Thursday, April 26, 2007


Interesting post, especially as I sought to engage my own boredom yesterday from taking the day off for vacation and doing something that stirs my spirit. I had been lying around the house for the better part of a week, and I know there is Wednesday night soccer with many of the same folks I play with on Mondays.

I decided to go cheer on some of my teammates from the Monday night league by going to the Drayton Center and watching some soccer for the night.

The folks I ran into were surprised and glad to see me, from the various teams I play with, to the managers of the league, and even making a few new friends. I found that going into a familiar place with a new agenda made a world of difference. All those nights I run around chasing the ball on Monday nights didn't allow for the same type of intereaction as I had in one night as a spectator.

I got to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through dialogue, presence, compassion and friendship because their view of a familar face at an unfamiliar time stirred something different in them.

I am pushed to think further about what this can look like in the church setting then. Where are my people "supposed" to see me, so that I can be a presence that transforms by meeting them in a "familiar place" with a "familiar face" at an unexpected time. I suspect it is kinda like Jesus meeting the Disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Now on with the pondering and reflection...

Your ideas are welcome, invited and appreciated!


The People Formerly Known as.. (recap)

I have been following this great conversation (The People Formerly Known As...) with some keen interest, and was astounded by the latest offering.

What I am most struck by is the fact that it is the most simple of Gospel communication techniques...that of testimony. It is about how I have been changed by the power of God's love presented to the World in Jesus Christ. The stories are about how we have been hurt and wounded by each other, and the real need for a saviour that pervades our very existence.

If you are so inclined to go back and read through the stories I suggest you check out the following search, or you can find your way through the stories as told by Brother Maynard, and check out the links as you go.

God changes everything!! Thank you for sharing of the Risen Christ, Jesus our Lord.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nothing But Nets

I'm participating in Nothing But Nets, a campaign to help prevent malaria across Africa.

Millions of people die each year from malaria - but there's a simple, life-saving solution, and all it takes is $10 to buy a bed net, distribute it to a family, and explain its use.

You can help support me by making a secure online donation. Click on the link below to help prevent malaria:

For more information on how YOU can participate in Nothing But Nets, please visit us at

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Modern Day Martyrs

There are days when I feel so frustrated with the church, and I am ready to pack it all in. In fact, my vacation time right now is to help me return the joy to my ministry.

And then a story like this one comes along, reminding me of those who really take a stand for Christ everyday. God bless you my brothers and sisters who stand in the face of martyrdom.

HT: JunkYardBlog, via Digg

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm bonafide!!

You scored as Lorna Koskela. You are Lorna Koskela! You read, write, take walks, and no one knows the truth about what goes on in your basement!

Lorna Koskela


Abi Carlisle-Wilke


Art Ruch


John the Methodist


Allan Bevere


Keith McIlwain


Gavin Richardson


Jonathon Norman


Theresa Coleman


Which Methoblogger Are You?
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Cadence May 07

Dear Del Rosa Family

Springtime is upon us. One of the more telling signs for me has been the all-too-common question springing from the mouths of many lately, “Where do you want to go?”

As several people have departed for vacation through the month of April, myself included, the question posed has often been, “Where do you want to go?”

As United Methodists in the California Pacific Annual Conference the question has been put to our churches, “Where do you want to go?” This question has been given a purpose as each church has been asked to form a “Visioning Our Future Team”. The team is composed of persons in the church, excluding the pastor to help shape the future of the local church, and to add purpose to each congregation for the long haul.

The interesting part is that as Christians we have already been told where to go and what to do. You have heard it as The Great Commission and Jesus tells the Disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 what the vision for them is:

18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Jesus imparts a vision for the Disciples as one that sees them multiplying themselves by making disciples of all nations, baptizing as they go, and teaching the commands that Jesus has given to the disciples to future generations.

Lately, I have been struck by the simplicity of Jesus’ vision of ministry, and we have are working on developing some of the avenues for each of you to expand your own ministries to others, that you might multiply as Jesus commanded the Disciples. Our ongoing work to discern Spiritual Gifts and to gather those reports back into the office have provided some insights for you to better understand how to bring the faith to people (realize I did not say “bring people to faith”). The more I look our job has been defined as one that goes.

Let us then continue to ask the question of Del Rosa UMC, “Where do you want to go?” For in the knowledge of where we are going, the guide to get there becomes much easier to discern.

Let’s go find out where we want to go!

On the road,

Pastor David


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

One Day Blog Silence

One Day Blog Silence

A House Blessing

I have to say I am quite excited. I have been asked to do a house blessing.

As some of you know, the DelRosa are was badly scoured by a raging fire in the Fall of 2003. I arrived at the church in July of 2004, with no parsonage since it had been burned by the fires, and several members still in transition states from their homes being burned by the fires.

A few of the members have been struggling through the process of rebuilding. One of the members finally got her home rebuilt in the first part of this year. She is so excited, and has done a great job of getting her details into the home. She has since had it landscaped and it looks beautiful. It is handicapped accessible, with a rail at the front door and wheelchair access along the sides.

She is going to be having an open house and asked me to do the house blessing. In anticipation of this event I spoke with a friend about 2 years ago and asked if he had any resources for such an event, especially since they are pretty prominent in Hawaii where he had served at one time.

So here is a house blessing, modified from the Book of Worship. May you have such an opportunity in your ministries.

A Service of Blessing for DRUM



Jesus said, “Behold, I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20).

Friends, we are gathered here to seek God’s blessing upon this dwelling place, which by the favor of God and human labor has been renewed. This place is not only a dwelling but a symbol to us of God’s loving care, and a symbol of our life together in community. Let us therefore bring our praise and thanksgiving for the goodness and mercy we have received from God, and let us offer ourselves to one another as loving brothers and sisters in the family of God.


Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, grant to this assisted living center the grace of your presence, that you may be known to inhabit and defend this household and its residents; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:25-33


+ Lighting a candle

“May the light of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, shine within your hearts”

+ Opening a Bible

“May the Word of the Lord grow within your hearts and minds, guiding your journey.”

+ Lifting up of the Cross

“May the sacrificial love displayed in the death and resurrection of Christ point you toward

the promise of eternal life.”


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the holy and triune God, we bless the family and friends of this dwelling place, committing to God’s love and care all who dwell within these walls.

Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Let your love rest upon this place and let your promised presence be manifested in it.

May each person here grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. Teach them to love, as you have loved us, and help us all to live in the peace of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face to shine upon you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forever more. Amen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Vacation, O vacation wherefore art thou O Vacation.

I am coming up on one year without vacation. I know this is bad news and I need to get away.

I hold this in tension with comments that I was "away" for almost 60 days last year. I was gone for one week of vacation in 2006 (back in May). The other times were for Conference Committees, Training events, Lectionary Study Group, and CEF Design Team. Now some of those 60 days were what I would consider my day off (during times I was at conference and events). I was also out of the pulpit for 6 Sundays of my own volition (4 in August for Testimonies from the Congregation, once for UMW Sunday and once for Laity Sunday).

Folks felt my absence. I do not think this is bad, in fact I think they need to have the pastor gone from time to time to realize they have responsibility for worship and ministry.

Now to figure out how to take the necessary vacation. I have put in some requests with the SPRC for their meeting this week, but pray for me as I try to find that balance and vigor for ministry once again.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Time to enter the fray


I will enter the conversation carefully simply pointing you to the ongoing conversation about "The People Formerly Known as the Congregation" and its follow-up posts from across the blogosphere. If you have not read through this conversation, please do so as I think it is highly informative and helpful to the ongoing desires to bring the church to its true purposes.

"Leaving Oz" and "The People Formerly Known as the Audience" are forewords to the actual post of the polemic "The People Formerly Known as the Congregation". Leaving Oz relates to the church and TPFKA"TA" is really directed at the media, but since so much of the church is media driven, I thought it helpful in its commentary. TPFKA"TC" is a polemic designed to pull people to the poles for the purpose of conversation, and it has definitely driven conversation, just see the comments and the addendums to the original post by the author. "The Underlying Issues" lays out a very convincing case for the changes the church has experienced and what kinds of things will need to be addressed in order to make sense of the ongoing revamping of the church, emerging or otherwise. TCCTBKAM is about where some in the church see the revamping of the church as needing to go. In essence it reminds the church of the original "mission" of the church. TPFKA"TP" speaks to my own setting for certain and to conversations that are happening in other areas. In fact I heard some clergy discussing their recent ventures over to Loma Linda (Seventh Day Adventist territory) to hear Rev. Fred Craddock for a seminar. They were expecting a lot of "how-to" for preaching and got a lesson in time management. One of the salient points they took home was that the pastor ought to be "Conspicuous by his/her absence". In other words, don't try to be everything to the congregation, or to fill their holes, but instead allow you to be you, and the congregation and God to grow in the congregation by filling the needs of the people with the people.

Leaving Oz

The People Formerly Known as the Audience

The People Formerly Known as the Congregation

The Underlying Issues

The Community Coming to Be Known as Missional

The People Formerly Known as the Pastor


Zombies aren't just human anymore

Of all the things I thought I might have to worry about, Zombies were among the least of my worries. Then John got to talking so much about these freaks of nature.

I was not so worried about them in Sunny Southern California, but then they turned to fruit and we have way too much fruit to let this slide.

Zombies Attack!

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Thanks John, now I am stuck staying up late worried about Zombies, rather than church finances, the message of Jesus Christ, or my taxes.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Easter Sermonette

Easter Sunrise April 8, 2007

Some early thoughts on Matthew 28:1-10 and Luke 24 and John 20

Can you see Him?

It was dark and they could not see.

They went to the tomb and they could not see him.

She looked right at him and talked to him and could not see him.

They walked with him for miles and they couldn't see Him.

He showed up in the upper room and they couldn't see him for human.

Thomas didn't see the wounds and doubted.

He spoke and she could see.

He spoke through her to others and they could see.

He broke bread with them, and spoke to them as friends.

He spoke to them in the upper room and they saw him.

He spoke to Thomas and invited him to see for himself.

Has he spoken to you?

Can you see him yet?

Maundy Thursday Sermonette

Quick notes for Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

The mandate (Maundy means "Mandate"):

We think of the mandate as the institution of the Lord’s Supper. In reality it is about loving one another (ht Out the Door) Another mandate present in this story is the mandate to let Jesus wash us.

Are we willing to be washed in Jesus and made new.

Washing held special significance for the Jews as it meant the restoration of holiness.

What do we need to wash away so that we can be restored to holiness before the Lord?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Losing Ground

Reading through the links in this blog post and another one previously simply scared the crap out of me. I am concerned that our own conference is heading down the same road, and paired with Erika's latest blog I think we may lose it altogether.

Throw in the emerging fight over Lynch Funds, and the perils we have encountered in the "Pre 82 funds" and the homosexual debates of years past are simply quiet and vacuous compared to what seems yet to come.

The move to do away with Campus ministry units and divert them to the local church immediately says "we are unwilling to meet you where you are"
But, I rant too long, or more accurately not clearly enough to rant further.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A simple cornerstone

While building a tower of coffee cans, placed 2, 3, 2, 1 high, and then picked up and set upon a planter pot share the following lesson.

God uses in Jesus Christ the stone that the builders rejected to become the chief cornerstone.

Jesus might be looked at like the pots present here. People like the flowers, like we have on the altar, and the outside casing that costs us $.15 per cover. But what we have here for our building is the stone that builders rejected, because it wasn’t pretty enough or costly enough.

It is a simple thing we use to build our tower.

It was a series of simple things that were used to celebrate the coming of the King into Jerusalem.

Some of the simple things that celebrate the king:

-A donkey and a colt


-A saddle of clothes

-Palm branches

-children, women, the outcasts of society, and the fieldworker (not the “elite”)

-A human come to save the world from itself

Some of the simple things we are going use to build Del Rosa UMC:

-Jesus Christ

Acts of Piety


-Study of Scripture

-Public Worship

-Lord’s Supper

Acts of Mercy

-Feed the Hungry

-Heal the Sick

-Clothe the naked

-Visit those in prison

-Shelter those in need

Our Gifts

-Spiritual Gifts

-Our Facilities

-Our $$$


We make disciples by doing ALL of these acts from all of our Gifts, by the power of Jesus Christ, who comes to use in the simple things, reminding us to look to the reject for finding our future and the strengths to build all else around.