Notes from the leadership journey!

What The United Methodist Church Needs

When Joleen and I came into The United Methodist Church, we knew that the denomination had been in steady decline. But we were young—and hopeful that the denomination would soon experience a turnaround. Thirteen years later (and two months before being ordained in the UMC), we still believe a turnaround is possible, but it’s obviouslyContinue →

“John Wesley: A Preaching Life”

I recently finished reading one of the books on my list of things to read/do before ordination (see 150 Days of Preparation for Ordination and 75 Days of Preparation for Ordination). The book is John Wesley: A Preaching Life by Michael Pasquarello, who teaches at Asbury Theological Seminary. I was interested in the book becauseContinue →

Great Uncle John Loose

Just over four months ago, Uncle John’s wife, Beulah, died. They were married 72 years! They enjoyed a wonderful life together—a close relationship, a good marriage. Yesterday, Sunday, April 10, I attended Uncle John’s funeral (Uncle John’s obituary). I had the opportunity to visit with Uncle John just over two weeks ago, along with EthanContinue →

Lenten Prayer Guide 5.0

At West Side, we’ve been handing out prayer guides to use during Lent (see the first, second, third, and fourth guides). Lenten Prayer Guide Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust myContinue →

Methodism During the American Civil War

I like history, in general, and specifically Civil War history and Methodist history, so when I learned a few days ago about a project called American Civil War Newspapers (at Virginia Tech), I was very interested. The project, so far, includes scanned images of columns from the Macon, Georgia Daily Telegraph newspapers during the AmericanContinue →

United Methodist Leadership Summit

Yesterday, United Methodist leaders gathered in groups around the world in more than 1,000 locations to hear and discuss the Call to Action report as part of the United Methodist Leadership Summit (you can watch the entire video at the site). While the event took place at a convenient hour for many of us, inContinue →


Welcome to stop number 25 of the Lenten Blog Tour. This tour, organized by the publishers of the new Common English Bible, involves 41 different blog reflections from Ash Wednesday to Easter Monday. Be sure to leave a comment below. The publishers are giving away a copy of the CEB New Testament to one commenterContinue →

“Renovate or Die”

Yesterday, we attended an afternoon seminar in Camp Hill, PA where Rev. Bob Farr (from the Missouri Conference) was the featured speaker. Farr presented material from his upcoming book, Renovate or Die: 10 Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission. Here are a few quotes from the day. If someone comes to your church, something’sContinue →

Lenten Prayer Guide 4.0

Today at West Side, we began using the fourth Lenten Prayer Guide (check out the previous ones: first, second, third). Lenten Prayer Guide 27 … Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father isContinue →

Weems on Money

This past week, Joleen and I attended one of our remaining requirements for ordination, an all-day training day sponsored by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The day featured Dr. Lovett Weems from Wesley Theological Seminary. The topic was “Church Finances.” Part of the content confirmed some things we already knew, but we did learn someContinue →