Bigger than Ourselves

One of the things I absolutely love about being a United Methodist is our connectional system.  Often when I meet a new person who happens to be United Methodist, we get to talking and end up having many different points of connection with different people. The comment is usually made, “What a small world!” and…

The Growth of African Immigration in America

How has the U.S. Immigration Law driven the growth in African immigration to the United States? According to African Union, the term “African Immigrants” consists of people of African origin outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality. In the United States, immigrants from Africa constitute a highly diverse and rapidly growing group. African…

Living into the Overlap: God, People & Purpose

Over the last month, I have had the joy of spending time with an adult small group examining our church’s understanding of discipleship. Connecting with God, Connecting with People and Connecting with Purpose formed the framework for the lessons and discussions that were shared. We looked deeper into both the biblical roots for this path as…

Handprints of the Saints

I went back to FUMC Boyd today for the funeral of a dear friend named Mary. Whenever I am in that sanctuary, I am flooded with memories. Everywhere I look, I see the handprints of so many of the Saints who have gone before. Mary and my mother both loved the church and loved to…

How Do You Handle “Fun Sponge” Moments?

As we walked down the large, open hallway toward the classroom, the children were playing a game of tag. It was fun and energetic and we were all enjoying it. As we got ready to turn the corner to the narrower hallway (and neared the classroom), I let the children know it was time for…

Sore

It all started well enough, but after what felt like three or four hours (actually 15 minutes) the woman on the megaphone said “great warm up! Now let’s get started.”

Building the Kingdom

Looking at our world today—I can’t imagine how God’s kingdom can be built out of this mess, this chaos. But, when I think of what God and faithful people have done and are continuing to do in Punta Delgadito—maybe anything’s possible…

Finding God in the Midst of Transition

In 1986, calls were made to the leadership of Cloud’s Bend United Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was truly a devastating day in their history. That snowy day, a few young men gained access to the church building. They piled the church pews in the corner and lit them on fire. The blaze changed…

Investment Returns

This week my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Batte, “friended” me on Facebook. I will be honest. It made my day! She was one of my favorite teachers and I was immediately thrown back in time, remembering that classroom. It was the year that I misspelled “restaurant” in the spelling bee – a mistake I never…

Jesus Meets Mary of Magdala

Jesus met Mary of Magdala twice. The first time was before his death in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Jesus was eating with his disciples when Mary of Magdala entered the house.  Mary threw herself at Jesus’ feet, wept, wiped his feet with her hair and then poured a bottle of rare and very…

Familiar Stories

If I had to guess, I would guess that my family is not the only one that has stories. You know those stories, the ones that almost always get told whenever the family gets together. We’ve all heard them time after time after time. I’ve heard them so many times that I could tell them myself….

A Child’s Faith

I write this as I am preparing to attend Rev. Leanne Hadley’s Holy Listening Training. I previously attended a five-day Holy Listening event a number of years ago when I was working in Children’s Ministry with Rev. Holly. Those five days confirmed what I have always believed about children and their faith. Rev. Hadley teaches that…