On Getting With the Program

Since I work for the Presbyterians, I spent some time this summer watching the live feed from the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh.  On the penultimate day of the Assembly there was discussion on allowing ministers to be able to marry same-sex couples.  It was not a surprise to see conservatives quoting scripture.  In fact, one young delegate opened her Bible on the Assembly floor and started reading a verse.  As bothersome as that was, what really bothered me was my own side.  I wasn’t bothered that they were advocating for marriage equality, but I was bothered by how they … Continue reading On Getting With the Program

About That Interview…

Some of you might have noticed that there is an article in the most recent Christian Century with a Disciples pastor in Minneapolis by the name of Dennis Sanders.  I haven’t said much about it, but I wanted to provide some background to the article. Steve Thorngate, the editor sent me an email over the summer asking if I would take part in the magazine’s series on ministry in the 21st century.  So began a number of emails back and forth, with Steve asking some really good questions and I trying to answer them as best as I could. I … Continue reading About That Interview…

I Miss the Old Mel White

I recently read an interview with Rev. Mel White.  Most of you know him as someone who grew up as an evangelical, was a ghostwriter for many big evangelical stars and then came out as gay.  I remember hearing about him in the mid-to-late 90s and back then he was kind of the SpongeBob Squarepants of the gay community.   I mean that SpongeBob thing as a compliment, because he just seemed so darned positive, when it seems like most gay men were known for snark and bitterness.  He was kind of a breath of fresh air to me and I … Continue reading I Miss the Old Mel White

We Can’t Be Friends

It was about 20 years ago, that I attended a large Baptist church in Washington, DC.   The church was an odd mix, or at least it would be odd today.  Evangelicals and liberals were somehow able to worship together, along side a healthy dose of members from Latin America and Asia. The church decided at some point to hire a pastor to the join the good-sized multi-pastor staff.  The person chosen was a woman with great pastoral care skills.  At the time, there was a bit of controversy because she was pro-gay and some of the evangelicals in the church … Continue reading We Can’t Be Friends

Repost: Gay, Emergent and Missional

From 2007…. In starting to make my way around the Emergent and Missional circles, I’ve started to notice two things especially about the Emergent movement: It tends to be really, really white. There is not a lot of talk on being gay. I will get back to topic number one another time, but I wanted to focus on topic number two. In doing some reading of books and blogs the whole topic of homosexuality seems marginal at best. I wonder why that is. Maybe I’m wrong on this. Any response from the peanut gallery? Of course I have a reason … Continue reading Repost: Gay, Emergent and Missional

Can We Just Be Church?

The writer of this blog post is writing from a Methodist perspective as well as from a local viewpoint, but I think there are a lot of people who feel this way: Generally speaking, there is a perception in Springfield that there are only two options in choosing churches. The first I will call “evangelical.” Congregations of this option are perceived as large churches with relatively newer and fancier facilities. They are perceived as younger, comprised of families with school age children. The perception is that they are conservative, and focus exclusively on one’s personal relationship with Jesus and getting … Continue reading Can We Just Be Church?