A Response to the Charleston Church Shootings

Over the past few days, I have continued in prayer for Charleston. I want to share a portion of my response to the Charleston Church Shootings which I preached this morning at First United Methodist Church. I believe it is important and inadequate. You can find the entire sermon and manuscript online here.


Let me be clear:
God never intends us to choose evil.
The Charleston Church Shootings were not part of God’s plan.
Racism, murder and tragedy will never be God’s will.
Evil is never, ever God’s plan.

Each one of us has choices to make every day.
We choose between good and evil.
We choose between forgiveness and resentment.
We choose between light and darkness.
The choices that we make – both big and small lead us closer to God or further away from God.

Choose good.
Choose forgiveness.
Choose light and life.
Choose to follow Jesus Christ, Emmanuel – God is with us.

Reading John Wesley’s Sermons in Community on Twitter

In response to one of the questions from the #dreamUMC conversation on Twitter, I shared this update.

My Twitter friend and fellow UMCer Matt Lipan (@mattlipan and check out his blog here.) responded.

There was a good deal of interest from this conversation. Matt and I followed up with an email conversation to put together a framework.

What is the plan?

  • We will host a Twitter chat each Monday night at 8:30pm cst/9:30pm est starting on June 4th.
  • We will use the hashtag #jwchat for our Twitter conversations.
  • We will read and discuss Wesley’s first 8 sermons over an 8 week period, reading & discussing one sermon a week. You can find these sermons online here and here.
  • Here is our reading schedule:
    • Salvation by Faith (6/4)
    • The Almost Christian (6/11)
    • Awake, Thou That Sleepest (6/18)
    • Scriptural Christianity (6/25)
    • Justification by Faith (7/2)
    • The Righteousness of Faith (7/9)
    • The Way to the Kingdom (7/16)
    • The First Fruits of the Spirit (7/23)
How do I participate?
  • Read the sermon for the week in advance.
  • We will use these 3 questions to guide our discussions each Monday:
    • If you were to preach this sermon in 140 characters, what would it be?
    • How did you hear God speaking to you through this sermon?
    • What did you discover that is most relevant to your community?

Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or plan to join us.

Scripture Monday – Psalm 19:14

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NIV).

These words are very familiar to me. I remember hearing them before every Sunday sermon that my Dad preached. I do not remember wondering about their origin while I was growing up. I heard them as a prayer both for the congregation and for the preacher. While I don’t preach on a regular basis in my current role, I believe that this prayer from the Psalms while be part of the regular ritual when I am in a role of preaching every week.

Preaching = Fun

Yesterday morning, I had the opportunity to preach at the Heritage Service at Resurrection Leawood. This is the first service on Sunday at Resurrection beginning at 7:45 AM. It was the first time that I had lead worship in several months and it felt really good.

We considered the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13 and looked at ways that serving others builds relationships both with those being served and with those with whom we serve. We serve others out of gratitude to God and a clear hope for the future.

If you are interested, you can read the whole thing online at http://j.mp/c3weUc.

It is great to have the opportunity to preach!

Ordination in the UMC: Sermon

A few weeks ago, I made a proposal to make publicly available the documents produced by candidates for ministry in The United Methodist Church. To that end, I have published my Sermon for Admission to Full Connection and Ordination as Elder in the Kansas West Annual Conference. You can find the document online at http://j.mp/69Bnng. I have licensed my work under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Thanks to Nick for the video work.

I hope that you will take time to read some of my responses and share your opinions, thoughts or feelings in the comments on this post.

An Open Invitation to Preaching Collaboration

This coming weekend, I will be preaching on Wrath at Resurrection’s Central Campus as part of a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. I am working and praying hard to have the best possible sermon for this weekend.

This is where you come in.

I want to hear from you – what questions, ideas, suggestions, scripture verses about wrath or anger do you have?

Visit http://ow.ly/cO2H to vote and submit your ideas and suggestions.

Day and Data after Ash Wednesday

I preached last night at the Ash Wednesday service at Resurrection Central. I believe that God used me to introduce and remind people of God’s story, their story and to offer the invitation to connect the two.

Throughout the day yesterday, I found that I was getting a significant traffic spike here at Thoughts of Resurrection. I found that it was coming through searches. Here is a comparison of the search terms that people used to visit my blog since Monday:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Search Views
thoughts of resurrection 4
does god answer all of a persons prayers 2
andrew conard 2
proper dress attire for church 1
different attire on church 1
lydia circle 1
prayer of thanks for resurrection 1
god answers prayer 1
icon: the trinity 1
wikipedia pastoral education 1

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Search Views
ash wednesday sermons 7
ash wednesday sermon 5
sermon central and ash wed. service 2
10 prayers god answers 2
ash wednesday 2009 sermons 2
andrew conard 2
lent mars hill bible church 2
proper church attire 1
god answers prayers in three ways 1
pastoral prayers 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Search Views
ash wednesday sermon 46
ash wednesday sermons 17
ash wednesday thoughts 4
methodist fasting rules 3
church attire 2
united methodist book of discipline onli 2
ash wednesdaysermon 2
ash wed sermon 2
andrew conard 2
ash wednesday sermon umc 2

What does this data tell you?

2009 Ash Wednesday Sermon

I am preparing to preach the Ash Wednesday service tomorrow at Resurrection. I have been working to pull it together and it will get there, but it is not quite there yet. Would you pray for me today?

If you are in the Kansas City area, I invite you to worship with us for Ash Wednesday at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary on Resurrection’s Central Campus. I hope to see you tomorrow!

You can check out my sermon as I move toward completion at http://bit.ly/g3RsW If you find it interesting or helpful, I invite you to leave a comment on this post and subscribe to my blog via RSS to hear more.