E-pistles

"If General Conference Were To Ask My Advice"

I leave this Wednesday for Portland, Oregon, to attend the meeting of the Council of Bishops ahead of General Conference, and then I will stay through General Conference and not return home until May 21st. It is a long time to be gone, and it is also an experience, as a bishop, of being "...

"Remembering Our Call"

Sunday, May 22nd, is "Call Sunday" – a Sunday for all of us (lay and clergy alike) to remember our call from God to become disciples, leaders, and ministers of the Gospel. In our Protestant tradition, we believe in the "priesthood of all believers" and that by our baptism we are all called...

“An Interesting Number”

52,211 is an interesting number that should lead to a lot of rejoicing. That number is the number of “professions of faith” we have had in the Indiana Area during my tenure as bishop. A “profession of faith” is a new member who joins by making a first-time profession of Jesus Christ as ...

"Who Are We?"

Language is important. The way we describe reality is important. It is important to be clear what we mean by "we" and what we mean by "them." I remember as a kid whenever any of us would say, "I wish they could fix that" (or do some other thing); oftentimes my parents would reply by ...

“Still Risen, Still Easter”

I saw someone posted on Facebook a church sign which said, “Come back this Sunday, He is still risen.” Aside from the obvious invitation to come to worship more than just on Easter Sunday, that sign reminds us that Easter is a season and not just one day. Liturgically the season of Easter ...

“The Cross Before the Crown”

During this Holy Week we need to keep things in the right order and the right perspective. This week can get lost in the midst of spring vacations and Final Four tournaments, but for Christians this is the most important week of the year. And yet, even for Christians, it is easy to get ...

“Grateful for Our Donors”

Last week I shared the good news that we are moving into the “Public Phase” of our Building Discipleship Centers Campaign for the new Discipleship Center at Epworth Forest, along with additional “victory goals” for the Indicoso lake project, the Buck Lodge project and a Scholarship Fund ...

“Going Public with Good News”

It is time to go “public” with some really good news. Some of you have already heard this news which was shared at the “Our Life Together” Clergy Retreat two weeks ago, and it was also shared with the youth at the Bishop’s Youth Rally last Saturday. Now it is time to share this good news ...

"Survey Says"

Remember the TV show "Family Feud" where contestants tried to guess the answers given by a survey of persons? They would guess an answer, and then the moderator would say "Survey says" and it would be revealed whether or not their answer was a popular one. In a similar effort, our ...

"Value-Added"

One of the popular concepts in business and economics today is "valued-added." Sales and services are promoted by saying, "Our product/service adds to your value." I have been thinking about that in terms of our United Methodist Church. Compared to being a part of other congregations or ...

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