Adam Hamilton’s Leadership Revival

One of the highlights at this year’s annual conference was Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (COR). Adam led three presentations. We attended COR’s Leadership Institute in 2008 and thoroughly enjoyed it (see post here). Here are some of the highlights from Adam’s annual conference presentations … What Leaders … Read more

Life Beyond the Process

A few weeks ago, we completed a long journey when we were ordained in the UMC. Now that we’ve had some time for it to sink in, we can start thinking about life beyond “the process” (i.e., the ordination process). For many years, the process has been such a central part of our lives. In … Read more

The Alleluia Singers

West Side UMC was blessed to host a concert by the Alleluia Singers from Towson UMC, Towson Maryland. The Alleluia Singers is composed of a talented group of middle school and high school students. As part of a tour that took them through our area, they presented a program of music and drama, creatively entitled, … Read more

Doing Life Together

Joleen and I met in 1992. We were both students at the Church of God Theological Seminary, following God and preparing for God’s call on our lives. We began dating at the end of 1992 and were married in January 1994. Before we committed to marriage, though, we talked about what it would look like … Read more

Double Portion

In the days and weeks leading up to last Saturday’s Ordination Service, I prayed for a “double portion” of God’s Spirit (a reference to Elisha’s request at the anticipated exit of Elijah). It’s also a play on words, a celebration of the fact that both of us were ordained! Last Saturday, we were ordained elders … Read more

On the Eve of Ordination

We are at annual conference this week. It’s an annual conference that will forever be engraved on our hearts and minds. It began Wednesday morning and will conclude tomorrow afternoon with the Ordination Service where we both will be ordained along with several others. I had hoped to blog during annual conference, but this has … Read more

Journeys & Destinations

Over the weekend, I remembered that after this Saturday’s ordination service, we will receive a certificate stating that we are ordained elders in the UMC. It made me wonder where our other official certificates/diplomas (mainly, academics degrees) are. What I found struck me as kind of funny. Our M.Div. diplomas remain in envelopes hidden in … Read more

Live Streaming Annual Conference

We learned today that some of next week’s sessions of annual conference will stream live from the conference website, a first for our conference! Annual conference begins Wednesday, June 8 and goes through Saturday, June 11. Of special note for us is that the Ordination service will stream live! Ordinands will also be involved in … Read more

The 4 Ss of Sermon Preparation

This is an update of a post called 5 Stages of Sermon Preparation that I wrote over a year ago. The 4 Ss are simpler and more streamlined (all start with the same letter). This is how I’m thinking about my sermon prep … Soak I begin sermon prep simply reading—and soaking in—the Scriptures. I … Read more

Take Authority

Over the last few months, I’ve been reviewing and reflecting on the historical questions that those being ordained have been asked since 1784 in the American Methodist church (see Wesley’s Historic Questions and The Historic Questions 2.0). Today, I spent some time reading through the liturgy for the ordination of elders as printed in The … Read more