Showing posts from August, 2022

Disturbing Trends, Part II

 My first post in this series may give the impression that I am against the Church.  Or that I am jaded or on the verge of burn out.  None of this is the case.  I love the Church, that wonderful and mystical company of believers.   I did not grow up in the Church.  That happened later.  I deliberately chose the Church, time and time again. Nor am I seeking to judge. criticize, or whine.  I am simply making some observations of things that I have seen as both a member and an ordained minister. Finally, this list is not in any particular order nor is it meant to be exhaustive.  I welcome your thoughts and insights on what you are seeing in the church. 6) This follows number five.  With faith being a private matter, discipleship and even worship have all too often become passive spectator sports.  Jesus tells His followers that being a follower is not about being a B.I.P. (bottom in the pew).  Discipleship is meant to be an active, daily part of the life of a follower. 7) Even worse, are

Disturbing trends, part I

 I have been in ordained ministry twenty-two years now.  I have been actively involved in church life for another fifteen'ish.  This has given me the opportunity to see both the best and the not so good of the church.  I have observed United Methodist Churches and Episcopal Churches.  Some of these trends are not really new.  Like everything else in life right now, COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation. 1) The 20/80 principle is now probably now more like the 8/92 principle.  That is to say, 8% of the people are actively engaged and doing the work of the other 92%.  There is no sense of personal responsibility or ownership for the communal life and ministry of the local congregation.  Then we throw our hands up in despair when the church is shrinking or a ministry cannot continue. 2) We expect pastors to do all the work.  After all, they are the public, designated Christian who is called to minister on our behalf (we have deluded ourselves into thinking, clergy, too!). This is fal

Cha, cha, Changes (August Lion's Roar)

How can it be August already?!?!?!?!   We have been together for one year almost.   That does not seem possible.   One year ago, I was preparing to move to the area and to begin our ministry together. The first year in a new setting is always challenging.   There is so much to do.   There is so much to learn.   This goes both ways.   I am continuing to learn about the history, customs, traditions, and people of St. Mark’s.   You are still learning about me.   And we are learning what it means for God to have called us together in this time and place. The past few years have made church life (well, life in general) even more challenging.   There has been so much going on all at once in our community, in our nation, and in the world.   Communities continue to be torn apart by gun violence and the battle for the full inclusion of all without regard to race, ethnicity, and sexual identity or orientation.   COVID continues to be with us and exhaust us.   The political divide tears us ap