Call to Ministry? Developing resources.

Two of the most important things I do in my current job (also two of my favorite things) are:

1. Teach youth and adults about the UMC and Living the Methodist Way.
2. Help students discern a call to ministry.

I have found no good video resources for either of these tasks.

1. There aren’t a great deal of resources for discussing the UMC or its history. Any good resource is out of date and almost unusable.

2. I have seen NO good resources (video or not) that will help students hear, discern, and live into a call to ministry in the UMC.

Would you like to help me develop some resources? I am particularly interested in developing student resources for a call to ministry in the UMC.

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Surprised by the Resurrection: Easter Prayer

This is the pastoral prayer that we are praying at our Easter service this morning at St. Marys UMC.

It includes a selection from St. John Chrysostom’s famous Easter sermon which can be found at Fr. Frank Logue‘s blog.

Let us pray:

God ALMIGHTY! In your great love for each and every person, everywhere, in all times, you sent your only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life! He was born into a broken world and brought the hope of salvation! He preached to the world about repentance and the coming Kingdom of Heaven! He healed the sick! He cast out demons! He gave sight to the blind! And just when the world suspected him to rise to greatness—he was crucified.

The world slept that night after his death, lost and not knowing what happened to eternity. Many of us went to bed with that same confusion, God. We awaken today to the full promise that Jesus has overcome death and sin! Others went to bed last night with no thought of their souls. God, may they be surprised by the resurrection! May they see you as Mary saw you—as the disciples saw you that they might believe!

May the whole world be surprised by the resurrection and this promise of new and eternal life! May the resurrection seep into every crack and crevice of this world and overcome every evil thing! May the Risen Christ reign in every down-trodden heart, every victimized soul, every sinners being, and in all of creation!

In the words of John Chrysostom, leader in the early Greek church: O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever.

God ALMIGHTY! In your great love for each and every person, everywhere, in all times, you sent your only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life! He was born into a broken world and brought the hope of salvation! He preached to the world about repentance and the coming Kingdom of Heaven! He healed the sick! He cast out demons! He gave sight to the blind! And just when the world suspected him to rise to greatness—he was crucified.

The world slept that night after his death, lost and not knowing what happened to eternity. Many of us went to bed with that same confusion, God. We awaken today to the full promise that Jesus has overcome death and sin! Others went to bed last night with no thought of their souls. God, may they be surprised by the resurrection! May they see you as Mary saw you—as the disciples saw you that they might believe!

May the whole world be surprised by the resurrection and this promise of new and eternal life! May the resurrection seep into every crack and crevice of this world and overcome every evil thing! May the Risen Christ reign in every down-trodden heart, every victimized soul, every sinners being, and in all of creation!

In the words of John Chrysostom, leader in the early Greek church: O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever.

AMEN.

On mission and apostolic faith

1. In an effort to say an old, true thing in a new way, we may have accidentally said a new thing in an old way.

2. This new thing may not be the faith given by the Son and the Spirit, but some other new thing under the guise of apostolicity.

3. ‘The church does not merely have but IS a mission, the historical embodiment of the mission of the Son through the Spirit.’ Barth, quoted by Oden in Life in the Spirit p . 350.

4. The biggest perversions of great things hang on seemingly insignificant nuances: the difference between having a mission and being a mission, in this case. We exist because of the Son’s mission in the world, it is not that we organized on our own with the noble idea of engaging in an institutional mission. Our very hearts are transformed by mission into mission. Think on this next time you consider an organizational mission statement.

What do you think?

Dead Men

‘It is said that Ignatius Loyola once had dug for the novices of his order a grave, having them buried except for their heads, asking, ‘Are you dead?’ To those who answered yes, he would reply, ‘Rise then and begin to serve, for I want only dead men to serve me.”

–quoted in Thomas Oden’s Systematic Theology, Vol 3: Life in the Spirit

theology

Theology does not make up doctrines and things to believe in.  Theology is an attempt to understand the God who reveals Himself.  

Theology is not human creation, it is a striving.

dead sea scrolls: to be online?

The Dead Sea Scrolls may reach a wider audience in their untranslated form according to the New York TImes:

“We wanted to monitor the deterioration of the scrolls and realized we needed to take precise photographs to watch the process. That’s when we decided to do a comprehensive set of photos, both in color and infrared, to monitor selectively what is happening. We realized then that we could make the entire set of pictures available online to everyone, meaning that anyone will be able to see the scrolls in the kind of detail that no one has until now.”

The process will probably take one to two years — more before it is available online — and is being led by Greg Bearman, who retired from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Data collection is directed by Simon Tanner of Kings College London

Rest in Peace, LeRoi of DMB

Rest in Peace, brother.  I never knew you, but we knew each other like soul friends.

Rest in Peace, brother. I never knew you, but we knew each other like soul friends.

For 3/4 of my life, LeRoi and the Dave Matthews Band have been the soundtrack of my life.  During high school, college, break ups, dates, late nights…we danced our first dance on our wedding night to the sounds of his sax; our son was born the sounds.  RIP.

“Oh, maybe I’m crazy,
But laughing out loud will make the pain pass by
And maybe you’re a little crazy,
And laughing out loud will make it all subside
Holding, I’m holding out,
I’m still falling, I’m still fallin….”—Spoon, Dave Matthews Band

the saddest of hat tips.