Sermon: Beginning the Journey

ash

Sermon Text: Psalm 51:1-17 Sermon Manuscript It doesn't come as a surprise to me that those gathered here this evening are far fewer in number than those who worshiped in this sacred space on Sunday morning.  Ash Wednesday has a way of thinning the crowd – especially the Protestant crowd.  It is a day some have called “the most uncomfortable day of the year.” Ash Wednesday is an unusual sort of service for those of us who are not accustomed to the high church world of smells and bells.  Read More …

What’s Killing Us?

death-rates-1900-and-2010

This past weekend I encountered a blog post that shared the leading causes of death in 1900 and in 2010 according to a recent piece in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 1900, five causes of death claimed at least 100 people per every 100,000: pneumonia or influenza: 202.2 tuberculosis: 194.4 gastrointestinal infections: 142.7 heart disease: 137.4 cerebrovascular disease: 106.9 By 2010 only two causes of death claimed at least 100 people per every 100,000: heart Read More …

Beyond Survival: A Way Forward for Denominations

Eric Van Meter

Eric Van Meter's recent commentary, "Can Our Denomination Overcome its Fear of Failure?," considers the decades old struggle facing mainline denominations: reversing the trend of declining membership.  Van Meter writes, "We United Methodists have launched one initiative after another in the past four decades, only to watch our churches decline in every measurable category, except average age." Well aware of the many initiatives, past and present, undertaken by his denomination and the Read More …