Monday, March 31, 2008

Hymnal Survey Closed -- OPEN AGAIN!

This message from Dean McIntyre

Hymnal Survey Closed -- OPEN AGAIN!

Friends -

Good news! We have re-opened the GBOD hymnal survey. I can’t say how long it will remain open, but we want to give those still trying to access it the opportunity to participate. Please go to

and make your selections. I hope you’ll help us spread this word to others.

Dean McIntyre,

Director of Music Resources,

The General Board of Discipleship

Nashville TN

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

April Cadence

Dear Del Rosa Family,

As of today we are right on top of General Conference for the United Methodist Church.
Do you want to find out the latest information from the UMC?

16 Bishops will be retiring this year and so election of Bishops will play a prominent role in the Conference. Our own Mary Ann Swenson will not be retiring, though she has come to the end of her 8 years in Cal-Pac. We are looking to invite her back for one more term, and she has asked to serve another quadrennium with Cal-Pac.

Bishop Swenson has some hopes for General Conference '08 and she shared them in her weekly letter to the churches.

e360 March 12, 2008 Bishop’s Top Ten

Following Bishop Swenson’s elective, out-patient surgery last week, she was recovering nicely at home—and still managed to get a flu bug. So since she’s still down for a bit, we decided to send here the article also appearing in today’s edition of the national UM-Newscope: the Bishop was asked to list what she thought would be the “top ten things that General Conference could do that would make a real difference.” For those of you who don’t get Newscope, here’s her list. And for her follow-up on the “Starbucks & core competency” question, watch for her message here next week, when we trust she’ll be feeling much better. gary

Top Ten Actions of General Conference That Would Make Disciples of Jesus Christ For the Transformation of the World

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Los Angeles Episcopal Area

1. Admission into congregational membership shall be contingent upon the following criteria: pending members shall regularly participate in a class / covenant group meeting (3/4 of the scheduled meetings over four months); be recommended by the pending member’s class / covenant group; accomplish 72 hours of hands-on mission service; make and keep a pledge of 3% of net taxable income. Annual continuation of membership shall be contingent upon these same criteria, with the modification that the period of class participation shall be over ten months.

2. Every annual conference shall annually provide evidence to the Council of Bishops that 25% of the conference’s total worshipping attendance has participated in 72 or more hours of hands-on mission work with the homeless and the hungry, the ill and dispossessed.

3. Every annual conference shall provide evidence to the Council of Bishops that the Conference is annually increasing the percentage of those in worship attendance participating in hands-on mission work.

4. The General Conference shall expand funding in order to scholarship at least 50% of the cost of full-time enrollment for approved ministerial candidates attending United Methodist seminaries.

5. The General Conference shall extend funding to cover at least 50% of the cost of lay speaker certification across the denomination.

6. The General Conference shall assign to the Jurisdictional Sessions the authority to monitor and approve the operational and missional structures of the annual conferences within their respective jurisdictions.

7. Congregations seeking a full-time appointed elder shall show pledged and loose plate receipts for the prior two years sufficient to fully compensate an appointment at the minimum equitable salary rate as established by the Annual Conference in which the congregation is located.

8. For the purposes of interfaith dialogue, General Conference shall suspend Articles I and II of the Restrictive Rules for one quadrennium.

9. The General Conference shall make the following co-contingent changes:

§ Re-set the term of service for Bishops from four years to six years;

§ Re-set the frequency of Jurisdictional Conferences to every three years;

§ Re-set the total number of delegates to General Conference to 500;

§ Re-set the frequency of General Conference to every six years;

§ Empower the Connectional Table to address denominational needs in the interim between General Conference sessions.

10. General Conference shall schedule one full day of the 2012 General Session for all delegates to be in hands-on service to the indigent living in the city hosting the General Conference.

This year has some particular emphases:

We have had some acrimonious General Conferences in the past regarding some of the "tense issues" of the church, often defined along Liberal-Conservative lines. This year at General Conference some ideas about conversation will be upheld as we strive with difficult problems within the church.

For more on this check out: from UMNS "United Methodists seek change in tone at assembly"

The church is trying to reorder itself with four focus areas for ministry.

Those four areas of ministry are:
— leadership development
— congregational growth
— global health
— poverty

And if you are really serious about your denominational support, there are even General Conference gifts you can buy.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Because it is Appointment Season

More from ASBO Jesus - ASBO I learned is an acronymn in England … an ‘asbo’ is an ‘anti-social behaviour order’… the courts here award them to people who are deemed to be constant trouble in their neighbourhoods… presumably according to their neighbours!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I should have known

You're The Hobbit!

by J.R.R. Tolkien

All you wanted was a nice cup of tea when some haggard crazy old man
came into your life and told you it was time to do something with yourself. Now you're
all conflicted about whether to stick with your stay-at-home lifestyle or follow this
crazy person into the wild. While you're very short and a little furry, you seem to be
surrounded by an even greater quantity of short folks lately. Try not to lose your ring,
but keep its value in perspective!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

HT: Jeff and Will

Friday, March 14, 2008

What's for dinner?

Seems most nights begin with the question: What do you want for dinner tonight?

I need some help trying to develop some good, healthy (home cooked helps) meals. If you can do this without throwing mexican recipes in the mix, please help...tonight would be great, but comment away for the future.

Add your favorite recipe, something you tried and loved, something you've been dying to try and want a guinea pig to do a run through. Post it here.

For the record my current favorites:

Chicken Tortilla Casserole (without the salsa and onions)

Homemade pizza (my wife loves the Hamburger, Mushroom and Pineapple variety)

Please comment away with your contributions

Thursday, March 13, 2008

NCAA Tournament Pick'em

Interested in playing Fantasy Pick'em on Yahoo?

Wanna see how you stack up in the Methoblogosphere?

Here's your chance

The Circuit Riders (Group ID# 57648)

Password: wesley


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Very un-Methodist

While doing some reading through my blogroll today, I saw Josh Tinley make a comment about top down, unilateral decisions as un-Methodist.

I saw a picture the other day that was decidedly un-Methodist, and rather than rant, I'll share the picture, and some links to other folks who have made claims of un-Methodist behavior. [BTW-I dredged these from the search function in Google Reader]

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Do I Want In A Pastor

There is a lively debate going on in the Methoblogosphere.

Check out the original post,...the basic joke post, the follow-up post, and be sure to check out the comments

This is a tough subject for any pastor, because the truth is that the expectations of the congregation may not be all that far from those examples. This comes from the variety of people who have divergent expectations, and often the failure of the church to "own" their expectations of the pastor, or correct on a corporate level the competing expectations of the congregation.

I found Dr. Tony's quote helpful in his comments from the follow-up post.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. (Henry David Thoreau)
I share Brett Olson's concern for the clergy, and for what makes a good pastor. I think the basic premise of any pastor should be to "love the congregation". This is where the real rub of ministry begins to take shape, and may be fodder for a larger post later. Suffice it to say, that for now, what a congregation needs in the way of love, what a pastor can give in the way of love, and how that all takes life is where the inherent conflicts of congregations and pastors really come to fruition. I hope that in your congregation these can be ongoing conversations.

So then, rather than what I want in a pastor, let me share a little of what I expect of a congregation. As I said, I think Thoreau has it right, to an extent - let each go at the pace of the drummer he or she hears. This comes in Christian circles as the voice of the shepherd, who may be playing a flute, rather than a drum (though I can think of at least one hymn where the shepherd plays a drum, and here is an outstanding rendition).

I think Paul sums it up well in 1 Corinthians 12, that all are gifted in the Spirit, but there are different gifts. God's goal is that we use those gifts for the glory of the Kingdom. As such I expect a congregation and each congregant to want to discover their personal gifts for ministry, and to use them, explicitly, claiming the gift as one from God, and for the good of the whole body of Christ. I understand the body of Christ to go beyond the walls of the local church, and into the community and world, as Christ is already there, and our job is help people connect with the present Christ

The pastor is not the only one who is to go into the world, or do the ministry of the church, but to "equip the saints (those who proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior) for the ministry of Christ." This means training and teaching, modeling, and practicing.

I'll be honest for a moment, I don't always get it right, and sometimes in the view of one member or another I may have misplaced my priorities, but I am always trying to train and teach, and be faithful to my understanding of the witness of Jesus Christ to a broken and hurting world today.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Great Quote

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~ Anne Lamott

ht: Glenn @ Re-Dreaming the Dream

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Post number 300 seems to be big in some parts of the world.

For me, I needed a good laugh to help lighten my day.

I am ever so grateful to my friend Bart, who is the Program Director at Camp Sumatanga in North Alabama. He sent this link


It seems all too apropos since my dog is recently in the midst of failure, and we are trying to determine how to move forward best from here.

Enjoy the links.


I got an email from a friend of mine who is serving on the design team for Christian Educators Fellowship Conference 2008, October 24-27, in Albuquerque, NM. This is an outstanding gathering for Christian Educators, and will be paired with the Preaching From the Center conference, sponsored by GBOD.

She was excited to share that she had been approved by her conference Board of Ordained Ministry for her certification in Christian Education (as well as the more important issue of being affirmed in her call for commissioning in the United Methodist Church).

In the chaos of my life, I realized I had forgotten already that just yesterday morning the Cal-Pac Board of Ordained Ministry also approved my certification in Christian Education. This came after a good run for my Camp and Retreat Ministry Certification, and some trials with my paperwork, and explanation of Certification for Full-Connection Elders in Christian Education.

Certification is a great way to affirm your call, and pursue your education in your field of choice. Check out the GBHEM website to see more of the areas you can be certified.