Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why we aren't...

going to do it by heart, anyway.

Seth Godin shares about doing it by heart.

Our worship at St. Andrew UMC in Santa Maria is going to not do it by heart in 2010, and maybe a little longer.

Today during worship we talked about the practices of the pharisees that were held on to a little too closely, such that they lost sight of the important part of relationships, and learning anew.

Today we took notes during a little congregational sharing about what they knew well and what they wanted to learn more about in scripture. It means we won't be doing it by heart, we won't be playing along with the Revised Common Lectionary Readings for 2010 and into the future.

We did not cover much ground that would be topical, but more related to stories we wanted to learn more about, live better and understand more clearly.

My work is cut out for me as I seek to understand and learn well enough to teach.

Thanks for the blessings folks!

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On Hiatus

I am taking a blogging break for the weekend while I prepare and preside at a funeral for Tim Nelson.

See previous posts for more links for Tim.

Peace be with you all

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More from Grandpa Spencer

I found these on a card back to back.

Honesty was his rule for getting along with others

Rotary Four Way Test of the things we think, say or do.
1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

I found it to be an imperative today when so much truth, half-truth and lies get mixed together. My hope is that I can build a church around TRANSPARENCY, which in turn develops TRANSFORMATION, which in turn means that we are getting closer to following the mission of the United Methodist Church, (To make Disciples of Jesus Christ, for the transformation of the world) and my own Vision (Extending Ministry)

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Grandpa Spencer's Thoughts

I was culling through my filing system today as I have managed to move twice without checking the filing cabinets, and there was a stack of "to-file" items that was becoming unmanageable. In my files I ran across some items that had belonged to my Grandpa Spencer (my mother's father). I think some were in books I inherited from him, including his Book of Common Prayer, and the Bible he received for joining the "Pocket Testament League" (but more on that another day)

One thing that stuck out was:

Four things in any land must dwell;
If it endures and prospers well
One is manhood true and good
One is noble womanhood
One is childlife - clean and bright
And one an Altar - kept alight

Thanks Grandpa! I miss you.



Prayers of Protection

I offered this prayer yesterday during services at St. Andrew UMC, Santa Maria, CA.

This was abbreviated for us during worship.

Christians: Do You Need Prayers Against Spiritual Warfare?

Daily Prayers of Protection
Pray them in this order.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command a hedge of protection to be around my home and property today and I ask that warrior angels would be placed to stand guard at any holes that might be in that hedge. *Holes in the hedge can be caused by yet to be dealt with sin, trauma or wounding in the lives of the people who dwell in the home.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command any free, unbound, or wandering spirits to get out beyond that hedge of protection now.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask that warrior angels be placed at the doorways and access points to my home and property today that would keep out any free, unbound or wandering spirits that would try to access my home and property today. I ask for warrior angels that would bind and separate from their functions any demons attached to any individuals entering my home and property today. * An access point could be cable TV, internet, telephone or other communication devices in the home, power hookup, water supply or heat source.
Father God, I ask for a spiritual umbrella of protection over me and a spiritual hedge of protection around me. I place the full armour of God on me, and I ask that the light of the Lord Jesus shine through me this day.
Note: I strongly recommend praying Ephesians 6 daily over yourself and meditating on the scripture often.
Eph 6: 13-17 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
If you are plagued by nightmares, restless nights sleeping and a sense of uneasiness in your bedroom, pray this before going to bed each night.
Father God, I ask that you would send warrior angels at the bedposts of my bed. (Alternatively, the corners of your bed if you don’t have a bedpost) and I declare that YOU are the Lord of my nights.
Praying for Children/spouse
Daily pray:
1. Father God, I ask that you would send your angels to bind up any and all demons which have rights and grounds to my children and that you do that right now.
2. I command that all demons that have rights and grounds to my children be completely separated from all their functions, now. I command that any demons that have any business to do with my wife/children/husband today that you come through me first. (In other words, if the enemy has a bone to pick, go pick on someone his own size).
3. Father God, please place a barrier of protection around each one of my children right now and Lord Jesus, I ask that you would come today, at any time necessary, to deal with any and all spirit beings which might attempt to harass my children/spouse.
4. Pray Ephesians 6 over your children.
Another Prayer for Daily Protection for Christians
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit
In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind, rebuke and bring to no effect, all division, discord, disunity, strife, anger, wrath, murder, criticism, condemnation, pride, envy, jealousy, gossip, slander, evil speaking, complaining, lying, false teaching, false gifts, false manifestations, lying signs and wonders, poverty, fear of lack, fear spirits, murmuring spirits, hindering spirits, retaliatory spirits, deceiving spirits, religious spirits, occult spirits, witchcraft spirits (including Jezebel, Delilah and Apollyon) and spirits of antichrist
I bind all curses that have been spoken against me. I bless those who curse me, and pray blessings on those who despiteful use me.
I bind all spoken judgment made against me and judgments I have made against others
I bind the power of negative words from others, and I bind and render useless all prayers not inspired by the Holy Spirit; whether psychic, soul force, witchcraft or counterfeit tongues that have been prayed against me.
I am God’s child. I resist the devil. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I put on the whole armor of God. I take authority over this day, in Jesus’ name. Let it be prosperous for me, let me walk in your love, Lord. The Holy Spirit leads and guides me today, I discern between the righteous and the wicked.
I take authority over Satan and all his demons, and those people who are influenced by them. I declare Satan is under my feet and remain there all day. I am the righteous of God in Christ Jesus.
I am God’s property. Satan you are bound from my family, my mind, my body, my home and my finances.
I confess that I am healed and whole. I flourish, I am long lived, stable, durable, incorruptible, fruitful, virtuous, full of peace, patience and love. Whatsoever I set my hand to do shall prosper, for God supplies all my needs. I have all authority over Satan, all demons, and beasts of the field. God, I pray for the ministry that you have for me. Anoint me, God, for all you have called me to do for you.
I call forth divine appointments, open doors of opportunity, God ordained encounters and ministry positions. I claim a hedge of protection around myself, spouse and children throughout this day and night.
I ask you God, in the name of Jesus to dispatch angels to surround me, my spouse and my children today, and to put them throughout my house and around our cars, souls and bodies. I ask angels to protect my house from any intrusion and to protect me and my family from any harmful demonic or other physical or mental attacks.
I ask this prayer in the name of Jesus AMEN.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

I hate thinking this hard

Madpriest posts a few thoughts on Worship.

He made me think. I am still sorting out what I want to say about it. But, I would welcome your thoughts too.



God is not affected by our worship. For our sake he encourages us to worship him.

Nothing in our liturgy is God-given. Nothing in the performance of our liturgy is God-given.

When we devise worship it should be with the full understanding that it is all for our benefit.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

LLoyd Saatjian Service Today

Rev. LLoyd Saatjian will be remembered at a memorial service today at 2PM, First United Methodist Church, Santa Barbara.

Some stories from remembering LLoyd's life


Friday, August 21, 2009

A Thousand Words - Tim Nelson

May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you are dead.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Call to Ministry

Dear Friends,

I am writing on behalf of my passion for young clergy in the UMC. The call went out for bloggers to post about their Call to ministry. Twitter has been a great way to find other #UMYC, and those with a passion for the future of the church.

To that end, I think it valuable to tell the story of my call to ministry:

I have talents to think critically and to build up the body of Christ. Ministry is the use of those talents and gifts sharing God with others by the very life I live, and seeking God more clearly individually.

God’s call to be in ministry, acting as the body of Christ to the world today, was established at my birth and carries me through today. This means that the actions of Christ, the delivery of the Sacraments, the teaching, the healing, the spiritual awareness, and understanding of the Scriptures are to be realized in me each day. Christ is the context and I am the hands, feet and body of Christ for the people.

Before I was even born I was given to God. Much as Hannah gave Samuel to God before he was born, in covenant with God, my own parents dedicated me to God’s service. I began to serve the church from an early age, as the youngest acolyte in our church in Bishop, but even before that. I grew up going to camps and learning about God through the world around me. I lived the joy of life God gave to me. But I also helped in the kitchens, cleaning tables and running errands from camp tables while just a wee 5 or 6 years old. I later taught Children’s Church and Sunday School as a Junior High and High School student. In college I served in leadership as a small group Bible Study Leader at Emory University and on the Executive Council of the University of Alabama Wesley Foundation.

I took up the call to ministry as a Junior in college and began the work of preparing for seminary. I went back to Emory and Candler School of Theology and got my M. Div. During that time I worked as a youth leader in the North Georgia Conference in a church with 300 plus youth and a membership of over 3000 people.

I felt the pull of God and family to return to California where I had grown up in Bishop and Southern California, and after seminary came back. I took a job at FUMC Santa Barbara, and was later commissioned for ministry to serve that church as the associate pastor.

In 2004 our Conference bestowed three great blessings upon me. I met my now wife in 2003 at Annual Conference. We were married May 22, 2004. I was brought through the ordination process and Ordained by Bishop Mary Ann Swenson June 20th, 2004, and was given the opportunity to come and serve as the pastor at Del Rosa.

Since that time I have enjoyed appointments at Ojai United Methodist Church, and now at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, in Santa Maria, California.

My calling to ministry has enabled me to act on my faith and the gifts I am given through service in the local church, and especially in camp ministry. I continue to push forward in both of these arenas, serving in the local church, and gaining strength in my abilities there, as well as earning a Certificate in Camp and Retreat Ministry, and Christian Education, as well as serving as a dean and counselor for District Camping. I have been called to bring the local church and camps closer together in their shared ministry to the people of God, helping realize God's glory in all of creation.

Labels: , , , , ,

Lectionary Study Group

We all have those close group of friends with whom we hang out. I have several different groups of folks like that, and one of the more regular (every two months) is my Lectionary Study Group.

About 6 years ago I was invited to join a cluster of clergy people who were doing the next two months worth of review for the Revised Common Lectionary and sermon preparations, as well as Worship ideas. We have since expanded that litany of review to include an annual overview of seasons, and upcoming planning, with a view to the thematic elements and less on the details.

I have loved this group and been loved by the group in turn. Last visit was with my wife and child, and our Bug had a host of seven "grandparents" who all took turns watching her while we went away for a date night. This time I came without both of them, and immediately heard about it.

For now, we are plugging away at the details, then we will end with the overviews of it all. In the meantime, we are enjoying the hospitality of Aldersgate Retreat Center and Buerge Chapel, with wi-fi, great coffee, service with a smile, and warm beds, and a wonderful sense of history.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.
- Bertrand Russell

A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.
- Anatole France

So here is to ignorance, and goodness -DSC


Sunday, August 16, 2009


Today we shared Psalm 111 in worship, and I took a moment for us to be thankful.

I reminded them that they are "the company of the righteous, in the congregation."

With that we shared our thanks as a congregation with a time of open sharing.

This day I especially grateful for the meeting I had with Pedro. Pedro is one of the area men whom I see standing at the bus stop many mornings a week, often with his thumb extended until the bus arrives.

Today I picked him up and took him to work at a Car Wash at the North end of town. I learned he lives with his son, was a brickpayer, and now at 85, works at the car wash several days a week. Sunday is apparently the busiest day of the week.

I am thankful for so much more, including the congregation of St. Andrew UMC, and my family. Thanks all.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adult Soccer in Santa Maria

I have been doing some scouting in Santa Maria for a league like the Inland Empire Soccer League I played in living in San Bernardino. I have called City Recreation and Parks Department and the YMCA. I have checked in with the local soccer shops. The story is that there are leagues, played on Sundays, with an Indoor Soccer League at the YMCA.

I have two problems with these leagues. The first is obvious, with Sunday playing dates, beginning at 8AM and running until 4PM, I am pretty much a no-go for at least half the season since I am leading church services. The second is that these leagues are all team sign-up based.

I am wondering if a league for Adults, not unlike AYSO, where everyone plays, teams are drawn up from the individuals signed up, and the fee includes jerseys, and referees might fly in Santa Maria. I have emailed both the YMCA director of athletics, and the City Recreation and Parks Department head to see if I might work with them in organizing such a league.

Here's to hoping. Mid-week adult soccer can work, and the diversity of players might surprise many.


Labels: ,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Because

Dear St. Andrew UMC

VBS was awesome!!! We had some outstanding help. The staff support was incredible. The church put themselves out there, and we had over 60 kids participate, as well as more than 20 young adults, youth and older children who acted as Shepherds to each of the class groups. The adults numbered 20 as lead Shepherds, and as Station Directors.

As a side note, I may be up way too early, thanks to this news from Ives Galarcep

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More On LLoyd Saatjian

I didn't have many words at the time I heard of his death. I was however interviewed by Noozhawk, found here.

But, I wanted to share a little more about where I was quoted.

LLoyd always wanted to do a sermon titled, "It's Not About the Camels". I got a chance to preach much of that sermon last year, as I did a Christmas message.

Year after year First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara does a Live Nativity. And time and again, when asked why they came, people would respond, "To see the camels."

Many folks would come to LLoyd's office, just to see the array of camels. I can recall taking a few of the youth through the office one day, just because they had heard of this amazing, and extensive collection of camels, though they had never met LLoyd. LLoyd wasn't in, but I did a quick "pass-through" with the youth as they marvelled at the hundreds of camels in the office.

As a thank you to LLoyd, I gave him a rug with a camel design. This was as he was retiring and as I was leaving First UMC to take an appointment at Del Rosa UMC, in San Bernardino.

In each of these instances it really wasn't about the camels for LLoyd. In the case of the Live Nativity, LLoyd genuinely wanted to share the Christmas message with the community, and sometimes getting them there by hook or by crook (or by camel) meant that we could share the message of Jesus Christ in yet another venue. That was his aim. Listening to LLoyd when I asked about the camels, I immediately discovered it wasn't about the story of the camel and where it came from, and what kind it was, and how it was made, but instead the story of the person who gave it to him, and what they have done, and about how their lives had intersected. It really wasn't about the camels, but instead about the relationships it fostered. Rugs have been a passion of mine for many years, and LLoyd was kind enough to offer some nice words about the rugs I had. I shared some stories of the rugs, and when the time came to say "Thank You" at his retirement, I offered him a rug I had had commissioned. I did this out of the limelight, because I wanted him to hear the story, I wanted to be able to say thank you privately and I didn't want him to have to fawn over it in front of others if it wasn't genuine interest. The rug had a camel on it, but it was made in an area near where his ancestors came from in Armenia, was a reprint of a very famous rug from the region. It was a mistake as the copyists had done the numbers backwards in Armenian, and so there was humor in it in my eyes. I had asked the guys at the rug shop to do some extra work on it, taking some of the stitching out, and replacing it with "Saatjian" written in Armenian lettering. It wasn't about the camel, as much as it was a story of his heritage. Maybe just maybe he could find a way to work in a story of the Hodja with reference to the backwards writing of the dates, and the story would be a little more complete.

Thanks LLoyd.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

I thought this was helpful and encouraging for a variety of fronts. I think it is the power of positivity in the local church I am serving. I think it is the cause of health care before us. I hope it is the cause of Christ over legalism.


One of the things I read was a powerful quote by Bobby Kennedy:

Each time [someone] stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice [they] send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lord, I apologize

With apologies to Larry the Cable Guy for the title of the blog, I offer deeper apologies to those with whom I ignored relationship to get "closer" to God.

True I need to get closer to God, but maybe I ought to work on some relationships with other people first, as part of that deep Commandment "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself"

Want to understand more: read Experimental Theology and this Blog about the bait and switch mentality of much Christianity, or more appropriately to my terminology - Churchianity


Monday, August 10, 2009

VBS Profile

VBS today through Fri 9AM-12noon ages 3-12 Come as you can. Beach Party!

VBS day 1 is done - 104 pictures, 20 adults, 20 lifeguards, 6 stations, and about 60 kids


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
- Henry Adams


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Because It Is All Too Real!

What does a Pastor do all week? The secret is out, and ministers everywhere are up in arms.

What? You thought I visited the sick, prayed with those who were hurting, read the Bible, studied the culture?


Friday, August 07, 2009

To-Do Lists

So there have been a host of things going on around the church, and the house. We have made considerable progress in both areas, but both still have some work to do.

I was making the list for the house this morning, trying to enlist the help of my brother-in-law.

If you would like to help here is what I have to offer in the way of work/compensation. Consider it a mission project to Santa Maria.

The projects I am hoping to get done this next few weeks are:
Hang/Install Flatscreen TV
Install Shelves for Stereo/TV Equipment - connect all together
Prepare/Transplant the garden
Finish hanging the security door
Place a gate in the Fence on East Wall
Touch-up paint
Door locks

The catch is that I have now overspent so much of my money that I am well in the hole for the next few years. I can offer a warm bed, free TV, phone/internet access, and food.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Passion and Pride

"I believe that it is vitally important to have our country's flag in our sanctuary. Many of us put our lives on the line for God and the country that flag represents and we are proud of it whether it is torn, tattered, or stained with our blood."

This statement was made recently by a member of St. Andrew UMC, following my discovery and announcement that the flag in the Sanctuary had come into disrepair, and that it needed to be replaced. I had the intent of rolling the flag up, disposing of it properly, and then replacing the flag when a new one became available.
The response of the congregation was wonderful in their ability to pick up this concern and provide for a new flag for the Sanctuary at St. Andrew UMC.

I was struck by this message of passion and pride from this congregant because I have the same feelings about the Scriptures. I am reminded of the many stories of the Torah scrolls in Jewish Synagogues throughout Eastern Europe during the Nazi regime, and the destruction it took upon the scrolls. And yet, the remaining pieces were so sacred as to be held with care, and love. They loved it, for all the sacrifices that had been made, the blood shed, and the pride held.

I am also reminded of a story told several years ago about a Christian enclave, again in Eastern Europe if I remember correctly, that only had a fragment of a page of Scripture from the Gospel of Luke. For nearly 50 years this was all they had, and yet every time they gathered, which was most every Sunday, they would pull this worn page from the pocket of the Elder of the church, read it and meditate on the words therein.

Some things are just that precious. May we learn to treat one another with that same level of respect and care.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Something I have been pondering on lately is a learning I had just a few days ago. It revolves around the term liturgy. We talk about having a "Liturgical Service" at St. Andrew UMC as our second service. The first is "A Service of Praise and Worship in a contemporary style". It was after I discovered these things that I heard the definition of liturgy. I had assumed it meant the words we follow in worship. And this person had dug a little deeper.

Liturgy (leitourgia) is a Greek composite word meaning originally a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen. Its elements are leitos (from leos = laos, people) meaning public, and ergo (obsolete in the present stem, used in future erxo, etc.), to do. From this we have leitourgos, "a man who performs a public duty", "a public servant", often used as equivalent to the Roman lictor; then leitourgeo, "to do such a duty", leitourgema, its performance, andleitourgia, the public duty itself.

We have then morphed it into the more common definition as found at

Liturgy \Lit"ur*gy\, n.; pl. Liturgies. [F. liturgie, LL. liturgia, Gr. ? a public service, the public service of God, public worship; (assumed) ?, ?, belonging to the people, public (fr. ?, ?, the people) + the root of ? work. See Lay, a., and Work.] An established formula for public worship, or the entire ritual for public worship in a church which uses prescribed forms; a formulary for public prayer or devotion. In the Roman Catholic Church it includes all forms and services in any language, in any part of the world, for the celebration of Mass.
So what would it mean for the worship of the church to be returned to the people, as a public service to God?

Labels: ,

Monday, August 03, 2009

Getting to Know Santa Maria, St. Andrew

In an effort to get to know the congregation, offer some reciprocal hospitality, get to know the community, and find out more about St. Andrew UMC, David Camphouse, our new pastor is setting up meetings with you.

David has hopes to get out and meet all of the congregation this year. He is going to need your help in meeting everyone. He is trying to schedule meetings with people in their homes, or about town with the desire to learn more about this congregation, and the setting we share in ministry. If you have a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, park or hang out, David would love to meet you there to sit down and talk. If you are available in your home to set up such a converssation that would be outstanding. But, the most important piece is to meet with one another during this year

Whether you are a member, someone who is considering being a member, friend, or former member, who still receives the Voice as a way of keeping in touch, know that this invitation is for you.

To set up your meeting, you may reach Alesia, in the church office (805) 937-2470, or by email saumc(dot)sm(at)gmail(dot)com; or you may contact David Camphouse directly by email: david(dot)camphouse(at)gmail(dot)com

Thank you for your responsiveness in helping our new pastor, David Camphouse get to know you and the community better.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Starting out Right

There are few things more daunting in ministry than being told that the world is One Way, only to find out, not only is it not this One Way, but that it is so markedly different that conclusions drawn about the One Way will lead to disaster in starting out ministry geared that direction.

I am grateful for folks like Dan who share their experience, and their educational background that led them to such conclusions. And then, even more so for that ways in which he seems to grasp at how he might find the place where people are.

With examples like this, I begin by trying an old approach. I do community organizing strategies, with some modifications. I do my best to get into the community to meet people. I remember being taught the term "pastorpreneur" to define the pastor who is taking an entrepreneurial approach to ministry. I decided that I needed to get out more.

Visits with the congregation, the local big wigs, the school leaders, the police, fire and emergency personnel all help gain insight. Additionally, I spend a lot of time out of the office. I figure the folks who are at the church know about the church, I need to be talking to the folks who don't know about the church. I want to help them find a connection that is real, that offers Jesus Christ, and provides a community of faith that will help them mature.

That is what gets me out. Then I have to work on getting the people in the church to full maturity. I keep telling folks that I am trying to work my way out of a job. I realized a long time ago that with ministry there is no shortage of jobs. I cannot do them all so I had better start training folks to do those jobs. As I do so I work myself out of a job. Then I am forced to look at the next area of growth, or emergence in the church, and the community, and I have to train myself, prepare and then teach that job to someone else. It helps keep me in the here and now, and looking to the future all the time.

I will acknowledge that I don't always get it right. I sometimes get it very wrong. But, for now, I am trying to find out what the needs of the community are, so that we can begin to converge the needs of the larger community, with the wants and desires of the community of faith at St. Andrew, filled by the Spiritual Gifts God has provided to achieve the tasks before us.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Eating and Methodism

Spent the day eating with Methodist Related folks.

I had a great time networking with the men's group over breakfast at St. Andrew UMC. We meet every first Saturday of the month at 8AM. A couple of exciting things ahead are that we are going to try to get to know each other a little better by asking one person to present their "story" each month; we are going to discuss current events and issues, with a sense of Christian response and action; and we are looking for projects to do with the group assembled.

Lunch was spent with the Japanese language congregation from Christ UMC in Santa Maria. They are a hoot and a half, and I love their enthusiasm and their desire to reconnect to their roots, both Christian and Japanese. With that they go to a local Japanese restaurant every month. They too gather the first Saturday of the month, at 11AM for worship, followed by a large contingent that goes to lunch together, to catch up, converse and get to know more about the life of the church, and its people. Simply awesome.

Over dinner, which was Tri-tip BBQ, we got to meet with more folks from St. Andrew UMC and the local Kiwanis club, as well as some amazing people associated with the Find-A-Cure program for FOP here in Santa Maria. The Snows were outstanding hosts, and our little one got to admire, rabbits, two Golden Retrievers, and hang out with her following of grandmas, foremost of which is Imojean.

All this food and fellowship reminds me of a good classic UMC hymn, rewritten for use by Tom Walker, during his time with the California-Pacific Conference. It is sung to the tune of Thank God I'm a Country Boy...

Thank God I'm a Methodist
Well, the Methodist Church is kind o' laid back
There isn't an opinion that Methodists lack
We're kind of like champagne with a Big Mac
Thank God I'm a Methodist

CHORUS: Well you just might say our beliefs run the gamut
We might say darn but we don't say ___________ (this is NOT sung!)
If you wonder what's a Methodist, Well, I am it!
Thank God I'm a Methodist

Well thank you John Wesley we owe it all to you
For founding our church though you didn't mean to
But what else could an Anglican evangelist do
Thank God I'm a Methodist

Well if you want to eat just come around here
Thirty-seven potlucks already this year
The thought of tuna casserole makes me want to shed a tear
Thank God I'm a Methodist

Well the Methodist church is the friendliest in town
We have a lot of fun but our treasury's is down
That's why there's an off'ring plate goin' around
Thank God I'm a Methodist

Well the Presbyterians and Lutherans are fine
We have a few differences but we don't mind
Like we use grape juice and they use wine.
Too bad I'm a Methodist

Well the bishop called the conference to meet this year,
All the preachers got excited and they went with fear,
If the bishop has his way they might not come back here!
Thank God I'm a Methodist!

Well, you just might say our church is rockin'
We're a'clapping and a' praisin' and everone is talkin'
'Bout a man named Jesus and his voice we hear a' callin'
Thank God I'm a Methodist!

Labels: ,