If All means All- does anything go?

The year after Mrs. Her-Name-Withheld read my best dyslexic sentences aloud to her class, my mother coaxed me into repeating the fourth grade at a new school. At Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary I found community, structure, love, and friends. I loved it! Sometimes we chanted like monks at lunch, “Would you trade your […]

Some Good News

June 28, 2019 Dear Belmont friends, I am not really sure just where to start with the good news from our Tennessee Annual Conference 2019. I might start by mentioning our youth reading an open letter to the Tennessee Conference, five Belmonters being elected to General or Jurisdictional Conference in 2020, the Conference voting in […]

Radical Grace makes us All one.

I think someone gave me Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies” years ago. Grace comes as a gift. I first read it 10,000 feet from the Earth, next to strangers, in the window seat. Around page 49, I found myself weeping. What makes a story resonate deeply? Anne Lamott defines grace as “the force that infuses our […]

Building a church we long to belong to!

I am filled with gratitude for every person who typed my number 114 into your electronic voting device. I am so deeply thankful for the young clergy and laity who led us and gave Tennessee our most diverse and progressive delegation ever.  I am humbled to help represent the people of the Tennessee Annual Conference […]

My Dear Centrists Friends

For 47 years, we Methodists have “held the line”: marching in place, as God’s world spins away from us.  We linger again- in a critical moment. Will the Methodist church stand in place, trudge backwards, or risk progress?   The Cross came as an outside the box move. The Incarnation, Golden Rule, Reformation, Methodist Class […]

Unity and Community with Memphis A.C.

Jesus ministry begins with the words, “Change your hearts and lives!” (Matthew 4) The theme of “hearts” has infused my recent reading and preaching. While reviewing my 2017 sermon for the Bishop’s Advisory Committee on uniting the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, I discovered my insight about hearts did not come from me: “As we wrestled […]

Why I hope to be a delegate to G.C. 2020

Theses are the answers I provided for the Tennessee Conference Pre-Conference Handbook.   Please state in 100 words or less why you feel called to be a delegate to the 2020 General/Jurisdictional Conferences.   We are divided.  We need new pathways forward. I came to faith inside the evangelical church.  During college the Quadrilateral wooed […]

What is Next? Ascension Sunday Sermon

“Why are you standing here looking toward heaven?” What is next church? The universal church is facing huge changes, a deepening exodus, and growing divisions…. American Christianity is slumbering in an other-worldly era.  A pastor friend shared how his teenage daughter is rejecting Christianity because it is anti-science. Do you know such stories? Is the […]