Monday, March 30, 2009

home again

I was away from our parish for eight days, for four consecutive two day denominational meetings. Yes, I am insane. Yes, I have a very patient congregation and an amazing staff. Yes, flying in airplanes these days is the pits. Yes, I am very happy to be home.

The first meeting was the United Methodist Study Commission on the Ministry. This is a continuation of the 2004-2008 study, with a different composition of members (more young adults). We will focus on most of the questions that concern our denomination, particular in relation to local pastors, deacons and elders. This group will have ongoing communication with stakeholder groups in the denomination, and will bring a report to the 2012 General Conference. I am hopeful about our beginning.

Then the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry met (these first two meetings are in Nashville). I chair the Ministry division, and we moved through a full agenda. Some good friends return on the board, but it is mostly filled with new persons. There are reports on United Methodist News Service about our work, and I spoke to the plenary group about a congregational perspective on the board's vision of developing a new generation of Christian leaders.

Then I flew to Austin, Texas. Two good friends met us there, and we took a day off, driving through the hill country. If I believed in reincarnation, I must have lived in Austin in a former life: the music, the food, the scenery, the people. Then, early in the week, I took part in a conversation with Bishop Robert Schnase about the Five Practices (see the link to the right). It was a very engaged small group, was directly relevant to what Providence UMC is doing, and is a sign of hope in our denomination.

And then, the fourth meeting: the inaugural gathering of the Faith and Order Committee of our denomination. The Ministry Study and Faith and Order actually coincide nicely, and it is the kind of work that I find meaningful: the theology, doctrine and discipline of our church. It was a quick meeting, a day and a half (and was in D.C.). Then an afternoon flight home. Nice to be back in North Carolina.

So, I have been back at it for the last three days: appointments, some related to weddings, on Saturday. Two sermons and a Bible Study on Sunday, And lots of administrative work today, with a visit to a member in a psychiatric setting in the afternoon. And now, my mind turns to Palm/Passion Sunday and the last word of Jesus from the cross: "It is finished."


Blogger Talbot Davis said...

When I went to college in 1980, my parents relocated from Dallas to Austin where my mother still lives.

It is a gorgeous place, even though it has never felt like "home" to me.

Where did your group gather? My first experience with Methodism was at a place called Northwest Hills United Methodist Church near my parents' home. When I'd come see them for Christmas, I'd go to Christmas Eve service at that church. For the early 80s, it was a pretty cutting edge place!

Talbot Davis

3:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home