Unity

This week I finished reading the book entitled Hamilton: The Revolution which describes what went into the creation of the famous play that has become an international sensation.  The book describes the history of the play, the many people that went into making it a reality, the achievement of it, and the power of the…

The importance of Last Things

It was Maundy Thursday 1983. That is the service before Easter Sunday that celebrates the last night Jesus spent with his disciples. I was sitting in the choir at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, California. Jimmy Gibson was preaching. Jimmy was an Irish-born evangelist then in his 70s. He’d retired to Santa…

Relationships Bring Hope

The team of 11 missionaries — all from Westside Journey UMC — returned from the Dominican Republic July 29th, 2019.  We experienced great cross-cultural training and a great week of missions work and life impact.   The best moment for me in cross-cultural training was when our group was divided into four different “cultures” for which…

Christmas Eve — almost Christmas

I love Christmas Eve. Although that’s not always been the case. Here’s a line from a journal, years back now, thankfully. “I hate Christmas Eve. It’s too hard. Too rushed. Too many people with too many expectations. Too much stuff to juggle. God, I hate it!” That from a pastor… Thankfully after that confession, I…

When God Seems Absent…

I don’t know if you have read the book of Esther recently, but we have been walking in it for a number of weeks and it is a stellar walk. Therein we find that although God is not mentioned, not one time, God is there. Again and again — in a king’s sleepless night (ch…

The Next Step

Many of you know, I took a sabbatical in 2016. It was time for me to slow down, to walk more than 1,000,000 steps on the Camino de Santiago, and get in touch with my own heart.  What happened was I discovered emotions I had not felt, and learned how much I valued silence, and…

Just Plain Lost…

“Just plain lost.” That’s what this guest in worship had written on his prayer request card.  Life was tough with surgeries, with financial issues, with housing, then he wrote those three telling words which caught my heart.  I had never read a clearer lament.  Lost.  That pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair.  I reached out…

Cancer, Control and Freedom

I have many partial blog posts that I’ve written but haven’t published any for a month. This has been for multiple reasons — the heart, the mind, the stress, the feeling of inadequacy, the dealing with shame, or more likely, shame dealing with me. When I read this post by brother David Beck, a man…

Declassified

On Tuesday, February 26th, the UMC made a decision to go with what was titled the “Traditional Plan” in regards to the ongoing conversation regarding the church’s approach to those among us who are LGBTQ+.  The challenge has been for us, as an international denomination, to approach this question of ministry and ordination in a…