Called and Gifted? How about Called to Circuits?

The blogging world of United Methodist Clergy has exploded recently with the revelation that the Texas Annual Conference is floating a document that appears “ageist” in its suggestions as to who might or might not be encouraged to seek ordination there. I want to thank Jeremy at Hacking Christianity for this post which exposes the possible plans in the Texas Annual Conference for discouraging older people from entering the ordination process. Now, there are lots of comments flying around. One, from someone who was part of creating the proposal, reminded us that we live in the real world and that, … Continue reading Called and Gifted? How about Called to Circuits?

Evil Defies Reason

Evil defies reason.  Reasonable people do not blow up innocent humans. Reasonable people do not plant bombs that kill, maim and destroy. Reasonable people may make lots of stupid mistakes, may indeed bring harm to others, but they still don’t set out to rip limbs off people who have come out to relax, play, show the results of years of hard work and celebrate a great tradition. Evil does these things. Evil destroys innocence. Evil loves fear and terror. Evil cannot be explained or understood. And we never know when we are going to come face to face with  evil. … Continue reading Evil Defies Reason

Portrait of a Pastor

I received a gift this morning.  A gift so full of love and hope that I am still nearly breathless. Several years ago, Vicki Attaway made her way to the church I serve, having heard that there was a female pastor there and that she might find it welcoming and comfortable.  Within a short period of time, I discovered that Vicki, as am I, is a graduate of Rice University. An immediate and unbreakable bond formed. There are few of us and even fewer women of our generation who can say that. In time, Vicki’s love for God and willingness … Continue reading Portrait of a Pastor

Red High Heels and Annual Conference

There has been a delightful movement started among the clergy women of the North Texas Conference whereby they are asking all clergywomen to wear red high heels on the Monday of Annual Conference as a sign of our connection and our solidarity with one another.  One quote, apocryphally attributed to Kathleen Baskin-Ball reads, “you haven’t preached until you’ve preached in a pair of red heels.”  The tradition apparently dates to wonderful memories of Cathy Bingman’s ordination. But I won’t be wearing red high heels on that day and I want to say why. Two Reasons: The Practical and The Theological … Continue reading Red High Heels and Annual Conference

The Heavenly Waiting Room

Many of us hold beliefs in an afterlife of some sort.  However, we have significant disagreement in how we think that afterlife will work as we hold mutually contradictory descriptions.  For example, if heaven for one man equals having seventy virgins to deflower as he wishes, then that person’s heaven equals hell for others. If one person’s heaven means being surrounded only by like-minded people, the majority of humanity will be denied entrance. My point: if our versions of the afterlife mean that others must suffer or be excluded in order to get our ideal world, maybe, just maybe, there’s a problem here. … Continue reading The Heavenly Waiting Room