Monday, June 30, 2008

I was in my office at the ECM (Ecumenical Christian Ministries) building today. Having spent the morning reading our scriptures for the week, praying, and helping an ECM Intern move into her office, I was getting the itch to “go do something”. It wasn’t God, it was Sean saying, “I have to go figure out what to do to make money or build financial relationships.” I felt the Spirit say, “rest”. The Spirit continued, “if you are going out for those reasons you are only one person – that limits me. But, I have all the resources and will bring them to you. For now, just stay where you are and rest.” (“Resting” is not my *usual* mode of operation – but it is my *natural* mode of operation. “Resting” is how God wired me, I am learning how to live it out in the face of non-restful times.) [smile] So, I spent a couple more minutes in prayer, praying our Gospel reading for this week, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I opened my eyes. My Microsoft Outlook e-mail screen was up. I literally watched a new e-mail land in my inbox. It is attached below.

I hope you read it with a smile, as did I.

Sometimes the Spirit says, “Go”, sometimes the Spirit says, “Rest”. Thank God that he provides us his wisdom to discern the difference. And, because God is so beautiful and mysterious: in Kingdom-life, “Go” and “Rest” are intermingled like lovers in the dance of life.

Peace and Love,
Brother Sean of Lawrence

From: Ross and Karen [last name removed]
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 11:19 AM
Subject: Ministry Partnership

Good Morning Sean,

Recently you sent an e-mail to Mary [last name removed] about some changes you are going to be making in your ministry. She shared this with our S.S. class, and we want to send an offering to you. Could you provide me with a mailing address so that I can get a check in the mail to you.

Thanks! Karen [last name removed]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In Moments Like These

I gave this address at the Virginia Tech Candlelight Vigil held at the Campanile on the campus of Kansas University. I hope you will find comfort in the words it contains.


In moments like these, words fail us.

When peace is punctuated by violent acts –
    we search ever deeper for messages of hope and inspiration.
When the certainty of tomorrow is interrupted by the uncertainty of today –
    we cling to thoughts of stability and safety.
When justice appears cloudy and distant –
    we long for a place of belonging and community.

Tonight as we gather in support of our friends and colleagues on the campus of Virginia Tech I would encourage each of us to lean on our own traditions. As we enter our time of silence, prayer or reflection I would encourage you to reach beyond yourselves - to embrace the comfort that you find both in one another and in the great mysteries beyond.

For the victims and their families we offer a time of silence.

For those witnessing the atrocities we offer a time of silence.

For the family and friends of the perpetrator we offer a time of silence.

For those working for peace and justice in the aftermath of the violence we offer at time of silence.

For healing on the campus of Virginia Tech we offer a time of silence.

Hope comes in the life we still have – and the lives of those around us.
Inspiration is available in the communities of which we are a part.
Certainty is still ours when stability and safety seem so far away.
Justice, though delayed, will surely come.
And, Peace, may you find Peace tonight in the very core of your being.

For all of these things: Hope, Inspiration, Certainty, Justice and Peace we are forever grateful.

Let us go forward, united as a community, living lives of hope, inspiration, certainty, justice and peace; remembering the lives of those that were lost – that they may not have died in vain.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


For what it's worth:

Dr. Gunter listed the three biggest challenges to the church in the past 60 years. I offer my opinion on the biggest challenges:

1. Consumerism in the church
2. Anti-ecumenism (pro-denominationalism and pro-schizm)
3. Sloppy social and biblical hermenutics

M7 Conversation

There has been quite a bit of conversation about the M7 Conference. These conversations are taking place via e-mail, phone calls and blogs. Many of you know that I am part of the denomination known as The Church of the Nazarene. For those of you not familiar with our denomination I ask for your indulgence.

Many of the conversations center around this video clip. Taking this clip out of context is unhealthy and should be avoided. Please visit here for the entire address. It is the plenary session delivered by Dr. Nina Gunter.

The conversations that I am a part of are not about Nina. This is about a conversation that has needed to happen for over 25 years. And, it looks like it will finally happen. For other examples of the beginings of the conversation view the plenary sessions of Reggie McNeal and Oliver Phillips.

My take on it is this: ORGANIZATIONALLY speaking, postmodernity can be accomodated inside of the denomination by simply seeing it as another culture - similar to the afro- or latino- cultures. It could fit into the Multicultural Groups inside of USA/Canada Mission/Evangelism's Mission Strategy department. Simply let the denomination identify someone to speak for the postmodern culture. Then, that person can sit with the committees and task forces to help the postmodern / emerging voices.

Theologically, Ecclisastically and Epistemologically it is a MUCH longer journey. There is not room here to post on these topics. [grin]

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Give yourself some          space.          Create patterns in your life that ensure time for rest, creativity, community, enjoyment and contemplation. Give yourself a five minute gift right now. Instead of reading websites, take a break for five minutes. Close your eyes; breathe deeply; relax your shoulders and neck; think of the most serene place you've ever been. Once you've done that you can continue on here with your web-browsing.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Here we go again . . .

Tonight we will begin our Phat Thursdays for this semester. I have missed my friends and look forward to seeing many of them again. For anyone who reads my blog, I encourage you to engage with a meaningful community. A place were you can enjoy life with friends. A place where you find purpose and vitality. Many blessings to my friends. And, even to those who lurk here. Send me a note. I love hearing from folks! Oh, I will be at the M7 Conference in Kansas City in mid-February. If you will be there, drop me a note.


Monday, November 20, 2006

We Wish You a Merry Holiday

I continue to hear reports of corporations, ad agencies, news organizations and individuals substituting "Happy Holidays" for "Merry Christmas". I know some Christians are offended by this. Some desire us to boycott companies that make this substitution. Honestly, the substitution is refreshing to me. Before you castigate me, read further.

For years many of us have complained about the "commercialism of Christmas". We bristle and the commodification of a beautiful holiday (holy day). Now the commercialism begins the day after Halloween, not the day after Thanksgiving or December 1st. So, I say let the corporations, ad agencies and news organizations make their substitution. I do not want Christmas associated with such commercialism and commodification.

I would ask you, as an individual to give greetings as you so desire. If you wish those around you a "Merry Christmas" when the world around them is screaming "Happy Holidays" you will be conspicuous. "Merry Christmas" may once again become special.

Also, I am glad that the words of the Christmas hymns are no longer associated with commercialism and commodification. It has been so long since I have heard the words to a Christmas hymn in a department store that now when we sing them in church I can appreciate them. They no longer conjure up thoughts of holiday shopping, early morning sales, over-spending and long lines at the checkout.

So, YAY for the companies helping Christianity to once again become distinct from the commercialism, commodification and gluttony of a sacred day (actually TWELVE days).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bread and Coffee

As some of you know, I have a burden to help others. Recently, I have been compelled to help some of the underserved in Lawrence, Kansas. Some folks in our faith-community (University Church) also have this burden. Through their contacts they arranged for us to receive baked goods from Panera Bread on Saturday evenings. This past Saturday we received our first donation from Panera. We received about 45 pounds of bread. We brought it back to the ministry center, sorted it, grabbed the coffee and hit the streets of Lawrence.

We visited a couple shelters hoping that the men and women there could help us locate folks who would be sleeping out of doors. In doing so, we met some wonderful people and heard some of their stories, frustrations, dreams and wants. In good faith we provided bread to the shelters for their Sunday morning breakfasts.

After talking to the folks in the shelters, we went to the places indicated by the men and women we met at the shelters - South Park, the alleys and under the bridge. We left bags of fresh bread where we knew people were staying. We talked to all the folks we saw. All in all, it was a learning experience. One that will help us better know how to serve our community next week.