Messy Religion

Christianity is an untidy faith. It’s full of grace and therefore full of the breaking of rules and the loving of people despite their breaking of rules. Our guy–God in the flesh, the Savior of all creation–gets his ass whipped, his hands and feet nailed to a freaking tree trunk and his gut sliced open like a Christmas turkey*. His cousin had his head cut off*. … Continue reading Messy Religion

This Week in Ministry

This week I: welcomed two new members into the congregation, commemorated 20 saints, joined 45 others in a really great Harvest Party, learned about my top 5 leadership themes (Connectedness, Strategic, Empathy, Intellection, Responsibility), learned a lot about industrial motors on my first Take Your Pastor to Work visit, contemplated the earthiness of the Holy Spirit, studied Jesus’ series of dinners with the Pharisees in … Continue reading This Week in Ministry

Marionberries and Congregational Development Mumbo Jumbo in the United Methodist Church (a working title)

Around the corner from our house, in the part of town that still farms, there is a farm. We drive up the hill next to it on our way home from preschool. Right now there are big homemade signs all around the property: STRAWBERRIES. Our family knows it as a marionberry farm too, where in August we can get a bucket of marionberries fresh off … Continue reading Marionberries and Congregational Development Mumbo Jumbo in the United Methodist Church (a working title)

Itineracy and God’s Calling in Your Life

Here is my struggle: I feel God’s calling in my life. I feel a great sense of responsibility to it. Being responsible to my calling is being responsible and faithful to God. It’s that serious for me. I know others, not exclusive to clergy, have a similar view. But, under an episcopal system such as United Methodism, my calling is subject to the system of itineracy, whereby … Continue reading Itineracy and God’s Calling in Your Life

Perkatory: Discipleship at My Dream Church

This is part of a series I’m writing about My Dream Church. My Dream Church is a Cafe Church (not a church with a cafe). See the Introduction here. I have been thinking about My Dream Church, a cafe church called Perkatory. This series is allowing me to think and rethink church, and update my understanding of what a church is and what it does. Perkatory … Continue reading Perkatory: Discipleship at My Dream Church

Perkatory: An Introduction to My Dream Church

“Describe the Nature and Mission of the church. What are its primary tasks today?” Candidates for Ordination in the United Methodist Church are asked this question. It is a good question. In reviewing how I addressed that question 3 years ago, I still believe a lot of the things I said. “The nature of the church is like that of Jesus Christ, the one it … Continue reading Perkatory: An Introduction to My Dream Church

It’s a Good Day for Frank Schaefer but only a Partially Good Day for Methodism

I support the decision by the Judicial Council to uphold Rev. Frank Schaefer’s reinstatement to Ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. But let’s be clear: it was a technical win. The changing of hearts for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church remains the chief goal and the tougher work. [Insert cold water here.] As a disciple of Jesus Christ as well as one Michael G. … Continue reading It’s a Good Day for Frank Schaefer but only a Partially Good Day for Methodism