Welcoming A New Pastor


In a few short weeks, Methodist ministers across the Annual Conference will be moving to new appointments.  I recently received from the Lewis Center for Christian Leadership an article entitled “50 Ways to Welcome your New Pastor or Associate Pastor.”  The article is easy to find on line with practical ways to welcome and say goodbye. Among the list are: Open your heart and decide that you are going to love your new pastor; begin praying for the new pastor and family; send cards of welcome to ...

Ideas Generated in Worship Planning Workshop

10/8/2012  Special K launched an ad campaign in January of 2011 where people were asked to get on a scale in Times Square in order to be weighed? Would you be willing to be weighed like that? None of us wants to be weighed and found wanting but the idea of what we will gain when we lose took me to Lent.  Here are some folks at their weigh in

The Not-So-Fruitful Practices


Bishop Michael Coyner of the Indiana Conference sent out the following e-mail to his conference today. It is a list of unfruitful practices that congregations might engage in. The Not-So-Fruitful Practices I enjoy watching the “Top 10 Plays” on ESPEN Sports Center, but I enjoy even more the “Not Top 10 Plays” on the same show. Those “Not Top 10” plays are often bloopers, errors, and just plain funny mistakes. Somehow seeing the “Not Top 10” helps to clarify what is true excellence. Since we ...

Clergy Stress


Not looking for pity since we are all dealing with increased stress levels, but things have changed immensely for clergy in the 25 years that I have been in ministry. 

Short Stories


Dr. Bob Winstead, Director of Lifelong Learning & Assistant Professor in the Practice of Church Leadership at Candler, recently shared this list of short stories with me. Bob wrote: In a recent conference on preaching, I learned of a list of excellent short stories which are recommended as good reading.  The list is attached to this email.  They are not so much for sermon preparation as for preparing the sermon writer.  See how many of these you may have already read, and how many you might ...

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep


This beautiful poetry put to music seems very appropriate for Easter The lyrics are: Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep I am a thousand winds that blow I am the diamond glint on snow I am the sunlight on ripened grain I am the gentle, gentle autumn rain Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep When you awake in the morning hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in ...

'No vitality without reality'


A column in the Feb. 19 UM Reporter got my attention. Donald Haynes writes about a church consultant who's philosophy is "There is no vitality without reality."  Haynes thinks that's a message we United Methodists might find helpful. Here's the link: 

There I was, resting.


I sat still today. I woke up early this morning, not before dawn or anything, but before the neighborhood had started to crackle with barking dogs and fitness walkers. I ambled down to pick up the paper in the driveway. I made myself a cup of coffee, and I then sat in a rocker on the front porch.  The new sun had yet to overcome the coolness of the night before. A leisurely breeze swirled the heady scent of nearby gardenia blossoms around my head. I’ve got to say, a cup of hot coffee and the ...