Let’s be fair, UMC, and exclude ALL the unclean, not just the homosexuals

Jesus broke the rules of the holiness code, rendering himself ritually unclean, with great regularity. We want a cheap holiness code, not the one Jesus taught and modeled Sex life examination mandated to exclude the unclean With Judicial Council Ruling on Petition 1343, various Boards of Ordained Ministry are going to be required to make a [Read More…]

Why FaceBook And Robert's Rules of Order Make Holy Conferencing Impossible: An Alternative Approach

Yet One More FB Explosion For what seemed like the trillionth time, I watched another clergy Facebook conversation degenerate into frustration, name-calling, shut-off, and despair. The few political conversations I have participated on using the same medium have seen similar fates. Why? First, let’s look at Twitter.  With a 140 character limit, it became a [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…]

"Rev. Schaefer Must Be Punished"

“Rev. Schaefer must be punished.”  I just heard those words from the mouth of an NPR reporter quoting a UMC spokesperson concerning the trial of Rev. Frank Scheafer who, nearly seven years ago, conducted a wedding ceremony for his gay son and his spouse. Wow–that is what The United Methodist Church is about?  Someone “must [Read More…]

Effectiveness and Appointments

The buzz is everywhere for United Methodist Clergy:  a commission has declared that the day of the guaranteed appointment is done. Here’s the report. There’s quite a bit of discussion about this on Facebook and I’m sure lots of other convesations as well. .The question:  what is an “effective” clergyperson?  How does someone decide who [Read More…]

A Long Journey Nearly Over

On Monday, February 25, I met with members of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church for a morning of interviews. In preparation for this time, I had written a definitive statement of my systematic theology, a defense of the sacraments, my understanding of an inclusive church and ministry, and my willingness [Read More…]