the traffic laws, will pay their fair share of taxes, will be faithful to their spouses, will respect one another’s property, will contribute a proportionate amount to the common good. When that trust is betrayed, the wounds go deep [Read More…]

I Would Have Cut and Run As Well

I would have cut and run as well. I would have run into that darkness to save my body, not caring that I was leaving behind my soul. You see, before anyone saw the light and bright of Easter Sunday, darkness prevailed. Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem probably led many to hope, “Now, someone will [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…]

The Two Way Betrayal

It is Holy or Black Saturday and I’m deep in a place of emotional and spiritual pain. Last night, at Tenebrae, as I was leading the service, I saw again the shock of the disciples. I saw their need to flee, their betrayal, and the aloneness of Jesus when he faced his accusers.  My tears [Read More…]

The Fox in the Henhouse

Is it gracious to let a fox loose in a henhouse? I believe most of us would say a hearty “no” to that, but think about it a moment. Assuming for just a moment that foxes can talk, suppose a fox comes to you, the henhouse owner, and says, I know I’ve had  some problems [Read More…]

Why It Matters: The Episcopal Situation in the North Texas Conference

Jeffrey Weiss, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, has asked these questions concerning the episcopal situation facing the North Texas Conference:  “Why does this matter? And to who? Clearly, it’s a big deal to North Texas Methodist clergy. But who else should be paying attention? And why?” Here is my response: Does this Episcopal [Read More…]

Thirteen Around the Circle

For Maundy Thursday, I invited those who were interested to do a “reader’s theater” session using a chapter from Dorothy Sayers’ classic play, The Man Born to be King.  This play, the story of the life of Jesus, was aired in serial form over BBC radio during WWII in Great Britain and captured the heart [Read More…]

Arrest Him!

Last night at our Midweek Miracle program for children and youth, I invited them to act out parts of the passion week story as I told it to them again. Several of the older youth “arrest” Jesus while the high priests stand off to the side, nodding with approval. Although the children occasionally mugged a [Read More…]

The Taught Being the Teacher

During Lent, I’ve been leading a study I called “Doubters Anonymous” which was set up to give those with questions about our faith a place to express them openly and without condemnation.  I had no idea what would happen when we began this.  I planned to simply let it unfold. What we ended up doing [Read More…]

Sadness and Separation

I recently accompanied a friend to the Denton County Courthouse.  When we entered the courtroom, a trial was taking place.  The judge called for a 15 minute recess, warning the defense lawyer that he might want to make sure his client understood her fifth amendment rights before taking the stand. During the recess, four divorces [Read More…]