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On Uniting Methodists: The Authority of Scripture

I had the pleasure of being on the host team for the Uniting Methodists “Room for All” Conference held at Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas, TX just a few weeks ago in July.The pastors, staff, and lay members of LLUMC were incredibly thankful to be able to have such an inspiring and important event on our campus.Those who attended the conference would have seen the following words printed in large black letters on a wall in our Watson Hall:
Our Vision: To be one diverse community, passionately engaging the Bible, uplifting Jesus in worship and loving service, and challenging in love that which divides.We’re proud of that vision statement here at Lovers Lane, it sums up who we feel like God has called us to be as a community of faith, and we hope it inspires those who walk through our doors.
During the past few weeks, as tensions continue to rise with the release of the “One Church” Plan put forth by the Commission on a Way Forward and recommended by the Council of Bishops, I have noticed a comm…
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On Uniting Methodists: What Will We Compromise?

This past week, Lovers Lane played host to the Uniting Methodists Conference, a gathering of those in support of (or seeking to learn more about) the One Church Plan (OCP) as we approach what will hopefully be a historic General Conference in February 2019.  Certainly there will be many reactions posted by those of all theological persuasions, but I wanted to take a moment to offer an insight that became apparent to me in the last few days.

During the conference, we offered the ability for attendees, both in-person and online, to submit questions for our leaders to address at the conference.  I was one of the persons privy to those questions, and I found them to be enlightening.

The largest number of questions had to deal with the technical implementation of the OCP, as it was finally released to the public on Tuesday late-afternoon.  But next to the "nuts-and-bolts" questions, the second-most type of questions had to do with a common theme.  I would summarize them as essent…

On Uniting Methodists: A "Fixed and Free" Romans 14 Church

This past week, the local church I serve, Lovers Lane UMC, hosted a gathering of area clergy and lay leaders interested in learning more about a movement called "Uniting Methodists." Leading the presentation and ensuing discussion were Rev. Rachel Baughman of Oak Lawn UMC in Dallas, and Rev. Dr. Stan Copeland of Lovers Lane.

I respect both of these leaders immensely; Rachel was actually my children's pastor when I was in the 6th grade at W.C. Martin UMC in Bedford, TX, and Stan has been my boss and mentor for the better part of the last decade. That respect was shared by the room as far as I could tell, and it was their presence together on stage that likely sparked more than a little curiosity amongst those who came. 

The sight of them sitting together on stage perhaps sums up Uniting Methodists in one image. On the left (literally and figuratively), a young, progressive, woman with clerical collar, black plastic glasses, and dreads pulled neatly into a bun. On the righ…

Ode to a Catheter

One year ago today, Scott and I woke up on a Sunday, but it wasn't our usual Sunday. Sundays usually are a whirlwind of a day. We wake up early, scramble to get ready in order to get to church for our 7:45 a.m. meeting with the rest of the staff.

This Sunday was different though.

I hadn't slept well in anticipation for what would happen this Sunday morning. I tried my best to be well rested, but my mind was going. They say to relax because stress isn't good, but by golly, a lot was weighing on this day. We woke up--a little awkward silence as we got ready. We tried our best to act relaxed and cool---while inwardly, stressing out beyond belief, scared, nervous, and feeling like we could cry at any moment.

We pulled up to the fertility clinic for our third IUI procedure while praying over and over again, "please let this work, please let this work..."

I clung to Psalm 17:6 "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I p…

Hardy, Rice, and Us: Seeing is Believing

By: Scott

Greg Hardy is a bad man.

For some people, this only seemed to hit home this past week when we, the general public, were confronted with graphic photos of the bruised back of Hardy's abused then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder.  This came amidst Jerry Jones referring to Hardy as a "true leader" in interviews this past week as well, which anyone with even an ounce of morality should have concerns with.  Bloggers took aim, social media was set ablaze, and now Hardy, the Cowboys organization, and Jerry Jones especially have pariah-status yet again.

Let it be said again, Greg Hardy is a bad man.  He is not a "true leader" by any stretch of the imagination.  He has clearly done some evil things in his life, including the physical abuse of at least one woman.  But I'm not sure our righteous indignation is that righteous at all, because I have noticed a pattern emerging in how we treat domestic violence in the public sphere.

Back in early 2014, we found out th…

Things NOT to Say to Couples Potentially Experiencing Infertility

I have learned that we often say things that hurt people's feelings without realizing it. We say hurtful things unintentionally and people then get in their car and cry or sit in a bathroom stall and try to hold it together--not that I am speaking from experience.  One of the hardest things about going through infertility were all the things that were said to me that made me angry or cry and people NEVER knew that it made me feel anything. This list is pretty strict and you may think it is too harsh or make you overthink everything you say, but I think we have to become aware of what we say.  So here is my list of things NOT to say or at least ways to maybe rephrase questions...

First of all, if you have a girlfriend that you know is NOT trying to get pregnant, then don't feel like you can't say this stuff. For everyone else that you don't know well or you're unsure, try to follow this:

1) "So do you have kids?" 
So you've just met someone or you'…

The Road to Baby Gilly

By: Raegan

Before I begin, I want to say two things:

1) I know our video was light-hearted and humorous, but infertility has hardly been something to laugh about. It has without a doubt been the hardest and most painful thing Scott and I have gone through. Just when we thought we couldn't cry more, we did. Just when we thought we couldn't be more heartbroken, our hearts got broken all over again. Just when we didn't think we could get more tired, more frustrated, or more angry, we felt like we couldn't even think straight. Somedays were just plain hard to even get out of bed.

2) I know many have gone through so much more than us, have waited much longer, and have had far worse experiences. I do not want to make our situation seem bigger than it is.  I have learned everyone's pain is individual and unique in their own way.  I never want to discount someone's hurt or journey.

To set the stage, I have always wanted to be a mom. At the age of 8, I was knocking on a…