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Excellent in Every Way: #umbom14 Reflections

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I’ve been attending a denominational gathering for the last few days in beautiful Denver, Colorado. The United Methodist Church agency charged with ministry & higher education has gathered regional leaders from across the United States to be in the same room together for a conversation about excellence in ministry. These Bishops, Cabinets, and officers of […]

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The Kingdom on God’s Terms: Begin

Bearing a Heavy Weight Together. Sculpture in Komarno, Slovakia.

It was a bit strange to have welcomed folks into worship at Mission Bend this Sunday when we were the first-timers: it really ought to have been the other way around! But Christie and I had a wonderful Sunday of meeting the people of MBUMC, getting to share at least a little bit of our […]

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Back in the Middle Again

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When I was a kid, being in the middle was just the worst. Riding in a car? Worst seat is riding on that awkward hump in the middle. Playing with a ball soon becomes “keep away!” Not enough room on the couch, but a grownup would still insist “You can just squeeze in the middle […]

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The Moving Truck Cometh…

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Well, here we are. Less than a week to go before moving day! It’s almost too late to be worrying about everything that hasn’t been done. Everyone has gotten their fill of “Have we taped up the box that has [WHATEVER] in it?” So here’s the required picture of some boxes that are packed.  I […]

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A new mobile app for clergy: Healthcare Directives

My Health Care Wishes Pro

I have often written about the importance of mobile apps for clergy as they go about their daily work. So much of what we do used to be governed by tomes of information, weighty ledgers, and hefty technical equipment — but now, it can all be accomplished by your smartphone or tablet in one portable […]

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Entering the Drama of Worship

Lincoln Cathedral

Tonight is Maundy Thursday, the first of the Great Three Days in the Christian tradition. The Triduum, as it is also known, continues tomorrow with Good Friday, and concludes with the celebration of the Easter Vigil either after sundown Saturday night or at dawn Sunday morning. These days form a liturgical triptych that brings the […]

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Any Hope for Leading the Church We Have?

Cross and Flame

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately. As a pastor in today’s culture, it’s unavoidable — whether I’m meeting with congregants or the Board of Ordained Ministry, whether I’m working on a sermon or learning at my continuing education program — so much congregational, conference, and church concern focuses on leadership. So I’ve been […]

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A Special Announcement

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Earlier today, I announced in worship my new appointment as the pastor of Mission Bend United Methodist Church, followed by a pastoral email to the members of Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church. I’ll be writing more about that in due time, but for the moment, let me share a portion of that letter with you […]

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We Long For the Day…

Overlooking Zion

O Lord, we long for the day when our feet will stand within the gates of the New Jerusalem. Until then, as we journey home, guide and protect your church: be our unity, clothe us in truth, and keep us in your peace. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen. + Psalm […]

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Temptations in #Lent: Gandalf Refuses the Ring

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There is much good theology in the stories we humans tell as art, fiction, and cinema. The popular fantasy epic of JRR Tolkien, not just a popular series of books but now also films, is one of these. The beginning chapters of The Lord of the Rings tell of the hobbit Frodo learning about the […]

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