My friend and colleague Alex Joyner has a blog that you should be reading. Seriously, close that tab with cat pictures on it and go read it now. In this post, he offers a characteristically measured reflection on a controversy at Duke University Divinity School about why context in theological reflection matters.
What follows is a dream I have had for the last couple of years, as my time on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry was drawing to a close. The premise is simple: what if there were a facilitated gathering of persons on the Provisional journey who covenanted together to give each other feedback in love around our respective pulpit ministries, so that we can become the best preachers we can be.
Details can be found below, as well as registration information. If you are preparing for Provisional or Full Connection membership, check it out. I’d love to see you in Richmond. Groups will begin meeting in April.
This is, in full, the prayer I prayed at 11:00 on Sunday. It includes words from the sonnet “The New Colossus” by the American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) which was written in 1883. It also includes a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
Righteous, just, and merciful God, we gather here in your name this day to praise you for your goodness, your generosity, and your love for all of humankind, and for your affectionate, intimate love for each of us. You truly know us as we are, and still you love us. We turn away from you, yet in your grace, you pursue us.
We gather here, in the sure and certain hope of your steadfast lovingkindness, to lift up our needs before you. We pray for those who are sick and in need of your healing. We pray for those who are grieving and in need of your comfort, those who are dying and in need of your hope. We pray for sinners in need of your redeeming, and for those who doubt who are in need of your light. We pray for the anxious who are in need of your peace. We pray for men and women in the armed forces, especially those who are deployed away from loved ones, and we pray for all people who work for peace and justice throughout the world.
Well, it’s happened again. Richmond is covered with snow and we had to cancel worship. This video is the sermon that begins our new series “God’s Plan for Your Life” and is titled “Your Credentials for Ministry.” Check it out. You are more powerful than you think.
About ten years ago, I was on a Board of Ordained Ministry seminary visit to Union Presbyterian in Richmond when I asked Beth Downs if I could create and lead a workshop at Conference residency events on the management of time, information, and technology. She agreed.
For the uninitiated, residency events are designed for people who are seeking ordination in our church, people who in the “provisional journey” between commissioning and ordination. These events are provided to offer these nascent clergypersons helpful tools for ministry.
In these workshops, one thing I would discuss is how to manage email, and in this post, I would like to share with you what works for me, as email management is something at which I think I am actually pretty good.
So then, if your New Year’s resolution is to become more organized, read on.
A helpful statement from the United Methodist Council of Bishops in light of the current national situation.
The Sermons Page has been updated, including Kelley Lane’s excellent sermon for the Sunday after the election.
In this guest post, we hear from Reveille’s Lay Leader Bo Bowden as he reflects upon his time in Slidell, Lousiana.
Early one Sunday morning in July just after breakfast, Pastor Carl Blackburn invited us to answer a simple question. “Why are you doing this?” The night before, his church, St. John UMC in Chattanooga, TN had hosted fifty-seven Reveille members en route to our New Orleans area mission trip.
It had been the first overnight of the trip. We gave answers you might expect. “To help others, to share the love of Jesus Christ, etc.” My answer was a bit tongue in-cheek – “Why not?” Maybe the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. Here’s my real answer: Serving on Church Council, we sometimes make decisions affecting youth ministry. I felt it to be one area I had not participated in adequately. For me, this trip was an opportunity to become more involved.