“I thought we were going to do something with this thing.” This is my response to the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. I am glad I did not go (normally I work with the United Methodist Rural Advocacy group trying to inform delegates about rural, small church, and local pastor issues).  Unfortunately, General Conference did not move any further towards honoring (ordaining) the non-seminary trained clergy that work tirelessly in many rural settings.

In the familiar story of the conversion of Saint Paul (Acts 9:1-6), GOD SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. He speaks to Saul, and then to Ananias. In each case what He says is clear, unambiguous, and reverses the strongly held opinions of the hearer. Most Sundays, this is not the case. I had to go way back to my youth to remember a time when God spoke in capital letters to me:


It was the winter of 1976 and I was attending the University of Maine and active in the ecumenical campus ministry. At the weekly fellowship meeting, I found out that the board had approved allowing the gay student association to use the building for its gatherings. I was incensed. I went to my car in the parking lot and prayed for guidance. Looking up from the dashboard, I saw that the car ahead of mine had a personalized license plate. It said: TREAD. I took this to mean that I should boldly tread into the next board meeting and tell them the word of God.


April 10, 2016
Acts 9:1-6
Easter 3
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