Brexit, Trump/Sanders and the UMC: time to say “good-bye”

I can’t stop seeing the parallels: 52% of voters in Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, surfacing the deep unrest about politics and economics and threatening the fragile union that holds Europe together financially. Trump/Sanders, one not a Republican but running on the Republican ticket, one not a Democrat, but refusing to cede [Read More…]

The Promiscuity of Nature Versus the Pristine Swimming Pool

I’m lucky enough to live in a house that has a pool in the backyard. In Texas, this pool serves ever so many advantages. The hot tub provides relaxation on cooler winter nights, the rest of the pool a great place to gather and entertain AND cool down during our extended summer months. All swimming [Read More…]

The Crucial Difference Between Schism and Division: Lessons from the Garden

The question appears again and again in church life and right now particularly with mainline denominations: should we just give up and split up? There is a way to divide and still thrive. Let’s pay attention to the lesson from the garden here. In 2012, I wrote a post about the now-impossibility of actually reforming [Read More…]

Standing Up to Oppression: Will We Pay the Cost?

A man sits in a house of worship, struggling with despair, staring at his useless hand.  He couldn’t harness an ox, hold a plow, slaughter an animal, or build a shelter.  Total ruin for his family loomed.  He’d beg, but his wife and children would be sold into slavery. Others entered into the worship space, [Read More…]

The UMC At the Crossroads: Elitism or Inclusion–or Holy Love?

“Nothing, I would argue, is more effective at driving people away from religion than watching its most elite representatives—the whitest, malest, straightest, most educated, with the biggest platforms—devolve into kindergarteners, ganging up on others, bullying, preaching a Gospel of intractability and exclusion.”  The woman who wrote this, Kaya Oakes, is the author of The Nones [Read More…]

Fighting the System: The Aging Body and the Aging UMC

Battling the Systems Like just about everyone I know, I am in a constant battle with my body’s survival desire to put on weight. Vanity drives my battle. Cellular memory and human history drives my body. My body will ultimately win. It might be a good idea to be thankful for that. The way the human [Read More…]

When We Hate One Another and Ignore the Real Issues of Justice and Mercy

I spent several hours recently perusing a couple of Facebook discussion groups primarily dominated by those who hold to a more conservative (read: no gays) theology than I do. I admit I don’t get the hatred spewed there–but I do believe there is much fear of loss behind it. Fear of loss of scriptural authority, of [Read More…]

Jehovah’s Witnesses Mystery Worship: Mind Control Warning–Visitors Beware

I am reaching a point where I think Gutenberg did not do the world a favor. And for the second time in these months in the Mystery Worship mode, I walked about of a service and said, “I need a drink.” Just walking to the door identified us as visitors with outsider status. I wore tailored [Read More…]

Friday Morning Musings: What Constitutes Salvation for This Man?

This man, Michael Megginson, is seriously mentally ill. He’s been in an out of mental hospitals since he was six years old. Although, according to his mother, he has moments of calm and then is enjoyable to be around, it takes almost nothing to set him off. From the description of his family history, it [Read More…]

Baby as Battering Ram: Good Friday in Jerusalem

We stood in a tight crowd, unable to move, barely able to breathe, waiting our turn. Security guards with high-powered automatic weapons had been charged with crowd control outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Good Friday. Only a few could go in at a time. “Hey, no shoving!” I spoke sharply [Read More…]