Fresh Freedoms

I struggle getting past the anger that rises each time I read about a congregation disaffiliating with the United Methodist Church. I ask myself rhetorical questions that turn up the inner thermostat. What is it that makes them feel they have to break fellowship with those who are just as earnestly trying to follow Christ? …

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Less Than the Ideal?

A quirky passage in Deuteronomy frames the breaking apart of the United Methodist Church quite nicely. Deuteronomy 15:1-6 presents a beautiful, idyllic vision for the Israelites. Personal debts would be forgiven/cancelled every seven years. If everyone honored such grace, Israel would find itself being a utopia: “Of course there won’t be any poor persons among …

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Is God on Our Side?

Abraham Lincoln followed a vision that transcended partisanship. In his second inaugural address, with the Union’s victory assured, he could have piled on. He could have condemned the South and spoken about an eye for an eye. Indeed, our current political climate would have repeatedly fostered animosity through endless tweets. But Lincoln saw the bigger …

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No Pure Place to Stand

The Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church recently completed its three-day meeting in Springfield. We elected delegates, lay and clergy, who will represent us at the 2020 General Conference, the policy making body of our denomination. The people we elected (with surprising quickness) all endorse full inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community into the …

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Dogs Nipping at Your Heels?

Summers in rural Missouri held one fun diversion: lookout towers. These are now relics of a past, pre-satellite, era. It was when rangers would sit 150 feet up, scanning for forest fires. It was also when country kids would stair-step those 150 feet to get a bird’s view of the Ozark Mountains. For me, though, …

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Suggestions for a New Methodism

With the Judicial Council’s recent decision that central elements of the Traditional Plan are constitutional, the trajectory of United Methodism has been set for the immediate future. There will be no Book of Discipline-approved ordination of homosexuals, nor will there be same-sex marriages performed without harsh penalties. The resulting uproar in the aftermath of the …

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