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Bad Predictions: 2011 Edition

A look back at our worst predictions of 2011...

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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…

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: 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…