E-pistles

"Incompatible"

As we celebrated Memorial Day weekend and (hopefully) stopped our festivities long enough to honor those who have died for our country, I found myself reflecting upon the phrase "incompatible with Christian teaching." Our UMC Social Principles uses that phrase in reference to two ...

"General Conference Was Not Just About Sex"

Despite what you may have heard or read or seen in the media, the 2016 General Conference was not all about sex, or human sexuality, or homosexuality. Those kinds of topics attract lots of media attention, some demonstrations, and an explosion of social media – but the recently-completed ...

"United Methodists Agree on Homosexuality"

As the General Conference begins to debate and adopt legislation related to homosexuality, some of which may be quite divisive, it may help to remember that we United Methodists agree on many aspects of this issue: We advocate for equal civil rights for homosexual persons. We were the ...

"Generous Donors and Gift Tributes"

Our "Building Discipleship Centers" Campaign continues to move forward, and the results are a witness to the generosity of United Methodists in Indiana. To date we have received $5,770,688 in cash (these funds are being housed at the Foundation), with an additional $2,040,996 in pledges. ...

"Changing Coaches, Changing Pastors, Changing Presidents"

I don't know Frank Vogel, the now former coach of the Indiana Pacers, nor do I know as much about basketball as Larry Bird who has announced that Frank will no longer be the coach of the Pacers. But I see a common fallacy in the decision to seek a new coach for the Pacers, the same fallacy...

"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 ...

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