Care Retreat / Advance

Today I am with members of the Congregational Care Team at Resurrection on a semi annual (or is that bi annual…) team retreat that happens twice a year. A little help on terms?

In any case it is a time to look back on the year and plan for the year ahead. Overall an excellent time. I have been feeling good this week. Last night was our small group and we are in the second week of studying The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith. I will write a longer review after the study, but at this point highly recommend it.

Does your staff ever take a retreat together? What does that time together look like?

Questions about The United Methodist Church

Yesterday morning I enjoyed an hour with a small group at Resurrection lead by Nancy. My task was to talk about Methodism – at large. I am passionate about knowing who I am as a United Methodist and helping others claim their identity as well. I began by asking for questions. I sought to respond to each one there and let them know they could check my blog for a short written response as well. So here goes…

  • What are distinguishing features of the United Methodist Church?
    • There are several distinct characteristics of the United Methodist Church. One is the approach to organization which involves Christian conferencing. Another is the understanding of grace:
      • Prevenient – God is at work in our lives before we are aware of it.
      • Justifying – There is a moment when we recognize and claim God’s grace for ourselves.
      • Sanctifying – We are always moving on to Christian perfection, the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
  • Is the UMC connected with Catholicism?
    • There are some similarities in that property is held in trust and priests / preachers are sent to their location.
  • Has there been split or controversy within the denomination?
    • The denomination split around whether or not to have bishops and slavery. Major reconciliation for both of these issues. Today the ordination of homosexuals continues to be a controversy.
  • Why is there a decline and decrease in relevance within the denomination?
    • I believe that we forgot our task of spreading scriptural holiness across the land. No good answer in a couple sentences…
  • Say more about the Moravians.
    • John Wesley learned from the peace he saw a group of Moravians experience during a storm at sea.
  • Is there a connection with the Anglican church?
    • Methodism began as a renewal movement within the Church of England.
  • How are Methodists connected with the Protestant Reformation?
    • The UMC is a protestant denomination
  • How important are saints?
    • One cannot become a United Methodist saint. However, the value of saints, mothers and fathers of the church is of value.

Thanks to the class for great questions and your desire to be on the journey of knowing, loving and serving God. It is an honor to be one of your pastors.

Prayer: A Small Group Curriculum

On Sunday night, Nicole and I had the great opportunity to be a part of a small group teaching from the newly released – Prayer: A Small Group Curriculum. It is a four week small group study about prayer. This was developed, written and produced here at Resurrection and I think that it is a great resource for any group hoping to grow in the knowledge, thought, and practice of prayer.

Prayer: A Small Group Curriculum is thoroughly Methodist, has thoughtful questions, great teaching on prayer and includes a video component for each week. If you are living in the Kansas City area you can pick it up at The Well bookstore here at the Resurrection central campus. If not, please feel free to order online – here.

What is the Trinity?

Great question. I had the great opportunity to talk about the trinity with a group of young adults at a Sunday morning small group taster this morning hosted by the Couples in Christ class which meets at 9:00 AM at Resurrection.

I tried to touch on what what it means to be a theologian, the practice theology and the concept of the Trinity in less than 20 minutes allowing time for small group discussion. It was a bit of a challenge for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the end of the class time, I invited each person to write a question on a post-it note and turn it in and I would respond here at Thoughts of Resurrection. So look forward to a week of theology and thinking about the Trinity. I am looking forward to reading the comments and conversation that you will add. If you are interested in receiving each of these posts – please subscribe using the links on the left side of this page. You can choose to receive the posts via RSS or email.

Couples in Christ and all people at the taster – Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your group this morning. It was a blessing!