The Golden Rule

Most people are familiar with the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule was offered by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - Matthew 7:12 I like the way this verse is translated in The Message, "Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them." So, when you see a person who is hungry or in need, follow the Golden Rule. When you see someone who is annoyingly irritable and rude, follow the Golden Rule. Rather than simply reacting to people as the world does, put yourself in their shoes. Do your best to hear their feelings, understand their anger

Give Up Grumbling

What are you giving up for Lent? Is it red meat? coffee? fast food? chocolate? This Lenten season, I've giving up on grumbling. Grumbling does me no good. It gives permission for negativity to permeate my mind and heart. It allows a spiteful spirit to infect my home, workplace, and relationships. In the end, grumbling steals joy and peace from my life and those around me. God's people have a long history of grumbling. In the book of Numbers, we read how the Hebrews grumbled on 11 different occasions. Despite the fact that God had just delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh, despite the fact that they had walked across the Red Sea, despite the fact that they were now a free pe

The Start of Lent

"Knock, knock." "Who's there?" "Ash." "Ash who?" "Ash Wednesday" "Wait a second, is today Ash Wednesday?" "Yes." "That means I missed Fat Tuesday?" "Yes." "I gotta get back to church." "Yes." - based on March 6 conversation at Metra Station This past Wednesday (3/6) was Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. Lent is the 40 day season of self-reflection and repentance. It's a time for spiritual examination and renewal leading up to the celebration of the resurrection on Easter. As a clergy-person, I have mixed feelings about Ash Wednesday. As I apply ashes to a person's forehead, I offer very sobering news: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you s

Unity Not Uniformity

"My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one." - John 17:20-21 United Methodists are designed to be a democratic representative body. Our governance is bottom up, not top down. This was especially evident at The Special Session of General Conference (Feb 23-26) when the One Church Plan, which our Bishops endorsed was rejected. By voting for the Traditional Plan, the delegates of General Conference reminded us all that we are not a religious dictatorship - where one person/one voice determines everything. Rather, we are a body that is designed to reflect the will of the majority. We are designed for

Be Strong and Courageous

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9 On Feb 23-26, United Methodist delegates from around the world gathered in St. Louis for the Special Session of General Conference. (General Conference is the top decision making body for our denomination.) After impassioned speeches and intense debates, the delegates passed (by 53%) the "Traditional Plan," which maintains and enforces the current statements about marriage and homosexual clergy. (Note: two-thirds of the U.S. delegation voted against this plan and for the "One Church Plan," which would have given space for annual conferences, local churches, and

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Oct. 2020 Newsletter

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