In a letter published here, our new Bishop, Rev. Lawson Bryan, addressed an upcoming meeting of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church. In a 6-3 vote, the Judicial Counsel upheld the UM Book of Discipline. The 19-page decision that the consecration of an openly gay Bishop, married to another woman, is against church law places the Wester Jurisdiction on notice concerning their response. As I understand the ruling, the Western Jurisdiction acted illegally in electing to the office someone who isn’t qualified to serve as a Bishop of the entire Church, meaning she cannot serve since the office is part of more than just one conference or jurisdiction.
The Barna Group, a Christian research and polling organization, and The American Bible Society offer a yearly study on how Americans view the Bible. Repeated every year for the past six, they identify trends both large and small in the direction of the country and its churches.
This year, in an article called “Bible Engagement in a New World,” they reveal several challenges and some encouragement. First, a growing skepticism about Christianity and the Bible bring more hostility to the idea of faith. Also, in the eyes of the culture, self-fulfillment offers the highest moral good.
Kathy continues to receive the Nashville UMC Messenger. I asked them to let me use this because I believe it gets to the heart of the matter for every person on earth, and all of us, myself included. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” The title is mine…
The late Dr. Robert Mulholland stood ramrod straight. He soared above most of us at 6’5” and, to top it all off, he wore a wide brimmed hat. As Vice president and Provost of Asbury Seminary he kept two assistants busy, taught classes in Biblical Interpretation and the Book of Revelation, both in Greek! Once a year he preached at our bi-weekly Chapel service. We listened closely, for we knew of both his Biblical scholarship and his love for Christ and for us.
Kathy and I are away at Camp J.D. Tygart for the Women’s Walk to Emmaus #112 this weekend. A team of lay people and 5 clergy, along with 38 “pilgrims,” will finish up about 5:30 this afternoon and return to our normal lives. For some it will be a relief, but for most of the women, those “pilgrims” who attended their initial Emmaus weekend, Camp Tygart became holy ground.
Mike Green is preaching in Ocilla today having returned from his own pilgrim experience last weekend. Now Mike is special, having been employed in the church and holding a Masters in Divinity, he knew a lot of what the speakers taught. Mike also arrived at the camp with a history of intentional spiritual growth. Most of us aren’t nearly that intentional when it comes to spiritual things.