UMR Communications Board Meeting

A week ago today, I was at a UMR Communications board of directors meeting. This was my first meeting. There are a great deal of challenges and opportunities that are before UMR Communications. I am excited to see what will be next. Will you please share how you connect with UMR Communications? It may be through the United Methodist Reporter, umportal.org, other publications, digital printing, books and journals or design services.

How has UMR Communications impacted you?

Reading Time: Blogs vs. Books

One of my responsibilities as a pastor is to be theologian in residence for the congregation which I serve. One of the ways that I seek to do this is through reading and study – primarily of the Bible and secondarily in other sources.

I use Google Reader to keep up with blogs. I currently have 71 subscriptions and read 547 items over the past 30 days. Blogs help me keep up on the latest news in social media, theology and peers in ministry.

I also have a bookshelf that has books many classics as well as several that are still unread. Over a year ago, I decided to add books to my Amazon Wish List until I had read all the books that I currently own. Adding a book to my Amazon Wish List sates my desire to purchase it and works 99% of the time. I have hundreds of books on this list. (You can find it at http://amzn.com/w/3DQ7KE38GUP5K if you are looking for a good gift for me. 😉

Let’s assume that I have a finite amount of time to read, while carrying on the other responsibilities in my life. (I recognize that this could be challenged, but for the sake of this exercise let’s assume that it is true.) So here is my question for you:

Is the time that I have for reading better spent on blogs or books?

What are the pros and cons of each? What books or blogs would you add to my list? How do you decide where to spend your reading time?

Summer Reading List

One of the things which I relearned on vacation a couple weeks ago is how important it is for me to spend time reading. It is good for my soul. Here is what I have on my summer reading list:

What other books do you suggest? Any on this list that you think I should read first?

Speedlinking – January 19, 2009

Name Your Price II – Church, Faith and Theology Books

As Nicole and I are starting to pack up to move to our new home we continue to unclutter our bookshelves and you can benefit. This is Name Your Price – Round 2.

Name your price on any or all of the books that you can find here – http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pRDjTt3QKYSm_9L3uNCYmQw

Send me an email at andrew . conard (at) cor . org with “Name Your Price” in the subject line. Include the titles that you want and your offer price. I will send you a money request for the amount that you name via PayPal (you do not need to have used PayPal before) All I ask is that the price that you offer will cover shipping.

Enjoy!

Name Your Price – Church, Faith and Theology Books

I am uncluttering my bookshelves and you can benefit. Name your price on any or all of the books that you can find here – http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pRDjTt3QKYSm_9L3uNCYmQw

Send me an email at andrew.conard (at) cor . org with “Name Your Price” in the subject line. Include the titles that you want and your offer price. I will send you a money request for the amount that you name via PayPal. All I ask is that the price that you offer will cover shipping.

Enjoy!

How were books of the Bible chosen?

I have had the opportunity to lead the Builders Sunday Morning Small Group for three weeks studying the gospel according to Mark. This question was shared during our time together.

The question of how these particular four gospels were chosen among the various compilations and writings of the stories of Jesus that were circulating among the early church. It is a multi-layered story and first want to give you some links for your own research.

Now I’ll give you my best take on the question. One of the reasons that other gospels were not chosen is that others were determined to be Christian heresy – for example asserting that Jesus did not really die, was not human, was not divine, etc. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John provide a rich portrait of Jesus life, teaching, death and resurrection. This portrait is one which the early church found was nuanced in a way that did not paint Jesus in black and white and also clear enough that there were some boundaries to what was to be understood as orthodox.

What do you think? How would you respond to this question?