There is some great discussion going on about the Foundry UMC’s foray into homosexual unions at John’s blog here.
This is a very divisive issue that the entire United Methodist Church will have to face with utter certainty very soon.
If we split over this, it will be hard to minister in either “branch” of the denomination as both of them will then be solely about who allows or doesn’t allow homosexual unions instead of solely about Christ.
A story for Georgia’s Augusta Chronicle looks at changing religions and denominations in the U.S. Rev. Don Saliers of Emory University says that this is not uncommon due to American ecumenical contexts and social mobility.
I am most intrigued by the case studies describing shifts from Catholicism and Lutheranism to Islam and Fr. Steve’s (you can find him in my blogroll) shift from United Methodism to the Episcopal church. (I will probably focus on this one in more detail later).
I am intrigued by what would cause one to convert to Islam from Christianity. Sonja Ozturk seems to think that simplicity is a factor:
“It wasn’t anything extraordinary to try to deal with, like a Trinity-type scenario, or tenant. It seemed very straightforward and uncomplicated.”
Ultimately, Sonja converted to Islam. Despite societal pressure, she says:
“I feel very satisfied and very at peace,” she said. “I feel like I do have a personal relationship with God, feel like I know my role in creation and I feel freedom from having surrendered.”
What does this provoke in you? Theologically, what’s the bridge that makes these kinds of shifts easy for some?
(I am disappointed in the comments on the actual article. To much “infadel” talk….)
h/t: Fr. Steve
This is a repeat for you methobloggers, but for the rest of us:
Eric Kieb over at the Eclectic Soul asks:
I get a lot at my current pastoral appointment that I preach “too long” with the implication being that a good message is about 12-15 minutes or so.
I normally preach about 20-30 minutes, which, in fairness to my little tribe, is a pretty different experience for them.
For those of you who are communicators out there, or are at least part of a faith community and have experience being subjected to the ramblings of your favorite preacher; how long do you/they preach? I’d be interested to know.
And, by the way, just for giggles, name your denominational brand if you prefer to.
I have done 2 sermons and some other speaking engagements. I tend to do 15-20 minutes. My philosophy is that if you research, exegete, and then build your communication in a concise way, then you know the material well–similarly, if your material is concise then you have made solid decisions about every moment of your sermon. We should avoid moments that are not thought out.
What about you?