In the interest of me actually blogging something, since I just am totally uninspired to write lately, I'm posting my basically unedited notes from today's District Resource Day with Bill Easum. The topic was “Leading Turnaround on the Road to Mission.” I read a little of Easum at Drew, but haven't read much else. We had some interesting conversation - lots of questions asked. Some things I thought he was right about, some I just thought I'd heard too much before, and some I really disagreed with him on. I guess that's a pretty typical breakdown though, isn't it? (My apologies for the parts of the notes that won't make sense without the corresponding hand out. I'll try to blog better soon ;) )
Where is Jesus going?
Way, Way, Beyond Emmaus
Where is everyone going?
* Away from spiritual centers * Away from religious professionals * Out into the world, away from the institution
Faithfulness – not survival, hanging on, but doing whatever is necessary t…
This week I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I've read all of Kingsolver's books, and I love her writing style. She's definitely a favorite. However, it took me a long time to get through this one. I'm not even quite sure why. I liked it, a lot. But maybe it just isn't the type of book to be read quickly from cover to cover.
Kingsolver and her family set out to try to eat locally, raising most of their own food, and staying away from, as much as possible, processed food, meat from animals raised in poor conditions, food shipped from far away, eaten out of season, etc. I admire her for doing what I only think about doing, and even then, can hardly seriously see myself considering. But Kingsolver makes strong arguments for how screwed up our food system is, how much we're just short-changing ourselves, as individuals and as a human race, and how worth it it would be to start making at least some changes.
It seems I'm often a bit late in reading books in a topic/area that everyone else has already read. Oh well. I finally read Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli. And I'm so glad that I did - I can say, right off, that this is an excellent book, that anyone working with young people should read this book, and that really, it applies in so many ways to ministry as a whole that anyone in ministry in the church should really read this. I think it's that important and that well written and touches so correctly on the culture we have built up in the church. The basic premise is that we tend to face youth ministry with a sense of fear, because: "We don't know how to be with our kids. We don't know how to be with ourselves. We don't know how to be with God." (19) I still vividly remember maybe my second Sunday in my first appointment, when I was thrown into a room full of high-school students who had just learned of …
This fall, I'll be teaching confirmation at FLUMC. In the past, I've used both the denominational Claim the Name materials and Bishop Willimon's Making Disciples. Each has strengths and weaknesses. Making Disciples isn't specifically UMC, so it has to be supplemented. Claim the Name - well, I just didn't find it very interesting for young people. What confirmation materials have you used? What works? What doesn't? What other things have you done with confirmation classes to make the journey special and meaningful?