Elk Country

The last several-month leg of our journey has been a very busy and stressful time in our lives while completing work for ordination. So after Easter Sunday, we finally carved out some time away. We stayed fairly close to home, renting a cabin for two nights in neighboring Elk County. The rainy/stormy season continued during … Read more

Easter 2011

Today is Easter. This season, and especially this past week, has been a busy time for us as pastors, but it’s been a fun time with the kids. Here are some photos, mostly from today. Now, it’s time to rest!

Take Up Your Washbasin and Towel!

Last night, at the combined Holy Thursday service of the Centre Grove and Curwensville UMCs, my sermon was on the example of Jesus in washing the feet of his disciples, hours before his betrayal. The story in John 13 is loaded with topics and lessons but I chose to focus on Jesus’ example. Jesus’ example … Read more

Chuck Swindoll on Leadership

Randy is the cluster leader for the Clearfield Cluster, made up of twenty United Methodist churches in the area. The pastors of the cluster meet monthly for breakfast. Recently, we added a monthly gathering for personal growth. One day a month, we meet for about 90 minutes (including lunch) to watch a leadership lesson on … Read more

Earnestly Striving After Perfection

Christian perfection was a core value for John Wesley and the early Methodists. Christian perfection was ultimately about loving God and neighbors. Joel Green points out in Reading Scripture as Wesleyans, which I blogged about yesterday, that … Wesley read Scripture with this aim in mind: to nurture love of God and love of neighbor. … Read more

“Reading Scripture as Wesleyans”

I just finished another book that I’m reading before ordination (see 75 Days of Preparation for Ordination). Reading Scripture as Wesleyans by Joel B. Green (now at Fuller Theological Seminary, formerly at Asbury) is described as “ideal for use with the Wesley Study Bible.” I enjoyed reading this book. It takes a look at how … Read more

Theology of Ordination

In my recent post, 75 Days of Preparation for Ordination, I stated that I planned to review Bishop William Willimon’s Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry. Here, I will simply post some quotes from the first chapter, which specifically deals with ordination. As we prepare for ordination (in less than two months), these … Read more

Lenten Prayer Guide 6.0

At West Side, we handed out prayer guides each Sunday during Lent. Here’s the final one for use during Holy Week (see the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth guides). Lenten Prayer Guide “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?” (John 12:27a) Ask God in prayer: … Read more

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 obviously … Read more

“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 because … Read more