Showing posts from March, 2009

"there is no spoon."

this afternoon i attended a "listening seminar" at st. andrew umc in plano. the point of the seminar, or so i thought, was to communicate findings about the future of annual conferences within the south-central jurisdiction of the united methodist church, changes mandated by the denomination's general conference in 2004. i was wrong. the listening seminar was designed for our bishops to listen to our feedback on these issues, then they would share that feedback with the other bishops.

we began with a summary of a report generated by the lewis center for church leadership out of wesley seminary in d.c. the report lists all kinds of stats and data about the preferences by clergy and layfolk across the jurisdiction. the college of bishops and the jurisdiction will consider this, combined with these feedback sessions, in determining the future alignments of conferences and roles of bishops. general conference mandated that this jurisdiction eliminate one episcopal positio…

Bible study offered for holy week

everyone is welcome to a Bible study i will offer the first three days of holy week: sunday, monday, and tuesday, april 5, 6, & 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. childcare provided.

we will examine the "passion narrative," the story of the last few days of Christ's life, as it is depicted in the four gospels. each gospel is very unique.

please make plans to attend-- it will help kick off a very meaningful week of worship experiences!

the constant gardener

the other day i happened upon a movie i saw long ago but only vaguely remembered: being there, starring peter sellers. peter sellers was a genius, starring in some of my favorite films, from the pink panther series of the '60s and '70s to stanley kubrick's classic dr. strangelove, in the title role. being there was one of sellers' last films, and one that typically receives oscar recognition: think sean penn in i am sam, jodie foster in nell, tom hanks in forrest gump, or dustin hoffman in rain man.

sellers plays a man named chance, a gardener who lives in a wealthy man's townhouse in d.c. we know that he has mental challenges. when the old man dies, he is forced to leave the house and enter a world he has never known: riding in a car, going to the doctor, spending an evening with other people. he has lived a life of simplicity: working in a garden, having meals prepared for him, constantly watching television. he dresses in the old man's tailored suits, t…

change you can believe in

when i heard the news, i didn't quite cry, at least on the outside. on the inside, however, i was very sad. an institution, one i had enjoyed my entire life, was closing. to be torn down. and on the spot a new cvs to be built (does bay city really need that? they already tore down the old in and out mini mart where i played video games as a kid to build a walgreen's). now shipley's, the greatest donut spot on the planet, had a date with the wrecking ball.

shipley's never changed. you drove up to the window and a lady stuck her head out to take your order. she never wrote anything down: bear claws. pigs in the blanket. chocolate filled. chocolate milk. donut holes. if you went inside you saw old timers sitting on the same red tables that had been there forever. the place had a lingering hint of cigarettes and coffee. if you walked into church with a box of donuts from shipley's you were accepted.

shipley's corporation, i learned today, was founded i…

when heroes despair

last friday was a day i had anticipated for many months: the arrival of watchmen. i am one of those who never heard of watchmen when the comic series came out in the 1980s, and truth be told i was never much of a comic reader anyway. however, the notion of the anti-hero has always appealed to me. we do not live in a black and white world; there are many shades of gray, and the idea that our heroes are not immune to that makes them more real. so, for example, i am more a fan of batman than superman. bruce wayne has no superpowers. under his mask and cape he's just as normal as i am (except for the whole zillionaire thing).

when i first saw the trailers for watchmen last fall, i was immediately engaged. the mixture of flawed heroes within a graphic novel genre interested me. i did not like sin city when it came out a few years ago, and i've only seen a few scenes of 300. everytime i saw the blue guy, or the owl guy, or the white mask and fedora hat guy i excitedly counte…

times are changin'

tomorrow night we will "spring" our clocks "forward" one hour. i've never been a fan of time changes, possibly as a result of the time in college when i forgot the time change and showed up to church as everyone was walking out! i was curious about this, so i checked out wikipedia. here's an excerpt:

The history of standard time in the United States began November 18, 1883 when United States and Canadian railroads instituted standard time in time zones. Before then, time of day was a local matter, and most cities and towns used some form of local solar time, maintained by some well-known clock (for example, on a church steeple or in a jeweler's window). The new standard time system was not immediately embraced by all.

Use of standard time gradually increased because of its obvious practical advantages for communication and travel. Standard time in time zones was not established in U.S. law until the Act of March 19, 1918, sometimes called the Standard …