Being a pastor means one is never caught up with pastoral care. At least in the United Methodist Church, people place a fairly high priority on pastoral visitation, and Methodists can sometimes be heard yearning for a pastor who knocks on doors more frequently.
A nation-wide leadership search is taking place in the United Methodist Church this week in three locations where church delegates are electing eleven new bishops.
The Rev. LeeAnne Watkins, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minn., wrote a thought provoking article describing how the church continues to invest in activities that no longer produce results. (“This Just Isn’t Working,” Christian Century, June 13, 2012, p 10-11).
Here are some things I’ve been thinking about the relationship between church and state:
Have you ever sung the words of a hymn while simultaneously thinking about something else?
This week in New Orleans, La., delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention made history by electing the Rev. Fred Lute as the first African-American pastor in their long history to serve as their president. Luter, the charismatic pastor of a New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward mega-church, ran unopposed.
I recently reflected on the importance the church practicing the highest standards of honesty and transparency by citing public allegations of influence peddling in the Vatican.
The headline in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention: “Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job.” Rachel Emma Silverman reported (May 15, 2012, B-1) that 63-year-old Gene Morphis was fired because he showed no restraint on Facebook and Twitter.
The most valuable possession the church has, something so invaluable it could never be insured, is the trust of its church members and the larger society.
When Charles Colson died in April, age 80, it was the first time in 34 years that he did not spend Easter Sunday preaching to prisoners.
Notice to all middle-aged, middle-class women looking for a little excitement! North Georgia real estate developer Greg O’Leary is riding to your rescue with a proposal to expand Georgia gambling. Mr. O’Leary, according to reports, has been working on a proposal for eight years to build a casino along the interstate in Norcross.
The New York Times carried an article, March 31, 2012, about one of three real estate agents in the U.S. who deal exclusively in the sale of church buildings. Reporter Mark Oppenheimer’s story about David and Mary Raphael of Azusa, California, “Building a Business on Churches for Sale”, carried enough fascinating material in it for numerous columns.
Here are some reports and comments from the world of religion:
There is something quite egalitarian about a sunrise service. You might be an unemployed carpenter sitting right next to the CEO of a major bank. There might be people whose total repertoire of church music would be “Jesus Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace” standing right next to a person who knows their church hymnal frontward and backward.
I recently heard a wise hospice counselor clergyman speak movingly about grief. Practically everyone faces grief either for the death of a significant person, a dearly loved pet or even the death of a cherished ideal.