VBS Celebration Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Sunday, July 29, 2018), we’ll celebrate the successful completion of Vacation Bible School (VBS) by sharing a video montage of photos. If you want a copy of the video, just bring a thumb drive, and I’ll be happy to make a copy for you. For the sake of brevity during the worship service, I had to leave a lot of photos out, but if you want to see the extended cut with more photographs that’s available also.

They Haven’t Been Taught the Gospel

It’s a sin to deprive people of healthcare. It’s a travesty to steal from poor people to line rich pockets. It’s abominable to lock migrants in cages, to rip their babies from their arms. When Christians can’t see this, it’s because they haven’t been taught the gospel. — Union Seminary

P.S. If this offends you, I’d be more than happy to hear you out, but I will be pointing out the deadline has come and gone and most of those migrant kids still haven’t been reunited with their parents.

Union Seminary. Twitter post, July 24, 2018 10:04 a.m., https://twitter.com/UnionSeminary/status/1021773074096631810.

Theatre Kids, Boy Scouts, and VBS, Oh My!

We had a great day at Abilene First UMC yesterday. The building was full of kids all day. We started off with Great Plains Theatre Camp in the morning and afternoon and Boy Scouts and Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the evening. I can’t speak for Great Plains Theatre or the Boy Scouts, but VBS is off to a great start! Thanks to everyone who has and is pitching in.

P.S. Just in case it wasn’t obvious, the title of this post is a reference to “Lions and tigers, and bears, oh my!” in the Wizard of Oz.

VBS Starts Today at 6:00

Join us this week for an exciting Vacation Bible School adventure!  VBS will be held Monday, July 23, 2018, through Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. Supper will be served. There will be a cookout and pool party on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

On Resisting Evil, Oppression, and Enemies

“Evil can be opposed without being mirrored . . . oppressors can be resisted without being emulated . . . enemies can be neutralized without being destroyed.”
— Walter Wink [1]

This is very applicable to the current state of affairs we find ourselves in. I have an easy time agreeing with it, but a hard time living it out.

[1] Walter Wink, as quoted by Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015), 268.

When the World Falls Apart

God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, …
— Psalm 46:1-2a (CEB)

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with Psalm 46 in and I wanted to share the translation of the above passage from the Common English Bible (CEB) with you. I think it might help some of you to hear it that way. The KJV translates it “the earth be removed,” and the NRSV says “though the earth should change,” but the CEB translation of “when the world falls apart” speaks most forcefully to my deepest fears. I am trying to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and not be afraid.

What the Cross Makes Plain

Like me and many/most Christians, Rachel Held Evans has struggled with the violence of the Old Testament. She puts an old answer to this problem very succinctly:

Finally, the last thing I know is this: If the God of the Bible is true, and if God became flesh and blood in the person of Jesus Christ, and if Jesus Christ is—as theologian Greg Boyd put it—“the revelation that culminates and supersedes all others,” then God would rather die by violence than commit it. The cross makes this plain. [1]

[1] Rachel Held Evans, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (Nashville, Tennesee: Thomas Nelson, 2018), 76-77.

Jenny’s Off to Camp

Jenny’s leaving this morning to serve as camp minister at Camp Horizon. (Liz Collins, Joy Clemence, and Beth Holmes are going as campers.) I’m staying here to hold down the fort. Feel free to call me if you have a question. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll get ahold of Jenny.

Organically Changing the World

Truly transformed people organically change the world, while fundamentally unchanged people can only conform to the system and wholeheartedly cheer it on. — Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

It’s important to note that this quote comes in the middle of an essay in which Rohr highlights the need to expand the scope of our vision to address “corporate, collective sin and fully institutionalized evil.”

Richard Rohr, “Questioning Our Loyalties,” Center for Action and Contemplation, June 29, 2018, accessed July 11, 2018, http://bit.ly/2L8i5Ix.