Thursday, February 01, 2007

when you are born in texas, you don't have to be born again

I had a good weekend a few days ago with the people of First UMC, Arlington, Texas, where my good friend David Mosser is senior pastor. David and I share the common vocation of serving in churches and writing/editing; he has for years edited the Abingdon Preaching Annual. We met at the General Conference in Pittsburgh in 2004, which remains one of the Circles of Hell in Dante's Inferno in my own spiritual pilgrimage, and we had a good meal somewhere in the business district of downtown Pttsburgh, and have kept up with each other since. Anyway, it was fun to be with his people, as we shared a retreat with the church council on spiritual gifts and spiritual practices, and then on Sunday morning as I preached in three of their five morning services. They are a 5100 member church, which is a medium sized church in the supersized Texas church environment...actually, I am kidding, FUMC Arlington would be the largest church in most annual conferences or dioceses or presbyteries in the United States, not to mention Western Europe. Anyway, it was fun to interract with the people and also to appreciate the church that I serve and how the two congregations are alike and how they are different. David is a truly gifted spiritual leader and at the same time something of a maniac, an excellent communicator who is also a fine administrator although he tries to hide this, in order to preserve his image. I always like being in Texas, even as I know that if I lived there I would eat myself to death. Anyway, God's blessings to David and the good people of FUMC Arlington.


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