May 2010

Pentecost: God With Us

Charles and John Wesley composed 32 hymns just to celebrate Pentecost, and this is one of my favorites.

Hymn 1 - Whitsunday Hymns
Charles Wesley

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News from the Blog-o-sphere: Sugary drinks and hypertension

Today’s US News and World Report’s Health Buzz reports on an article in the journal Circulation reporting that reducing your intake of sugary drinks ) by just one 12-ounce serving a day can lower your blood pressure.

Today’s US News and World Report’s Health Buzz reports on an article in the journal Circulation reporting that reducing your intake of sugary drinks (especially canned soda) by just one 12-ounce serving a day (Americans average 28 daily ounces) can lower your blood pressure.

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The Problem of Living in Isolation

Humans are created to exist in community, not in solitude...


Have you ever wished you could get away from it all?

Perhaps it has been one of those noisy, difficult days when everything has consumed more energy than it ought, when people have been uncooperative and dilemmas resistant to resolution.  Where would your getaway place be? Some would name the beach or the mountains, others an art gallery or quiet restaurant. Yours?

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Pastor Transitions: A Congregant's Perspective

A shift in pastor can be a blessing or a source of consternation to both longtime Methodists and newcomers to Methodism...

This post is one of two on itinerancy transitions - the other is from the pastor's point of view.

A shift in pastor can be a blessing or a source of consternation to both longtime Methodists and newcomers to Methodism.  As someone who was raised as a Lutheran, it was disconcerting for me to come face-to-face with the United Methodist Church’s practice of itinerancy. 

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Agency: No One Told Us It Was Impossible, So We Went Ahead and Did It

In the Leading Causes of Life framework, agency means power as well as freedom -- agency is faith in action...

To me, at first hearing, the word “agency” has a connotation of freedom, of having multiple options.  I suppose the sports fan in me goes to the phrase “free agency,” in which a pro athlete gets to sell his services to the team with the highest bid.

But in the Leading Causes of Life framework, agency means power as well as freedom.  Agency is faith in action. 

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From the 2008 CHI Survey: How Pastors Support Their Spiritual Lives

Is there anything else you do to support your spiritual life in addition to prayer and reading religious literature (apart from your pastoral duties)?

Dr. Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, the research director for the Clergy Health Initiative, recently shared some data from our 2008 survey of North Carolina United Methodist pastors on how clergy bolster their own spiritual lives. The survey question asked:

Is there anything else you do to support your spiritual life in addition to prayer and reading religious literature (apart from your pastoral duties)? This can be something that others would immediately recognize as spiritual, or something that only you know is spiritual for you.

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Loving Touch as an Act of Re-Creation

Speaking to the Soul, the Episcopal Cafe blog, had a wonderful post yesterday by Maria Bolding, of the Order of St. Benedict.

Speaking to the Soul, the Episcopal Cafe blog, had a wonderful post yesterday by Maria Bolding, of the Order of St. Benedict. In it she recalls the wonderful experience of her childhood nightly bath, and the power of touch to remind us that God creates and re-creates us anew each day. When was the last time you slowed down and took delight in all the gifts of the daily bath or shower?

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Clergy as Concierge: Is "At Your Service" The Best Response?

It takes both the pastor and the congregation to create the unrealistic expectations of 24/7 availability that leave clergy stressed and congregants co-dependent.

Faith & Leadership had an article last week by the Rev. Nelson Granade on the pastor as congregational concierge. It's a wonderful reflection, notable in its insight that it takes both the pastor and the congregation to create the sometimes unrealistic expectations of 24/7 availability that leave clergy stressed, exhausted, and resentful, and their congregants co-dependent.