Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekending-Posts and Reads and Other Interesting Things

Seems I caused a bit of a stir this week, which to put it mildly, is highly unusual for me.  Most of the time I write and get no response whatsoever, which I'm o.k. with!  I know from the stats that I have readers from around the world, here and there but the lions share are from the United States and I figure it's mostly family and friends taking pity on my efforts and reading my blog every once in awhile.  This week was a little different.  I seemed to have hit a nerve, so much so, that I made Shane's list over at Ministry Matters.

The top two most read blog posts this week are:
Distinctly Methodist?
Will the Church make Room for a Prophet?

After I wrote "Distinctly Methodist", my friend, fellow blogger and Methodist minister, Craig Adams, posted a couple of interesting pieces on his Face book page that go along with what I was talking about.  One is an op/ed piece by David Brooks from the New York Times:
If It Feels Right

The other is a piece from USA Today:
More Americans Tailoring Religion to Fit Their Needs

Methodist minister and blogger, Dalton Rushing, brought up a very valid point in his blog post in response to my "anything goes" comment:
Anything goes? Really?

Not every Methodist minister is doing their own thing.  What was unsettling for me though, is that I can personally confirm one item on Dalton's list.  Here is what Dalton wrote:
"In the beginning was the Word, which you can interpret however you want. I choose to think that the Word was not so much a Word as a symbol, like the artist formerly known as Prince."
The sermon that I heard was not that exact verse but the point was the same.  I was reminded of something that happened a little over ten years ago-the Reimagining conference.  The archives at the United Methodist Reporter and United Methodist News Service do not go back that far, but at the time the UMC involvement with this conference was highly controversial.  I agree with Dalton that many MANY UMC ministers do preach carefully thought out sermons from differing perspectives and that is a good thing.  I still stand by my assertion that I think we need to get back to our roots because we need to speak from our Wesleyan heritage, consistently across the board.  The sermons preached from the pulpit in the northeast are vastly different then the sermons preached from the pulpit in the deep south.   I wish I could say that there was a consistent thread, but from my experience over the years, the "consistent thread" is that they share the name United Methodist.

Enough on that hornet's nest!  Let me share some other blogs that I thought were interesting this week!

John Meunier wrote a piece about the UMC mission statement:
We Need A New Mission Statement

Bishop Schnase wrote about two new initiatives in the Missouri conference:
Reaching Out and Reaching Up
and he posted an update on Joplin:
Joplin Progresses on Recovery after Tornado

I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank Bishop Schnase for continuing to post on Joplin.  Bishop was on top of this right from the beginning!  Within 24 hours of this disaster he had information out to the entire Missouri Conference letting people know what was going on, what was needed and how they could help!  In contrast, there hasn't been a lot of information coming from the New England Conference, (which my home state of Vermont is part of) about the flood damage or ways to help.  Bishop Schnase and the folks at Missouri conference did it right and they deserve kudos for their amazing efforts to get the word out!

Last but not least, let me share with you a blogger who have enjoyed immensely!  Sue Whitt posts daily lectionary with prayers and reflections which are just a joy to read!  If you have not discovered her wonderful blog, go check it out!
Sunday's Child 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Fall is most definitely in the air and I am feeling the urge to bake coming on!  Bread and cookies and soul food, oh my!

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