July 14, 2012

I knew something was wrong in the way that he said my name. “Honey,” he said, “did you hear about a stabbing in Highland Park?” I said, yes I had but the news didn’t share anything other than the fact that the husband was dead and that the wife was in the hospital. “Maria, that was Rod and Dina.” My head started spinning. No, not Rod and Dina! What happened? Was it a break in? Where were the kids? The… Read more

June 20, 2012

My Sunday morning had been great so far. I had just returned from preaching at one of my favorite churches, Warren Chapel UMC and was sitting down to a Father’s Day lunch with my husband Jeff. As we each opened our class A healthy meal of Chili Dogs and Tater tots from Sonic and our respective newspapers, I thought, “Wow. this is a great day.” Little did I know what the Metro section of the Dallas Morning News had in… Read more

June 6, 2012

There are few times in my life when I am literally at a loss for words (and these usually involved a loss by my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide–hence, why it is few and far between for me to be silent). Yet on Tuesday evening in the Plano Center at the conclusion of the North Texas Annual Conference, I, like hundreds of other delegates sat in silence as Bishop Earl Bledsoe rescinded his announcement of retirement circulated only several days earlier…. Read more

May 6, 2012

Yesterday, in an attempt to get some distance between me and the traumatic event now forever etched in my brain as—General Conference 2012, I decided to brave the Texas heat and work on my flowerbeds and ideas for the lawn. Isisas Barrario, my faithful landscape and lawn man for over 8 years, stood by me in the heat as we discussed what to do about the yard. Its important to know that when Isisas and I first met, I was… Read more

May 4, 2012

I don’t like crying. I hate it. Other than sex, it is one of those things that no one and I mean no one looks good actually doing (forget that Hollywood stuff). So when I found myself standing in the Plenary Hall of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, weeping uncontrollably, I knew that it was not going to be a good day. I don’t cry easily. Even when facing my mother’s slow descent into dementia or my… Read more

May 2, 2012

Well the Methodist Armageddon came and went by 12:30pm EST. The world didn’t end; the earth didn’t rattle; nor did Jesus come back (which would have been great all things considered but I think given the state of General Conference 2012, he wouldn’t have been given credentials to be seated anyway). By 12:33, every one had become an armchair pundit in their assessment of the winners and losers from the Methodist Battle Royal aka the Plan UMC vote.I must admit… Read more

May 1, 2012

Someone stopped me today in the Convention Center to ask me what I did for a living. I explained, “ I study organizations, their communication, and how they work.” The questioner just shook his head and said, “Boy I bet the last three days have really given you something to write about.” To that all I could say was, “You ain’t lyin’.” Truth of the matter is, if this General Conference had been 8 years ago, I would have had… Read more

April 30, 2012

 “In the West it seems that everything is about winning and losing…..”Walking back across the bridge from the Convention Center tonite, the observation of my Central Conference friend kept ringing in my ears. Of course, I had to admit he was right. The go big or go home mentality pervades every aspect of our lives. It is a symptom of what is wrong with our political; educational; social; and dare I say, our religious institutions. At least 9 or 10… Read more

April 29, 2012

 I knew that the UMC’s foray into re-organization could have significant impact for agencies like the one on which I serve as a commissioner.  Yet as an organizational scholar, who is fascinated by Church changes (and break-ups), I knew that GC2012 was for Methodism, what 1979 was for the Southern Baptist Convention—a fork in the road; the time where the two hands from each side of the aisle that had been leading the denomination would have to make a decision,… Read more

March 11, 2012

Well..I’ve done it. Resisted for years. Clients and students begged but I said no. Perhaps I was inspired by SXSW and the great colleagues I met there discussing social media and its effects on religious organizations. Then again, it could be that I have had enough caffeine to finally take the plunge after years of just drinking half-caff (again by student request). Regardless of the reason, I present to you…my professional blog: The View from Dixon Hall.Professional Blog? Yep, that’s right…. Read more




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