From the June newsletter

We live in a sensual and ever-changing society and that is why it is imperative that we know who we are and what we believe. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, understood this. He penned what became a foundational piece in understanding what a believer looks like. So, sometime around 1742, he wrote “The Character of a Methodist.” In this document we find a list of identity indicators of a believer. They are: A Methodist Loves God. A Methodist Rejoices in God. A Methodist Gives Thanks. A Methodist Prays Constantly. A Methodist Loves Others.* This resonates with what I recently read regarding a definition of the church universal from the theologian Gustaf Aulén: “Gather them in, tell the stories, eat the meal.”+ When we love, rejoice, are grateful, pray, and love, we are the church. See ya in church. Wayne *Harper, Steve. (2015). Five Marks of a Methodist: The Fruit of a Living Faith.” Nashville: Abingdon Press. +Aulén, Gustaf. (1969). “Christus Victor.” NY:...

Read More

From The Lighthouse May, 2015

One advantage of reading more than one book at a time is that occasionally you discover a common thread. In reading Lauren F. Winner’s new book (“Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God.” NY: HarperOne, 2015) and Dallas Willard’s book (“Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.” Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 1999) I found that both authors speak of relationship between God and humanity as friendship or family. The Bible consistently presents this to be true. The kind of relationship that develops rests on us. God is always waiting to join with us in a growing spiritual journey (relationship). The depth of this friendship is contingent upon our desire for it. There is within each of us a longing to be wholly known, to be accepted as we are, and to be free, liberated. Jesus says in St. John 15:13 “I call you friends….” We are friends of God to be friends of all. May it be so. See ya in church....

Read More

From the April Newsletter

Thomas Merton who reads our society so well noted that to say “God is Love” has the same impact as saying “Eat your Wheaties.” Spiritual sentimentality takes the good idea of “God is Love,” and distorts it to an ambiguous and bland statement. Flannery O’Connor said this about sentimentality: “It is the religious equivalent of pornography. We have a vague, pleasurable experience of something without having to invest or risk transformation.” If you think God only wants your soul you are mistaken. God wants all of you. If you thought God just wanted an hour of your time on Sunday, think again. God wants to be with you every moment of every day. One thing you cannot say regarding Jesus is that he did not do things in moderation. Aren’t you glad? See ya in church....

Read More

From the March Newsletter

God knows math and science are not my strong suits. But as I understand it, 100 years ago we believed that everything existed in four dimensions. Today string theorists extrapolate that there are between ten and twentythree dimensions! If this is confusing to you then picture me in mathematical nursery school! All of this reminds me that when it comes to God and the works of God, we pretty much limit God to four dimensions. Mark Batterson says, “Half of faith is learning what we do don’t know. The other half is unlearning what we do know.” So, here’s what I am attempting to do during Lent: Looking at everything from a different perspective. Trying to see God at work in different avenues than usual. Looking sideways instead of from the front. One of the things I have discovered in my spiritual journey is that God is predictably unpredictable. Want to walk with me? Se ya in church....

Read More

From the February Newsletter

The longer I live the more I believe that I am kind of a Fransiscan Protestant. One of the things that draws me to St. Francis is that Love is the penultimate characteristic. True love is not possible without personal inner freedom, and the manner in which we know this love is real is how we live with the poor, the marginalized, and the disadvantaged. St. Francis was like the prophets and the mystics. His message and the methods he used to get that message out were identical. For St. Francis being a practitioner was more important than being a theorist. Or, as Pope Francis has said, “be a worker instead of merely ‘word police.’ ‘Inspector,’ or ‘museum curators.'” Which are we? C ya in church. Wayne If your only goal is to love, there is no such thing as failure.–Francis of...

Read More

From the January newsletter

The month of January has historically been the time when some of us make promises to ourselves. This year I have prayerfully decided that I want 2015 to be the year I REALLY live my life like Jesus lived. If I am going to do this I need to do what Jesus did. In part, this means my motivation will be to live in such a manner that it pleases God. To accomplish this I need to care for the poor, engage in some foot washing, confront injustice where I see it, and live in humbleness. If I believe what Jesus said…then I need to do what Jesus did. How about you? See ya in church....

Read More