I was asked to offer the opening prayer for the March 25, 2019 gathering of the Tennessee General Assembly by Representative Bill Beck, who represents the district where both my home and church are located. Gracious God, Creator of all things, whose steadfast love is everlasting, we gather tonight as a people … Continue reading A Prayer for the Tennessee General Assembly
(c) Can Stock Photo / HPW We sat around the table one night, the appointed leaders of the congregation that I served at the time, considering our future. Attendance had dropped from its high point in the 1950’s and while the rate of decline had flattened, we were faced with a church that was rapidly … Continue reading Do we really care about the future?
On April 4, 1968, I was probably watching The Flying Nun when the newscaster interrupted and told of Dr. King's death. I was alone in our apartment as my mom had run downstairs to visit with a friend, and I remember the sense of fear and foreboding that came with that frantic announcement. That night, … Continue reading Fifty Years Later
God of all people, male and female, old and young, from all nations, races, and backgrounds, we come to you as a city that is broken. Trust has been eroded; lives have been disrupted; and we find ourselves wondering where we go from here. We ask that today represents a new day, a new season … Continue reading A Prayer for Nashville
God of the ages, I don't want to pray this prayer tonight. It's not that I don't want to be with you. I need to hear your voice. I need your comfort. I need to ask "Why?" And I have no problem praying for the wounded, the grieving, and all of us who have been … Continue reading The prayer I don’t want to offer…
I think most of the world has seen my Facebook post from yesterday in which I announced that I am being appointed to serve as the Sr. Pastor of the City Road Chapel United Methodist Church in Madison, TN. In that statement, I acknowledged that I had thought at the beginning of the week that … Continue reading A United Methodist pastor’s perspective on a pastoral transition
Last week, my 14 year old and I headed over on Friday night to the local movie mall to catch the opening of Divergent (which, as fans of the books, we enjoyed). In the plethora of previews shown before that movie, we were surprised and excited to catch our first glimpse of Noah. It was clear from … Continue reading A Pastor reviews “Noah”
Prayed at the May 27, 2013 Old Hickory Memoial Day Observance God of us all, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, we gather this morning as a community, friends, neighbors, citizens together of your world and our nation. We gather to remember in a special way those who have sacrificed their lives in war. We lift up … Continue reading A Prayer for Memorial Day
A song in progress.... I am haunted by the waters flowing from the start of time. The streaming fountain of forgiveness and the claim of love sublime. So I step into the waters and immerse myself in you, and you send to me your Spirit filling me with love and truth Chorus: Make your way … Continue reading I am haunted by the waters….
As I’ve been reading Phyllis Tickle’s new book Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters in preparation for the conference of the same name in Memphis which begins tomorrow, I’ve been reflecting on the past 10+ years of involvement on the periphery of the emerging church movement (if that … Continue reading Emergent 10 Years After: A United Methodist Perspective
In February of 2003 I and a couple of friends jumped on a plane headed west and ended up in San Diego for the first ever Emergent Convention. Back in the day (so to speak) the Emergent Village folks – Brian, Tony, Doug, Chris, Holly, Mark, Rudy, Tim, and others – were in a relationship … Continue reading Emergent 10 Years After
A week or so ago I was asked by a colleague in ministry who is in a new appointment to come talk to his finance committee. He was new in ministry and his church had just reconstituted a functioning finance committee and languishing for several years. They were looking for training on what they … Continue reading The Ministry of Resources
What I’ve loved about my experiences with UMC churches so far is that each one has been different than the last. Once I spoke to a UMC church plant that met in a theater and was comprised primarily of young adults under 40. Another time, I preached at a UMC church in which most of … Continue reading A blatant plug for a friend…Interview with Rachel Held Evans
Several years ago someone introduced me to a book called Praying in Color which outlined a prayer process using drawing as a means for connecting to God at the level of our creativity. I've played around with that off and on ever since, knowing that I'm not much of an artist, but seeing what God would … Continue reading Praying In Color
Loving God, as the birds chirp outside the window, and the sun begins to peek through the shade, I turn my eyes to you. It's time for a new day, not simply the rising of the sun and the procession of the clock hands, but the rising of the new light in our lives. We … Continue reading A Prayer for a New Day
Ken Carter is a friend, colleague, mentor, and I hope will soon be a bishop. He wrote a great blog post reminding us that much of what we need to move into the future is already at our disposal. This paragraph resonated with me: Our gift to the individual seeker and to a jaded and … Continue reading Ken Carter on our focus in ministry
This morning emergent guru and bomb-thrower Tony Jones used Bishop Willimon's latest UMR commentary as a justification for shutting down the United Methodist Church. He suggested that all young clergy should get out while the getting is good: I just hope that enough of you young UMC clergy have the temerity to stand up and … Continue reading A Letter to Tony Jones from a United Methodist
Watch this. Now!
Fat Tuesday,an odd descriptor for a man closer to 300 pounds than 200,the Tuesday before-- before sorrow, before sobriety, before repentance, before reflection.On Tuesday, all is right with the world (so we think), Carnival, Mardi Gras, and the revelry that comes with them. But with the changing of the hour at midnight, from the Tuesday … Continue reading Fat Tuesday
In 1975, I was 15 years old. Frankly, I fluctuated between nerd and punk on a regular basis – a kid without many bearings. I attended church pretty regularly (the fundamentalist Southern Baptist Church that my mother’s family had been a part of for years) but I was already beginning to know that somehow I … Continue reading Requiem for a Mentor