Just Thinking... About Being Stretched

Dana Everhart


Just Thinking   Why is God stretching me so much? I do not know about you, but I am constantly feeling the hands of God stretching my life, my work, and my faith. There are days I want to simply say, "ENOUGH!" Yet, scripture reminds us that not only does God love us, but God also believes in us. God has a great amount of faith, faith that we will turn to God and serve God with our whole heart. Yes, we as a creation can be a mess to behold with all our struggling to be Number One; to have it ...

Just Thinking... the Greatest False Idol

Dana Everhart


I was sent a link the other day to a fellow pastor's blog. John Pavlovitz is a pastor in North Carolina who writes a blog entitled, "Stuff That Needs to Be Said."  The title of this blog post was "The Greatest False Idol of Modern Evangelical Christianity." Now before you stop reading or make judgement calls, I know nothing of Rev. Pavlovitz's theological understandings.  I simply read the blog, because it was forwarded to me by one I respect very much.  I would like for you to consider what I'm...

Just Thinking... Heroes and Saints

Dana Everhart


There are so many unsung heroes in our communities today. I want to encourage all of you to look this week for those who do small things to make our lives better and fuller. This is especially important as we approach All Saints Sunday.  We are reminded in the hymn, "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God," which is number 712 in our United Methodist Hymnal, that saints are present all around us: "They lived not only in ages past; there are hundreds of thousands still.  The world is bright with ...

Just Thinking... And Remembering Our Titans

Dana Everhart


Several years ago there was a movie with Denzel Washington titled, Remember the Titans. It was a great inspirational movie that caught the heart and soul of all who watched it. It was a movie about time and how the men and women involved help shape the years for a better tomorrow.    We have some true Titans within our midst. I think of Hershel Sheets and the work he has done for our United Methodist Church and his humble heart to serve regardless of the cost. I think of Ed Thomlinson and his ...

Just Thinking... Inclusion and Wholeness

Dana Everhart


Just Thinking I have been thinking during this semester of my Doctor of Ministry program that maybe I'm not as progressive as I have thought I was. The readings on ecclesiology have given me pause and have caused me to review my thought and heart processes. I have been made quite uncomfortable by the writings of Huns Kung, Elizabeth Schiussler-Fiorenza, Tony Campolo, and Michael Battle. Each writer has caused me to think again about my understanding of what it means to be the Church in this day...

Just Thinking... Being the Church in our Society

Dana Everhart


JUST THINKING "United Methodist Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr. cited The United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline: "We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. ... For this reason we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes." (from the UMNS Daily Digest - October 1, 2015) I am thinking how proud I am of our United Methodist Church and our Candler School of Theology for ...

Team Church

David Naglee


Team Church         It was with great joy and satisfaction that I sat down on Saturday afternoon and watched two football games.  I enjoy watching football.  I enjoy the athleticism involved, the strategy, even the talent it requires to referee a game. I’ve discovered I really enjoy the game a lot more if it is between two teams to whom I’m not emotionally attached!   For as much as I enjoy the game, there is a growing trend that disturbs me.  When a touchdown is scored, the player carrying the ...

Just Thinking... of the World as Our Parish

Dana Everhart


JUST THINKING Is the world our parish or not? I think we are good at our neighborhood being our parish or the county sort of being our parish, but the world? My goodness, the state is too big for us most of the time.  I know that the need is great right outside the doors of our sanctuary, but we cannot allow this to place blinders on us. There are people near and far who need to be loved and to be cherished as holy and beloved children of the Living God, but we only see those in our pews or, ...

Just Thinking... about Clergy

Dana Everhart


May I share some more thoughts from my reading of Hans Kung? Thanks, I knew you wouldn't mind. Kung states in his book, The Church, the following idea: "The disappearance of a clerical class from the world is a natural corollary of the general breakdown of the social class structures. It does not indicate a hostile limitation of the power of the church, but rather a neutral, perhaps even positive, price of secularization. At all events it need not be seen as a disadvantage of the pastorate, ...

Just Thinking... about the Priesthood of all Believers

Dana Everhart


How are the priests in your congregation doing? As you are aware (I keep talking about it), I'm in a doctoral program at Candler. This semester has started, and we have been tasked with reading Hans Kung's The Church during the first four weeks of class. If you have ever read this very thick book, you know that Kung loves to repeat himself, over and over again. The Church is one of those theological texts that takes a while to get through. I am finding that each section builds upon each other ...

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