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 Ethan … Read more

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 my … Read more

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 American … Read more

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, in … Read more


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 commenter … Read more

“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. (Edited to add link for the book, now published.) Here are a few quotes from … Read more

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 is … Read more

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 some … Read more

Smaller Advices for Early Methodist Preachers

In the 1784 edition of the Discipline (as well as a number of subsequent editions), which includes the list of Rules for Preachers, also includes a list of “smaller advices which might be of use to us.” Here’s the list (with original, archaic spellings) … Be sure never to disappoint a congregation. Begin at the … Read more