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Showing posts from September, 2007

General Conference: The Mail

Today, I received the first mail from a church group/agency that I'm getting because I am a General Conference delegate. This is the beginning of what will be several months of lots and lots of mail. As a delegate, you typically get books, DVDs, CD-Roms, packets of letters from congregations, brochures, etc., from interested United Methodists trying to communicate their views and hopes for GC to the delegates. When I was a lay delegate to GC in 2000, I was a senior in college . Mail is scarce in college, and you are always wishing for more. (What you don't realize is that the mail grown-ups get is mostly bills. Later in life, you will get more of these than you ever wanted.) The months leading up to GC 2000 were excellent - lots of mail, everyday. I enjoyed reading over the materials, looking at what was motivating people to go to the trouble and expense of contacting 1000 delegates. Today, I still have some of the materials - some were concise summaries of particular points o

Following Jesus and Being United Methodist

Another item floating around the methoblogosphere: the excellent article written by Ben Yosua-Davis about the generation x/y gathering earlier this year. I didn't attend the event, but parts of the article really hit the head on the nail for me, articulating the split personality I often feel as a person fully immersed in the denomination, the organization, the structure, the way of functioning of the Untied Methodist Church, and the growing sense that to be a real disciple of Jesus, I'm missing the boat entirely doing what I'm doing in the way we're doing it. Ben writes: "Participants voiced both deep love for and deep frustration about the denomination. They expressed a passionate loyalty and appreciation for United Methodism, yet also a conviction that the church they love may end up killing them spiritually. This pain does not come out of disconnected idealism, but rather an intelligent, painful realism that has made many realize that their leadership in

O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing...

A few weeks ago, the United Methodist News Service reported that the General Board of Discipleship would be asking General Conference 2008 to support the creation of a new hymnal revision committee. Not long after that, you may have read at the methoblog that a Good News email has gone out asking people to vote for excluding hymns from the new hymnal that emphasize feminine images of God. *I have not seen this email myself, but this is what was forward to me as the content of the email from Good News.* The email: "Good News was much involved in providing input and feedback to the Hymnal Revision Committee that gave us our current 1989 hymnal. We believe that significant grass-roots involvement saved the church from some serious mistakes that might otherwise have been made. The new hymnal added scores of Charles Wesley hymns and gospel songs which had not been in the 1964 hymnal. We will be watching this process carefully once again... We would encourage you to participate i

District Day with the Bishop

Earlier this week I attended a District Day with the Bishop - my first district gathering in my new district with my new Bishop Suda Devadhar. As I've mentioned , Bishop Devadhar was elected out of my annual conference in 2004. I've known him for a long time, and it is a pleasure - and fun - to service in his area. He exudes a humility that is really rare at any level of leadership in the church, and it is refreshing. Our day opened with worship at Westwood United Methodist Church , (which I didn't realize at the time is where methoblogger Melissa is doing her field ministry) and Rev. Tom Korkuch gave a sermon. Preaching on Matthew 28:16-20, he talked about political maneuvering by religious folk in order to "get votes so that you can force people to live the way you want them to live." He talked about authority, “authority from compassion” and “not the sword but the towel” authority. Authority that is the "power to serve under," not the "power to

CROP Walk

I'm walking in the CROP Walk again next month. This time I'm walking in a different state, but I'm still walking! I have fond memories of CROP Walking through junior high and high school. In college , we participated in our own special version of a CROP Walk by making different unique displays to carry food across the main stretch of campus. However you do it, the CROP Walk is a good event to be involved in. I've found my fundraising always goes more successfully online, so if you feel like donating, please consider clicking the above link!

Fake Pastors

Have you seen this site ? Hilarious. I especially like "Fake Joel Osteen" and "Fake Rob Bell." (h/t to Gavin )

Review: Personality Type and Religious Leadership

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I recently retook a short Myers-Briggs personality test, which pegged me (so accurately, I think) as an INFJ . While I was unpacking books this past week (an aside: one of the movers said he loves watching items come of the moving truck - it is like Christmas, because people never recognize their own stuff!), I came across this book : Personality Type and Religious Leadership . I bought it at a continuing education event in Maine a few years back and forgot about it. Since I've been thinking about personality type again a lot lately, I quickly gave this book a 'thorough skim' and found it fun and thought-provoking. The book specifically looks at clergy and how different personality types function in the ministry. The focus is really Protestant clergy, although some attention is given both to Catholic clergy and people in religious non-clergy positions. Here's what I discovered: - Even though INFJs (Introverted / Intuiting / Feeling / J

First Things

I'm much more relaxed starting this second appointment than starting my first appointment, when I really had no clue. I'm thinking a lot now about what I want to do differently than I did as I started at St. Paul's. What are the first things you want to do in a new ministry? I was talking with a colleague on the phone yesterday and we were talking about the opportunity of a fresh start, a clean slate. If you were starting over in a new ministry setting, what would you do? What would be your priorities in the first weeks, months, and year? What would you not do that you had done in other settings? Of course, some things - many things, are context-specific. And many are the things you just have to do, no matter where you are and what else you might accomplish. (Think: Paperwork. Pension and health insurance forms. Looking at files. Figuring out the schedule and rhythm of the church.) Do you make changes? I know some people recommend not making any real changes in the first

Moving Reflections

Some highlights of the last few days: I think I've cried more times in the last two weeks than I have in the last four years combined. (OK - that's a slight exaggeration.) My last Oneida cry was when I was leaving my strangely empty house there. My first cry here was when my mother and brother went back home to Central New York. I've been telling everyone about how my mother cried when she left, but not the part about me crying too - so here's my confession! I really hate crying. But I guess of all the crying I could do, this week has been full of the good kind. I've already misplaced (and found, thankfully) both my set of office keys and my set of house keys. The house keys I just set down in the restroom. But the office keys - I actually left those on the roof of my car. And then I drove around town and at speeds of at least 40mph. And then I thought to check on the roof of my car for my keys. And there they were! I've already met a fellow vegetarian at Frank