Tuesday, July 24, 2007

summer slackness

Please excuse my summer slackness regarding this blog. This is due in part to some vacation, in part to a couple of major developments in our church, in part to a couple of completed writing assignments, and in part to some continuing education. Here are a few of the high spots of my summer.

1. I saw the Atlanta Braves play on Memorial Day weekend with our older daughter, Liz. The Phillies pounded the Braves that day, 15-6, but it was fun. This was on the way home from visiting my mom in Georgia.

2. Annual Conference was a nice time to see friends, including many who came to our place for lunch. I was elected to the next General Conference (I am grateful) and will serve on the Global Ministries legislative committee.

3. Pam and I traveled to Montebello, near Montreal, to attend the National Conference of the Center of Theological Inquiry. Among the presenters were Stanley Hauerwas and Robert Jenson. It was also a reunion among a number of pastor friends from Canada, Maine, California and other places. We came back through Vermont, touring the Ben and Jerry's factory.

4. I have been preaching a series of sermons on Faith and Culture: the first on Faith and Politics, the second Faith and Technology, and a third one, coming next week, on Faith and Globalization. These sermons can be accessed on the Providence UMC website (see the link on the right panel of this blog).

5. I had a very good experience taping two sermons for Day One/Protestant Hour with Peter Wallace in Atlanta, who is a wonderful human being. These will be broadcast in late September and early October.

6. While I was there I attended another Braves game with our younger daughter, Abby. The Braves "hammered" the Pirates, 9-1. It was a thrill.

7. I have been at Lake Junaluska for a couple of weeks, and have had wonderful conversations, in passing, with some amazing leaders in our church---Richard Wilke, Hal Brady, Joe Hale, and a couple of folks who might prefer to remain anonymous.

8. We have been engaged in a pretty major renovation project at our mountain cabin, that has included sheetrock, framing, laying tile, and rearranging an entrance to a bathroom. Thank you, Bill. We owe you.

9. I read Doug Marlette's recent novel, Magic Time. I have mourned his passing, and wrote about him in our most recent church newsletter, The Voice. If you don't know who Doug Marlette is, shame on you, but also bless your heart.

10. The vacation ends very soon. Some wonderful things are coming together in our church, even as several beloved members are in the midst of health crisis.

11. I have a couple of pieces in the current Christian Century on the lectionary gospels for the first two Sundays in August. You can access the magazine via the link to the right.

12. Jack has been in Haiti this summer, Liz was been in Toyko, Abby has been in and out of youth mission trips and retreats, I have been here, there and everywhere. The change of scenery has been needed, but it will also be nice to get back to the routine.


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