Welcome

Welcome to the scribblings of one Methodist pastor.  Here you will find devotions, sermon clippings, pastoral letters, and other assorted thoughts and reflections.  The most significant categories can be accessed through the menu at the top.  These include:

  • Beyond Sunday: These are follow up materials related to sermons I preach.  If you would like to hear the audio for the sermon, it is generally posted by Tuesday on my church’s website.
  • Open Source Liturgy: Prayers, readings, and sermons series crafted by myself, my team, or posted with permission.  You are free to use and adapt these with attribution.  Pictures or stories of how they worked for you are always appreciated.
  • Faith and Art:  For more than two thousand years artists across the world have produced moving works based on Biblical texts and the stories of the Christian faith.  I use many of these in preaching but often can’t delve fully into them so the extra reflections end up here.
  • Leading: Reflections on leadership, change, and being a pastor.

Enjoy!

This is Us: We Are Compassionate [Beyond Sunday]

Photo from Washington Post column Inspired by Life. click to read story.

Part of DPUMC’s unique make up is that we put love into action. We believe that when the love of God is deeply rooted in our hearts, it pours out in our actions. We help others, not for glory or duty, but because it is our nature as disciples and we cannot be otherwise.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Our scripture this week is part of a larger speech. It is the last of the discourses that structure the gospel of Matthew. This week take a look at the rest of the teaching:

Matthew 24: 3-35, Matthew 24: 36-51, Matthew 25: 1-13, Matthew 25:14-30

Reflect:

  • Dorothy Day said, “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Who is least for you? What actions could express compassion toward them?

Do:

  • Put it into practice: Take a sheet of paper and list our core values: Welcome, Family, Faithfulness, & Compassion. For each, write out ways you do or could put that value into action. Commit to making those values explicit in your life over the next week.

Share:

  • Share an invitation to church. Invite someone to come with you next week and experience our compassion.

 

Thinking Through Change

All change has potential pitfalls; whether you are casting a new vision for an organization or switching the brand of coffee you brew for guests. This worksheet helps me think through the steps needed to communicated and implement a potential change.

The front side is questions to ask yourself (or your team) to help clarify the reason changes is needed and the path you’ll take to get there. The back can be used to record input from stakeholders and partners.

https://www.scribd.com/document/423697150/Change-Alignment-Worksheet

This is Us: We Are Faithful [Beyond Sunday]

God crafts congregations with unique hearts and gifts; part of DPUMC’s heart is faithfulness. We believe in growing in knowledge pushes you to grow in deeds. We show up for God and for one another and we put our values of Welcome, Family, and Compassion into action wherever we go.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Parable of the Two Sons: Matthew 21:28-32

God at work in the world: Psalm 68

Contamination by the world: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Reflect:

  • Ask yourself daily: What specific action did I do today that reflected my faith to others?

Do:

  • Commit to Show Up: Fall is a great time to get involved in something new. Commit to spend this semester in a new space: a Bible study, with a small group of people, a service ministry, or doing regular devotions.

Share:

  • Share an invitation to church. Invite someone to come with you next week and experience our faithfulness.

 

This is Us: We Are Family [Beyond Sunday]

We are all united in the mission of making disciples, but just like people, God crafts congregations with unique hearts and gifts. DPUMC is a family. We care enough to support one another; we trust enough to hold together through disagreements; we love enough to fight for what’s most important.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

John 14:15-29

1 Corinthians 12:13-30

Reflect:

  • What did the family I grew up in teach me about relationships?

Do:

  • Get to know someone: Change your pew next Sunday, or your service, or come early. Make an opportunity to talk to people in the church you’ve never really met. Learn why they are a part of this family.

Share:

  • Share an invitation to church. Invite someone to come with you next week and experience our family.

 

This is Us: We Welcome All [Beyond Sunday]

Core values are the things that define one church from another. We are all united in the mission of making disciples, but just like people, God crafts congregations with unique hearts and gifts. DPUMC is a people of welcome. We want all people to come and feel at home here. Our efforts might not always be perfect, but we try to live into our call: Because Christ welcomes us, we welcome all to a community of love.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Hebrews 13:2

Genesis 17&19

Reflect:

  • When have I needed someone to welcome and embrace me?

Do:

  • Welcome Someone New: Look around in the places you frequent this week: church, work, your favorite hangout. Find someone who needs a welcome and engage them. Learn their story and share some of yours.

Share:

  • Share an invitation to church. Invite someone to come with you next week and experience our welcome.

 

Hero Central: Heros have Hope [Beyond Sunday]

Heros know the power of hope. Our great hope is not just that God is present in our suffering, but that the kingdom God is building is a place where no one will suffer again.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Revelation 21

John 14

Reflect:

  • How does my life offer a witness of hope to others?

Do:

  • Be a light of hope: Everyday this week, find a place to tell someone about your hope in Christ.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have Wisdom[Beyond Sunday]

Heros do not live by the conventions of the world, but see life with the eyes of God and their actions are governed by God’s wisdom.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Isaiah 11:1-9

Reflect:

  • What voices do I let direct my actions? (ie family, common sense, political positions, friends, ideologies) How do they align with my faith?

Do:

  • Step out of line: This week, everytime you find yourself reacting to a piece of gossip or a news story, pause and reflect on what the upside down logic of God’s kingdom challenge yourself to respond with wisdom.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have Courage[Beyond Sunday]

Heros have the courage to do what’s right. They are not controlled by others opinions, but stand up for themselves and those who need them.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Jesus Welcomes the children Matthew 19:13-15

Peter defends the gentile church Acts 11:1-18

Reflect:

  • Where do I let fear of other’s disapproval govern my actions?

Do:

  • Make a new friend: As you go through your week, look for an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Be brave like Abigail and learn the story of someone who’s different than you.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have heart [Beyond Sunday]

Some heros are born and some are made. But what defines a hero is not necessarily their physical strenth of special skills, its how they live. Heros have a heart for others and are willing to give of themselves.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Check out another story of David’s heart. Look at 1 Samuel 17 and 2 Samuel 6.

Reflect:

  • Where does your heart most often focus?

Do:

  • Be Someone’s Hero: Check on an elderly or sick friend. Ask if there is anything you can do for them like pick up groceries, change a light bulb or work in the garden. If you have teens or kids, serve together as a family.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Losers: The Women [Beyond Sunday]

Who gets to decide what defines victory? When we don’t live up to the world’s expectations, are we failures or are we just finding a different path to glory? The women of Jesus era are often in the background of the gospel story, but without their faith and support Christianity would not exist as we know it.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Track the journey of the female disciples through the Gospel of Luke. Specifically look at Luke 8, Luke 23: 26-56, Luke 24: 1-12

Reflect:

  • What about your faith calls you to defy cultural expectations? How often are you tempted to conform rather than transform?

Do:

  • Try to Define Yourself: Make a list of who you think you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and dislikes, your talents and struggles? Ask a love one to look it over and give you some feedback on how well you see yourself.

Share:

  • Share a lesson you learned from failure to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).