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church leadership ministry renewing the church

Growing from Our Roots

Churches can learn from big bluestem. This picture is of this native plant putting out new spring growth. Once established, this grass can be burned, mowed, or otherwise cut back and grow again. It draws strength from its roots, which have made their way deep into the soil. The church has roots in the good […]

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changing lives faith life ministry

The Space Between

The space between these buildings fills with morning light. From this view, you have no idea what is on the other side of either wall—a building on one side and one on another. There’s not much space to explore, but there is light. This season of the global pandemic feels a bit like this space. […]

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leadership life ministry

Two Tracks

Two tracks. Both are going in the same direction. One filled with cargo and a train on the move. The other empty and waiting. Waiting for what? Another train to come along? Could you send two trains along these tracks at the same time? Do they converge somewhere ahead? Do they split and go in […]

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communications developing leaders fun life ministry

The Power of “Good Job”

One of the jewels of the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation system is the Lake Shawnee Trail. Nearly every time I go for a run, I use it in some way. At times, a short loop around Tinman Circle and others around the entire lake with an extension down Berryton Road to reach my target […]

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annual conference church family life ministry

A Season of Transition

It is a season of transition. I have had the opportunity to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church since July 1, 2018. On Sunday, I announced during worship that I have received a new appointment from Bishop Ruben Saenz to serve as the pastor at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka […]

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life ministry worship

Writing a Prayer of Confession

It is not often that I confess in writing. Most often, I confess verbally. There is something different about putting your sins down on paper. Seeing the words on the page makes them more tangible and seem more ugly. The sheet of paper is filled up with things of which I am not proud in […]

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church ministry worship

Sunday’s Palms are Wednesday’s Ashes

Each year, I set aside some of the palm branches which we use on Palm Sunday to celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalsem. Over the months they lose some of their color and they completely dry. Then some days before the beginning of the season of Lent, I burn them. While the ashes are still warm, […]

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church leadership ministry renewing the church united methodist church

Local Church Conversation about #gc2019

Yesterday afternoon, we had an all-church conversation at Berryton United Methodist Church to process the 2019 special session of the General Conference. I put it on the calendar about a month ago. While it was, of course, impossible to predict how things would go, I did figure that we would need some time and space […]

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ministry renewing the church united methodist church

What am I Driving? Further Reflections on #gc2019

This morning, I met with a group of clergy colleagues in what is a regularly scheduled gathering. Today we shared, reflected, grieved, considered the future and talked about what and how to best share with our local congregations the events of General Conference. I shared an image of the disorientation that I am feeling in […]

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annual conference experiment leadership ministry

Strategizing for the District

Since being appointed to serve within the Topeka District of the Great Plains Annual Conference, I have had the opportunity to serve as the lead for the Topeka District Strategy Team. I have been learning as I go, seeking to get to know congregations and leaders of the area. Here are some of my current […]

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annual conference leadership ministry

Making the Network Work

Over the last several years, the Great Plains Annual Conference has introduced Networks into our life in ministry together. These are groups of congregations that share a physically contiguous mission field – all the churches in an area. The church which I serve, Berryton United Methodist Church, is connected in a network with Big Springs […]

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church ministry renewing the church

Preacher FAQ: Why do you park so far away?

Last Sunday, a member of the congregation asked me why I park so far away from the church building. So, in this edition of frequently asked questions for the preacher, here goes: I park far away from the entrance for two reasons – the mission field and my health. The mission field is the community to […]