Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: United Methodist Church

Pray for The United Methodist Church!

If you’ve been following church-related news lately, you know The United Methodist Church is in turmoil. Some are even calling for schism, seeing no way out of the current mess.

The best thing we can do, though, at this point, is PRAY.

That’s what the Aldersgate Covenant is planning to do. They have called a gathering for May 16-17, 2014, which will take place at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. (I’m not able to attend; I keep hoping some or all of it will be webcast!)

I wrote in 2011, What The United Methodist Church Needs is nothing short of an awakening by the Holy Spirit. As I noted, John Wesley said …

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.

Wesley seems to indicate that survival of the organization isn’t the most important thing; being faithful to God and staying connected to God is.

I’m grateful for the UMC and I’m hopeful that God will revive us and make us a movement again. Here are a few posts I’ve written in recent years that come to mind …

What are your prayers for the UMC?

2014 Confirmation Trip

The Clearfield Cluster of United Methodist Churches offers a two-day confirmation bus trip every few years. We left last Thursday morning around 5:30 and returned home around 10:30 Friday night. It was a full, fast-paced two days! The trip included nine youth from three area churches plus seven adults. We made stops at the PennsylvaniaContinue →

2014 Bishop’s Retreat

We just returned from the 2014 Bishop’s Retreat for Our Clergy Family, which was held in Lancaster, PA. The retreat is for pastors and their families from our conference. Tracy Radosevic, this year’s presenter, is a storyteller, and she was excellent. Tracy spoke often about, and from the perspective of, the Network of Biblical Storytellers.Continue →

A Heart Strangely Warmed

Today is Aldersgate Day, and it marks 275 years since John Wesley recorded these words in his journal … In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the changeContinue →

Partnering With Churches in Sierra Leone

Both of the churches we serve participate in the Sierra Leone Initiative, which allows us to partner with United Methodist churches in Sierra Leone. Two guests from Sierra Leone are currently touring churches in our conference, reporting on the work in their country. We met both of them this past weekend, and one of them,Continue →

The Holy Club’s Accountability Questions

Lent is an ideal time for personal reflection and self-examination. It’s also a great time to remember the importance of accountability. Recently, I came across a list of twenty-one daily accountability questions used by John and Charles Wesley during their days in the Holy Club at Oxford University. It’s a pretty intense list of reflectiveContinue →

Meeting Bishop & Mrs. Park

One of the highlights of the Bishop’s Retreat, which ended yesterday in Lancaster, PA, was the kids getting to meet Bishop Jeremiah Park, and his wife, Lisa, who are both from Korea. We took a photo with the Parks after the closing communion service. Unfortunately, we had to crop the right side of the pictureContinue →

Returning From Retreat With Hope

On Monday evening at the Bishop’s Retreat, Randy led a time of prayer and reflection, looking at 1 Kings 19.1-9a. He asked “What are you running from?” and “What are you running to?” On Tuesday evening, I concluded our look at Elijah with 1 Kings 19.9b-15a, which begins with Elijah in a cave where heContinue →

Thank You, Adam Hamilton!

Today, Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, delivered the sermon at the Inaugural prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. President Barack Obama, and other national leaders, gathered in this traditional service that dates back to George Washington. You can read the transcript ofContinue →

Finding Hope in God

Last night, at the end of the first session of our Bishop’s Retreat, I led our clergy family in a time of prayer and reflection. Here’s the gist of what I said. Leadership and ministry often involves a lot of running. Unfortunately, too much running makes it hard to have a healthy soul! And, aContinue →