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Showing posts from April, 2006

Book of Resolutions: Part II

***I'm keeping this post at the top for a few days to encourage some much-needed responses. Please comment! I really need feedback!*** Last week I asked you about your thoughts on the United Methodist Book of Resolutions. With the exception of ~c. and Andy B. (thank you!), most of you mentioned something about tossing the book out altogether. I understand your frustration! The Book has grown over the last several quadrenniums. It is also difficult to use sometimes – hard to find what you’re looking for, and hard to know how to use it if you don’t know what you’re looking for. However…I don’t think the Book of Resolutions is going anywhere anytime soon. And I wouldn’t want it to. I think we have a proud heritage of social justice advocacy in the Untied Methodist Church, and the Book of Resolutions, to me, represents that people of faith have something to say about what is going on in the world. That said, I need your help. My question comes to you out of a particular need. At Gen

General Board of Church and Society Meeting - Reflections, Part 2

More thoughts from my GBCS meeting this past week. My work area is Environmental and Economic Justice. As part of our work, we also spent time talking about the continuing Gulf Coast Recovery efforts. We heard from Bishop William Hutchinson, Louisiana Area and vice-president of the board, and our work-area chairperson William Scott, from Mississippi. They talked about the frustration of how the cleanup/rebuild process is going. The levees, for example, are being rebuilt at only the same strength as they were before the storm – with the engineers stating that we are “only doing what we are authorized to do.” With another hurricane season approaching quickly, both said the tension is palpable. Bishop Hutchinson shared with us that something like $20 million worth of labor hours have been contributed by United Methodists in relief efforts. They also shared concerns for the environmental effects of the hurricane – how will the mercury, for example, affect crops that grow? Scott, who is a

General Board of Church and Society Meeting - Reflections, Part 1

I’ve been in DC this week at the Spring meeting of the General Board of Church and Society , which is my excuse for my lack of posts this week. I have several posts mentally written in my mind – Holy Week reflections, a theatre review, two book reviews, etc., but so far they remain in the mind and not on the screen. The board meeting went well, quickly. I always enjoy being here, and I always feel challenged and inspired by talking about the work we are doing in the church for justice. I will use a few posts to share some highlights with you. Jim Winkler opened with his General Secretary’s report, which I will come to in a later post when I can link to the text on the GBCS site. I always enjoy his reports and his eloquent presentation of our work. As a side note, I also met John Lomperis, IRD staff, in person today, after knowing his name from long reading his comments often over at Shane’s blog . I’m reminded of taking my doctrine and polity classes online in seminary and then one day

Risky Business

I don't typically review the books I listen to on cassette or CD - I tend to listen to mysteries or thrillers or other 'lighter' fare that usually amuses but doesn't inspire deep reflection in me. But some authors are exceptions to the rule - and Maeve Binchy falls into this category. Binchy writes great novels, and has great, complex and lovable characters. She's also inspired in me a love of Irish names, making me want to claim my 1/32 or so Irish-heritage. I've listened to Circle of Friends, Evening Class, Scarlet Feather, The Glass Lake, Tara Road, Night of Rain and Stars, Quentins. Inevitably with my favorite authors I run out of books that I've not yet listened to. So I was glad to happen on London Transports, the American title to Victoria Line, Central Line . This is a collection of 22 short stories. I'm not always a great fan of short stories - they're just too short for me. I like long, detailed novels. But Binchy's stories were just ri

Question: Book of Resolutions

If you could revise the United Methodist Book of Resolutions , what would you change? I'm not wondering so much about specific resolutions, but about structure, format, style, petition entry, etc. Thoughts? Suggestions? Rants on its current size and weight?


Today I had lunch with one of my college students, home on break. I asked her if I could share this hilarious story with you, and she said OK. She attends a conservative Christian college, and has struggled occasionally with the theology there. She is considering ordained ministry, and this is not a welcome career path for women according to some of her peers and professors. She's been checking out the Christian fellowship groups on campus, and told me she attended a couple gatherings of Campus Crusade for Christ* . I asked her how she like it, and she told me that at one of the sessions, the theme was decision-making according to God's will. The leaders would propose different scenarios and ask for feedback - "what would you do?" One scenario: A villain captures you and another individual. He hangs the other person over a pool of alligators, and says he will let the person be eaten by them unless you have sex with him. What do you do? My student told me that the resp

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar

Yesterday, I participated in one of my favorite Lenten traditions: I went to see The Salt City Center for the Performing Arts' production of Jesus Christ Superstar , my favorite musical. I have been going to see this particular production every year since I was twelve years old. A tradition now for more than half of my life! The first time I saw it, on a trip with my church UMYF, I was already familiar with the music, but what clinched it for me as a favorite was my instant crush on the actor, Henry Wilson, who played Judas Iscariot. I went back to see the show again that season, and then every year after that. Henry only played Judas for the first three years, and I have seen him again in 'cameos' on anniversary years of the theatre's production, but my love of the show and the music survived my crush! I've since been intrigued especially by Judas Iscariot, and eventually wrote my senior religion paper in college on Judas in literature. Tonight was Salt City'

myspace part 2

Hm. Since I started blogging, I've occasionally had phone calls from people about my blog. So far, these calls had been for purposes of someone writing an article about blogging, or something similarly research/blogging oriented. Today I got a phone call from the gentleman who commented anonymously on my previous post about myspace . He did identify himself on his call, but since he chose to comment anonymously here I won't share his name. He, as you can gather from his comments, was quite upset that I would encourage people to use myspace, because some profiles listed on myspace have objectionable material. I shared with him my view: I see myspace as another medium - another tool to use on the internet. It can be abused, of course, and misused. IMing has resulted in similar problems for some people, online journals like livejournal can be used in similar ways, chat rooms, etc., are all susceptible to abuse by some. But I don't think this means we need to abandon the me

Succumbing to myspace

I'd stopped by myspace before Gavin posted about it last month . As our conference youth coordinator, it would be almost impossible to at least not know what myspace was. 95% of my CCYM is on myspace. In fact, they created their own myspace group for our CCYM that I had nothing to do with and knew nothing about for a while, and that has far more members in it than our official message board has ever had. But I wasn't really interested in it. After Gavin posted about it, I checked it out some more, took the plunge and posted my own profile , and - thrill - I got a friend request who wasn't also a family member! Within three weeks or so of signing up, I've now reconnected with several friends from high school that I literally have not seen/talked to in years, maybe 5 or more years. And I can't deny it - the thrill of logging on and finding a new-friend-request is great. I can only imagine the thrill for users younger than me. Many have wondered about the role of t