Author Archives: John Collins

Inauguration Day

It’s January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day. Some are rejoicing, some are despondent. If you are rejoicing, I urge you to remember how you felt four years ago and be gentle with those who are despondent.

Voices: I Have Decided to Stick With Love

A quote for Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens’ Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we aren’t moving wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who loves has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.” — Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. [1]

[1] Martin Luther Jr. King, “Where Do We Go From Here?,” in The Radical King (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2016), 175-176.

You can read the speech online, but I would warn you that this is not the “safe” King you learned about in school. Link:

Possible Book Study

Ever since the events of this summer again brought race relations back to the forefront of public discussion, I’ve been looking for a book we could study together. I think I’ve found one in Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho. From the book flap:

[The book] “is an essential guide to the conversations we should all be having to increase our understanding and join the anti-racist fight. … Filled with honest reflections and actionable conclusions, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and eradicate racism. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It’s time to listen, learn, and speak.”

Please let me know if you’re interested in joining me in this study. You can send an email to or text or call 620-252-9622.

Eugene Rogers has Died

Eugene Rogers has passed away. Please note that it is Keith Eugene Rogers, the man most of us knew as Eugene, who has passed away. His father Keith H. Rogers, whom most of us know as Keith, was the one who called to tell me about it. There will not be a church service, but Stan Norman will lead a graveside service on Friday, January 15, 2021, at the Abilene Cemetery.

Bishop’s Statement on Events at the Capital

Bishop Saenz has written a letter addressing the shocking events that took place in the national capital last Wednesday (January 6, 2020). You can read it here. One of the things he is asking is for United Methodists in Kansas and Nebraska to pray together from this coming Sunday until Easter Sunday. Here’s the prayer from The Book of Worship that he’s asking us to use:

God of all the ages, in your sight nations rise and fall and pass-through times of peril. Now when our land is troubled, be near to judge and save. May leaders be led by your wisdom; may they search your will and see it clearly. If we have turned from your way, reverse our ways and help us to repent. Give us your light and your truth, let them guide us; through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of this world, and our Savior. Amen. [1]

After what happened last week, I plan to start praying today.

[1] “A Prayer in a Time of National Crisis,” The United Methodist Book of Worship (Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1992), 517.

Pray and Stay Safe

Pastor Mark Demas, who was serving Coffeyville First United Methodist Church, has contracted Covid-19 and died. I’m praying for his family, his friends, and his congregation, many of whom I know. Stay safe folks. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands.

Protect Your Sanity

Good advice from Emmanuel Acho:

Log off if you need to, but join us for Communion on Zoom at 6 p.m. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I’m trusting that the Holy Spirit will show up.