Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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In the photo immediately above, Rev. Dr. Don Nations, in colorful golf shirt, is the primary speaker on church transformation, a Conference-wide initiative in which Tinney Chapel UMC is an active participant. Dr. Nations has, in fact, visited Tinney Chapel.
In the top photo, Dr. Nations and NTC East District Superintendent Paul Gould pose with the PowerPoint projector for this Oct. 7 presentation at First UMC Sulphur Springs.
This post results from an assignment by Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson for the North Texas Methodist Reporter, where the illustrated article appears in this week's (Oct. 29) issue, and may be accessed online at the following link: Simply bring up the file, then scroll down to page 5-A to find this article:
You may also click on the title of this Weblog post at the top of the page to access the article in the Oct. 29 issue of the North Texas Methodist Reporter, which had to cut the original article due to space limitations.
However, for readers of this Weblog, the original article appears below in full:
NTC church transformation
initiative in second year
A good rule for any church that wants to grow, or otherwise transform itself, is to start spending 80% of its time doing the 20% of ministry in which it excels or does best.
It’s that simple, says Rev. Dr. Don Nations, head coach of DNA Coaching, who recently concluded seminars--with both pastors and laity--throughout the Conference, ending Oct. 7 in the East District at FUMC Sulphur Springs, where he and District Superintendent, Rev. Paul Gould, signaled the start of year two in this Conference-wide church transformation initiative.
“Do excellence or don’t do ministry at all,” emphasized Dr. Nations, entirely serious, while offering specific advice for pastors and laity who are passionate about growing or transforming their churches.
Laity need to spend more time inviting people to visit their churches, suggests Dr. Nations.
“The Mormons, Buddhists and Muslims do a lot of inviting, and we United Methodists do not,” explained Dr. Nations. “All three of the others are growing in membership, but United Methodist membership is declining: You do the math! As a denomination, we need to make invitations a priority if we are to see fundamental change. Ask yourself this question: If additional church invitations brought in just four new members a year, would you notice the difference?”
Most churches would definitely notice, he emphasized, since an average worship attendance of just 80 is enough to position a church in the top 20% of the nation’s 35,000 United Methodist congregations, of which fully 25,000 are town-and-country (rural) churches.
Pastors need to start spending about a third of their time—25% to 35%--with un-churched people, suggests Dr. Nations, who is fully aware that churches must first empower their pastors to make sure this happens. He says it’s up to the pastors to figure out how to become involved in activities and organizations that ensure contact with people who do not already have church homes.
“In some areas, that might mean teaching a class at the community college,” he explained. “Or, it might mean joining the local chamber of commerce, working on a farm for a limited period, tagging along with a member of the congregation who is into sales or delivers products to customers. It might even mean, now and then, just knocking on doors in cold-call mode. Whatever it takes: Get connected!
“And the laity should remember that they have to empower their pastors to spend this kind of time with the un-churched, and this usually means that they—the laity—will have to take up the slack by doing more, or possibly most, of some things they normally consider the pastor’s job: Hospital and home visits, for instance. Otherwise, it won’t work.
“If this seems an excessive amount of time for pastors of transformative churches to spend with the un-churched, consider this point,” asked Dr. Nations: “For those pastors who are planting new church starts, we recommend spending 50%--fully half of their time—with the un-churched.”
Here, Dr. Nations cited a personal example from his own days in local church ministry, when his congregation told him they needed him primarily for three things: leadership, vision and Sunday morning worship, while the laity expected to take care of everything else.
“I did not do hospital visits, and I attended very few committee meetings,” he recalled. “Remember that we all need to spend 80% of our time doing the 20% of ministry that we do best.”
During his two-hour PowerPoint seminar, laced with wit, wisdom and lightning response to a wide variety of audience interaction, comments and questions, Dr. Nations showed just eight slides, all dealing with worship, which guided the direction for this evening’s discussion.
Slide 1, “Designing Great Worship,” suggested crafting an environment in which people can better connect with Jesus. Here, Dr. Nations reminded the audience that they can visit his website, http://www.dnacoaching.com/, at any time to find a number of resources that can be downloaded free. “Log in to the client website, browse and use what works for you,” he added.
Slide 2, “Designing Worship Is Art,” suggested giving shape to a context or medium that expresses something profound, referring to interaction of the divine and the human. “During worship, most people want to experience the presence of the living God, or at least have some introspection of God in their lives.” Here, Dr. Nations asked how many in the audience were present at the Last Supper, suggesting that each time we take Holy Communion, we participate in that long-ago event. “Communion should always capture the imagination and be something really special.”
Slide 3, “Designing Worship Is Science,” meaning that worship involves lighting, sound system, pews, doors, traffic flow, heat, air conditioning—all of which need to work well to foster a dynamic worship experience. “If they don’t work, they need to be fixed!”
Slide 4, “Designing Worship Is About Us,” reminds us that worship is about the church’s history, beliefs, traditions, definitions, likes and dislikes, preferences and worship space. “For many churches, a traditional service is what they are used to, and a contemporary service is something different.”
Slide 5, “Designing Worship Should Also Be About Others,” reminds us that visitors have their own likes and dislikes and definite ideas of what works for them. “So, designing worship needs to include a willingness to try new things in order to reach new people.”
Slide 6, “Good Worship Is Defined by: content and design, not style; the amount of hope offered; life changes not life length; and, sincerity, not the type of seating,” is a way of emphasizing that we United Methodists have the best story of all the ages, and it starts today, not in the Sweet Bye And Bye. “But, we are not doing a good job of telling that story.”
Slide 7, “Great Worship Includes: the four aspects of reconciliation—people to God, people to others, people to themselves and, people to Creation,” meaning that we, as Christians who are commanded to love each other, should be the world’s best relationship experts, but we aren’t. “United Methodists are behind the curve in technology,” said Dr. Nations, who noted that his children only know screens and computers: Virtual reality IS reality for them, and to them, we seem old and out of it.”
Slide 8, “Good Worship Touches All Types,” referring to something called the Theory Of Multiple Intelligences (linguistics or words, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical),” challenging churches to appeal to all of these personality types at some point in worship or ministry. “Some people must touch someone to get anything out of the service: That’s why we have a time for greeting.”
TO CONTACT Rev. Dr. Don Nations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, October 22, 2010
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Photo immediately above shows Winnsboro High School (WHS) Class of 1952 meeting in its 58-year Reunion, Oct. 22, 2010, @ Tinney Chapel UMC Family Life Center.
Present in the picture, left to right:
First row: John Thomas Knight, Ann Daniel Richards, Peggy Doyle Boyd, Joanne Copeland Scarborough, Nancy Krasowski Foster, Betty Thompson Grainger, Annie Kear Ambroson, Maurine Hawkins Lindsay (Class Sponsor).
Second row: Gaston Benton, Dalton Monday, Ruel Howle, Max Hamrick, Leon Cox.
Third row: Charlie Eugene Bradshaw, James Coy White, Joe Dan Boyd, Hubert Patterson.
TOP PHOTO shows WHS Class of 52 in caps & gowns at the time of their actual graduation in 1952.
You may also click on the TITLE of this blog post at the top of the page, which is a live link to the WHS Class of 52 website, created & maintained by Norris (Barto) Fanning who may be contacted at email@example.com
WHS Class of 52 Reunion contact person: Joe Dan Boyd
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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Tinney Chapel Pilgrim Glenn Goggans embarks on 3-day Walk To Emmaus
Thursday evening, Oct. 21, 2010, was "sendoff" for the latest Tinney Chapel Pilgrim via Northeast Texas Emmaus Men's Walk # 10-109: Glenn Goggans, who was escorted to the event at Lone Star by sponsors: Mollie & David Stanton, Peggy & Joe Dan Boyd, Jenna Nelson and Bob Deitering, all of whom have previously taken the Walk To Emmaus.
En route to the event, the seven-passenger-car, driven by David Stanton, stopped at the Bo Pilgrim Prayer Chapel in Pittsburg to spend a few minutes inside reading the Emmaus Walk Scripture, Luke 24:13-35, and admiring the beautiful stained glass panels. See separate pictures on this Weblog post.
Outside, the Pilgrim posed for pictures at the famous Divine Servant sculpture and "helped" the Lord Jesus wash the feet of the Apostle Peter. Please see the photo collage, and other images above, for an idea of how that happened. Just visiting the sculpture is an awe-inspiring occasion. This can be especially true when one is about to embark upon an intense, often life-changing, 72-hour journey of spiritual renewal, such as the Walk To Emmaus.
Once at the Emmaus Walk site, all hands enjoyed a covered dish meal, helped to encourage Tinney Chapel UMC’s latest Pilgrim, including a personalized drinking cup made for him by his Sunday School teacher, Angela Wylie, and others from all over East Texas, including East District Lay Leader Ben Bennett, then spent time praying for the success of each Pilgrim on the Walk, which will continue through the early evening of Sunday, October 24. Separate pictures above.
The intense 72-hour event of spiritual renewal, known as The Walk To Emmaus, often changes lives, routinely creates new interest in personal ministry and frequently jump starts the gradual development of newly energized church leaders. Please pray for the success of our own Tinney Chapel Pilgrim on this Walk: Glenn Goggans and our District Lay Leader, Ben Bennett.
For more images and narrative about the Divine Servant sculpture, go to the following Weblog link, or if the link doesn't work for you, click on the title of this blog post at top of page as it is also a live link to the same page. As a last resort, you might try copy-pasting the link in your browser address window:
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Messenger & The Message preached @ Tinney Chapel
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All photos by Angela Wylie.
Laity Sunday @ Tinney Chapel
It was a day for the laity, in this case, Certified Lay Speaker Joe Dan Boyd and his Martin bass ukulele, a four-stringed, guitar-sized instrument built in 1931 and tuned a tad lower than a baritone ukulele.
Joe Dan used this unique instrument to accompany his rendition of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," a song originally inspired by the Old Testament Scripture, 2 Kings 2:11, the account of Elijah, who never died, but was transported to Heaven in a whirlwind by a chariot of fire.
This was also a very special day at Tinney Chapel for three people: David Stanton, about to become a Lay Speaker; Glenn Goggans, about to embark on the Walk To Emmaus; and, Sunshine (Sunny) Prior, Joe Dan's granddaughter who is about to become a Fulbright Fellow, during which she will spend a year studying abroad. Joe Dan asked all three to approach the pulpit and, while they faced him, the entire congregation approached to lay hands on all three in a combined, powerful blessing for their physical and spiritual safety during these events.
The Tinney Chapel choir led the congregation in a call to worship, highlighted by the song, We Have Come Into His House.
Congregational songs on this day included Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul, the Tinney Chapel Medley (He's The Savior Of My Soul, His Name Is Wonderful, There's Something About That Name) and Send The Light.
Scripture was read by Glenn Goggans (Malachi 3:1, 4:5) and by Sunshine Prior (Luke 1:5-17, 7:28), all intended to set the stage for sermons by Georgia Goggans (for the children) and Joe Dan Boyd (for the adults) about the relationship of Jesus The Christ with John The Baptizer. The text of Joe Dan's sermon follows:
The Messenger And The Message (sermon text)
THROUGHOUT the Old Testament, there runs a line of PROPHECIES about a....
...COMING DELIVERER-SAVIOR, the MESSIAH......and the institution of a ... (what?)...
A NEW COVENANT!
Remember, however, WHEN the PHOPHETS did their thing:
For ISAIAH, it was about 700 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST.
For JEREMIAH, it was about 600 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST.
For EZEKIEL, it was a LITTLE LESS than 600 years.
For MALACHI, it was AT LEAST 400 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST.
SO, with that in mind, ....
REWIND with me to the FINAL BOOK in the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament--MALACHI, whose PROPHECIES PRE-DATE the birth of CHRIST by AT LEAST 400 YEARS:
Malachi 3:1 and Malachi 4:5-6(b) (if you care to follow):
“See, I will send my MESSENGER, who will PREPARE THE WAY before me.
“Then suddenly THE LORD you are seeking will come to His temple;...
“THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT, whom you desire, WILL COME, says the LORD ALMIGHTY....”
“See, I will send you the PROPHET ELIJAH before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
It’s IMPORTANT to remember that, AFTER MALACHI......for about 400 YEARS, the PROPHETS were...SILENT.
That PROPHETIC SILENCE would not END until....The public MINISTRY of a man considered by some scholars to be, APART FROM JESUS HIMSELF, ...the most THEOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT person in the GOSPELS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
That would be...(who?)...JOHN THE BAPTIST.
John The Baptizer...John The Immerser...
Those who hold this elevated view of John see him as a TRANSITIONAL FIGURE who LINKS the Old and New Testaments.
JOHN THE BAPTIST becomes the FIRST FENCE-STRADDLER in the BIBLE,
with ONE SANDEL squarely grounded in EACH of the TESTAMENTS---the OLD and the NEW....
If SALVATION history had been written by modern SPORTS COMMENTATORS, John the Baptizer might have been the QUINTESSENTIAL ...PLAYER TO BE NAMED LATER...
...MUCH LATER, as it was actually RECORDED by....LUKE:
Luke 1:15-17, if you are following.
“For he will be GREAT in the SIGHT of the LORD. He is never to take WINE or other FERMENTED DRINK, and he will be FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT even from BIRTH.
“Many of the people of Israel will he BRING BACK to the LORD their GOD.
“And he will go on before the LORD, in the SPIRIT AND POWER OF....ELIJAH, to turn the hearts of the ...DISOBEDIENT to the WISDOM of the RIGHTEOUS
--TO MAKE READY a PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE LORD.”
Notice, too, the DETAILS of John the Baptizer’s BIRTH, which have come down to us ONLY through LUKE’S GOSPEL:
A BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT by none other than the ANGEL GABRIEL.
DIVINE INTERVENTION like that granted to ABRAHAM, whose previously BARREN and AGED wife Sarah eventually gave BIRTH to Isaac--the Bible’s first SON OF THE PROMISE.
Luke does NOT say that John the Baptist WAS Elijah REINCARNATED...as some EXPECTED at the time, based on what MALACHI had said.
That SCENARIO might have gained some CREDIBILITY based on John the Baptizer’s LIFESTYLE, WARDROBE & DIET.
He lived a SPARTAN LIFE, dressed in CAMEL HAIR HOMESPUN with a LEATHER BELT AROUND HIS WAIST—exactly the COSTUME you’d EXPECT for a PROPHET based on 2 Kings 1:8
& Zechariah 13:4).
He lived in the Judean WILDERNESS where HE BELIEVED THE VOICE CRIES OUT, and followers CAME TO HIM...in the WILDERNESS.
John the Baptizer did NOT make HOUSE CALLS.
He PREACHED a STERN MESSAGE OF RADICAL REPENTANCE:
That just being a CHILD OF ABRAHAM—that is, being BORN a JEW--was NOT ENOUGH to
That God was now CREATING A NEW PEOPLE via...BAPTISM...IN THE WATERS OF THE JORDAN RIVER—across which God had earlier led the Children of Israel from Egypt.
John the Baptizer’s was NOT a NEW RELIGION, but a NEW RITE for the ATONEMENT OF SIN--
--probably meant as an END RUN around GROWING CORRUPTION IN TEMPLE RITES
AND THE PRIESTHOOD.
His rite of BAPTISM was WITHOUT PRECEDENT in its MEANING.
It was the FIRST Jewish instance of REBIRTH as METAPHOR for REDEMPTION.
It also, unlike the rite of CIRCUMCISION, made SALVATION available to WOMEN.
Like Jesus, the One he awaited, John the Baptizer, identified himself with the LOWLY.
He was UNLIKE anything the Jews had EVER seen, although practically EVERYTHING about him had PARALLELS in ISAIAH (32:15; 35:1-19; 40:3; 41:18-19; 43:19-20; 11:2-5; 42:1-4; 61:1; 29:22; 41:8; 51:2; 63:16; 59:5; 1:4).
He DINED on LOCUSTS & WILD HONEY. (Matthew 3:4 & Mark 1:6).
But, LUKE says ONLY that John the Baptizer came “in the SPIRIT and POWER of Elijah.”
Later, John the Baptizer would FLATLY DENY that he was Elijah reincarnated (John 1:21,25).
And, remember, what is the most unforgettable thing we remember about ELIJAH?
That he did NOT die! See 2 Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, there appeared a CHARIOT OF FIRE, and HORSES OF FIRE, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN.
JESUS would LATER say that Elijah MUST come FIRST,
...and that, INDEED, Elijah HAD come in the person of... John the Baptist (Matthew 17:11-13 & Mark 9:12-13)
TRANSLATION: John the Baptist DID fulfill Malachi’s PROPHECY, but perhaps in a SPIRITUAL rather than a literal SENSE.
Thus, JESUS points to the CENTRAL ROLE played by John the Baptizer in God’s plan of SALVATION.
Think of John the Baptizer as the
GREATEST BORN AMONG WOMEN because he had the PRIVILEGE of POINTING TO--AND BAPTIZING—THE LAMB OF GOD (John 1:29-34).
Not only that, John the Baptizer could claim JESUS as COUSIN.
Yet, as the LAST GREAT PROPHET of the PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA, he was the LEAST in the kingdom of God (Matthew 11:11 & Luke 7:28).
John the Baptizer was QUITE COOL about his SUBORDINATE ROLE TO CHRIST,
and kept INSISTING ALL ALONG that he was just a WITNESS TO THE LIGHT (John 1:19-23 & John 1:6-9 & John 3:27-30).
John the Baptizer made NO BONES about the fact that JESUS was GREATER than he....
That JESUS had a MORE POWERFUL MINISTRY & a more powerful BAPTISM (Luke 3:16).
John the Baptizer did NOT really WANT to baptize JESUS...
...rather, he wanted JESUS to baptize HIM (Matthew 3:13-14), but relented when encouraged by JESUS...
John the Baptist was COOL about his OWN disciples LEAVING... to follow JESUS (John 1:35-39)
And, while John the Baptizer DID all these things, he was still only HUMAN,
...and his own personal VISION of the MESSIAH did not fully JIBE with what he saw in the EVOLUTION of JESUS’ MINISTRY.
Of course, this was also true of most of Israel, including some of JESUS’S 12 DISCIPLES.
Even PETER might NOT have fully UNDERSTOOD JESUS’S MINISTRY until after the RESURRECTION!
So, it is perhaps NOT so surprising that John the Baptist eventually
QUESTIONED if JESUS was REALLY the CHRIST
It’s POSSIBLE that JESUS intended to REBUKE John the Baptizer, when He said:
“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (Luke 7:23 & Matthew 11:6)
But their RELATIONSHIP remains a PIVOTAL one in the New Testament.
Some scholars suggest the SUFFERING and DEATH of John the Baptist may FORESHADOW the
PAIN and DEATH of JESUS on the CROSS.
Indeed, when HEROD, after having had John the Baptizer BEHEADED,
learns of JESUS’ ministry, ...his FIRST THOUGHT IS THAT JOHN THE BAPTIZER HAS
COME BACK TO LIFE (Luke 9:7-9)
What we CAN say, with CERTAINTY, is that John the Baptizer STANDS TALL as the Gospel story starts to unfold,
His STYLE demands that we LISTEN with an OPEN MIND, FREE OF ALL THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY
TAKEN FOR GRANTED,
Allowing us to HEAR & ACCEPT a NEW WORD.
A NEW COVENANT.
Some scholars suggest that John the Baptist knew of and MIGHT have been associated with the QUMRAN COMMUNITY,
which produced the DEAD SEA SCROLLS. They contend that the LOCATION of his ministry,
the CONTENT of his PREACHING (REPENTANCE),
interest in WATER PURIFICATION, and his AUSTERE lifestyle indicate some similarity to the ESSENES AT QUMRAN.
Some scholars also suggest that, PRIOR to his OWN ministry, JESUS MAY have been AMONG the FOLLOWERS OF JOHN THE BAPTIZER.
In fact, just this past Wednesday, during the video portion of our Lesson 7 in the Second Generation Disciple study of Jesus In The Gospels, we heard author and scholar Bruce Chilton refer to John The Baptizer as Jesus' Rabbi!
But, all such SPECULATION is only what OTHERS THINK.
I’m not certain what YOU think about John the BAPTIZER, and
But, I think it was a relatively simple matter: He was both a MESSENGER for his COUSIN, Jesus, and paved the way, as Georgia said in her sermon for kids, much as does a Drum Major in a marching band!
The One who carried the LANTERN, the LAMP, the LIGHT, also known as the LIGHT OF THE WORLD,
A title that Jesus LATER gave to—of all people—US, THEE AND ME!
He called us the SALT OF THE EARTH and...Imagine that! The LIGHT OF THE WORLD, indicating that HE had something SPECIAL in mind for US—Thee and Me!
I think he wanted us to follow the example of JOHN THE BAPTIZER—and PAVE THE WAY for someone GREATER than any of us: JESUS THE CHRIST!
I THINK that the example set by JOHN THE BAPTIZER is quite clear:
We are to acknowledge, first and foremost, that it’s NOT about US:
It’s all about the one whose MESSAGE we proclaim by what we SAY, what we DO and what we THINK—The one whose SHOELACES we are not fit to TIE, Yet He LOVES us so much that He SHED HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION!
But, there’s one DIFFERENCE in how we are supposed to carry out our MISSION.
Instead of wondering, instead of questioning if JESUS is THE ONE that ISRAEL was expecting...THE ONE who so LOVED THE WORLD that He WILLINGLY became, as the Gospel Writer, called Him, THE LAMB OF GOD, who TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.
And, now and then, as we WALK IN HIS LIGHT, CASTING OUR OWN LIGHT into the DARKNESS of doubt, fear and the TEMPTATIONS OF SATAN, let us not FORGET now and then, also to stop, meditate, and THANK that odd, hairy-clothed, locust-and-wild honey-eating guy with the LOUD VOICE, the UNCOMPROMISING ATTITUDE and the SHEER STAMINA always to STICK TO HIS GUNS ABOUT what was right and what was not; about WHO was the MESSIAH during a time when MESSIANIC PRETENDERS abounded...
Let us strive to live our own LIVES so that, when we stand at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, perhaps WE, too, might hear Jesus SAY about us, something like what he said about that strange cousin of his: That NO ONE BORN OF WOMAN was greater in THIS LIFE THAN WAS JOHN THE BAPTIST, but that the ONE WHO IS LEAST in the KINGDOM OF GOD is GREATER THAN HE, which I take to mean, among other things:
There will be NO DISTINCTION among us in that KINGDOM!
Friday, October 01, 2010
Tinney Talk, October, 2010
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TINNEY TALK, Observations by Joe Dan Boyd
It was reminiscent of lions and lambs dining together, singing hymns, discussing theology, actualizing age-old prophecy. Ten-dollar dinners in cardboard boxes, appropriately blessed to unplugged, acoustic sounds (Crying Holy Unto The Lord) supplied by Cuthand UMC’s old-time string band, Cuthand Creek, kicked off the North Texas Conference’s (NTC) only continuing annual Laity Celebration—with a healthy sprinkling of clergy--at Greenville’s Wesley UMC Family Life Center on Sunday evening, Sept. 12.
That would be the old/new East District, which combines all the old Paris-Sulphur Springs District churches, plus all the new additions from NTC’s Strategic Plan reorganization, adopted at Annual Conference in June, for a grand total now of 91 churches, most of whom, including Tinney Chapel, viewed a PowerPoint presentation here of “Ministry Moments” during the past year from their own congregations.
By the time everyone had consumed superior sandwiches of sliced cheese and cold cuts, sipped gallons of iced tea and heard heavenly sounds by Cuthand Creek (Mansion Over The Hilltop), guitarist/singer Kolton Hall (How Great Thou Art) of Mulberry UMC (near Bonham) and an impressive District “combined choir” (We Are Your People, O God) directed by Joan Wright of Wesley UMC, the mood was clear, and would be repeated several times by this Celebration’s keynote speaker, Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe: “The blessing is in the room!”
It was the Bishop’s way of speaking to his selection of Scripture, Ephesians 4:4-8, 11-16, which dwells on the Body of Christ and His gifts of the Spirit which equip and empower us to do the work He calls us to do.
“Each of us receives a particular gift,” emphasized Bishop Bledsoe, whose primary concern appeared to be one of encouraging cooperation between laity and clergy. “We need each other,” he added. Bishop Bledsoe quoted Conference Lay Leader Richard Hearne’s suggestion that all of us attempt to mentor a young person, which he acknowledged as a good idea. However, the Bishop countered that with another suggestion, from Rev. Jim Ozier, NTC Director of Church Transformation, who believes that all of us should try to find a young person who is willing to mentor us, and help adults better understand the needs of young people!
After the Bishop’s charge, Associate District Lay Leader David Stanton of Tinney Chapel UMC dedicated the congregational offering of time and treasure, to the healing and Hope of God’s people in Africa though the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign: It’s a ministry of the people of the world-wide UMC to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015,” explained Stanton, who called on the leadership of the East District to set the example for all of NTC. Tinney Chapel is proud to see David Stanton setting the example for our District & Conference!
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This post is the result of an assignment from Dr. Sheron Patterson, editor of the North Texas Methodist Reporter, and you may view the article as published in the issue of Oct. 1, 2010, by accessing the following link (which may also be accessed by clicking on the title of this post at the top of this blog page):