Category Archives: Other

A Little Bit of Eden

In the church’s east parking lot, close to the office entrance, there is a small island that contains two, rather large, trees. For years there was no grass, not even weeds, around those trees, just dirt, and it seemed as if nothing would ever grow there. Then, over time, Diedre Dunham brought in a couple of different kinds of groundcover clippings from home and filled in all the bare spots. I just walked in this morning and noticed how beautiful, how Edenesque, that little bit of ground was. Keep your eyes open. The beauty of God’s good creation is everywhere.

Why do we call this Friday “Good?”

Over at slate.com Forrest Wickman cites three explanations for why we refer to Good Friday as “Good.” Here’s his conclusion:

The third and final theory, the one supported by both the Oxford English Dictionary [OED] and every language expert I contacted, is that the name comes from an antiquated meaning of good. “The answer seems pretty clearly to be that it’s from good ‘holy,’ ” responded Jesse Sheidlower, the president of the American Dialect Society, when I put this question to him. Liberman agreed, noting that if you consider the other names for Good Friday—“Sacred Friday” in the Romance languages (Viernes Santo, e.g.), “Passion Friday” in Russian—“the OED’s explanation makes excellent sense.” The OED also notes that there was once Good Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter, which these days is more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.

That explanation also encourages me in my use of “Holy Thursday” instead of “Maundy Thursday.”

Link to the original article: http://slate.me/1q6rBkA

Christmas to Ourselves

orange crossIt’s December 29 and most of the secular and commercial signs of Christmas are long gone, but for those of us who are Christian it is only the fifth day of Christmas, we have seven more to go. The day after that, (January 6) is Epiphany when we celebrate the fact that Jesus, a Jewish Messiah, came for Gentiles as well as Jews (epitomized by the visit of the Gentile magi). There is a great deal of celebrating left to do and the culture at large is leaving us alone to do it—for which I’m thankful, it gives us the opportunity to focus on what really matters. I encourage you to join me in using the remaining holidays (literally, the holy days of Christmas and Epiphany) to celebrate and rejoice in God’s great gift of the Word made flesh.

My Questions

This past Sunday I asked three questions of my own at the 8:15 service and promised that I would share them on this blog. Here they are (slightly refined):

  1. What does membership mean? What should we expect of members?
  2. Our vision statement says that we are a church of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. Does this accurately reflect our focus and goals?
  3. As we move forward, how can we insure that we continue to be a church of both doing and being?

Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

20 Years of Ministry

Jenny has pointed out to me that I began officially serving as a pastor at the Piedmont and Climax United Methodist Churches on July 1, 1994. This means that I’ve completed 20 years of pastoral service in the United Methodist Church. It is a wonderful thing to be at Abilene First and I’m looking forward to spending year 21 with all of you.