this week’s round-up (june 11)

Check out the staycation ideas for churches from UM Communications. One of the things I’m excited about with the congregation I’ll be serving in July is the connection we have with Myers Lake Camp; they already to VBS at the camp, and many people stay at the campground during the week, but I’m already starting to think how else we might be able to utilize the space for mini-retreats that can foster fellowship, fun and spiritual development over the summers.

Friend and colleague from just down the road, Aaron Kesson offers some nice thoughts on the spiritual practice of confession. Another DAC Metho-blogger has joined the ranks, welcome Sherry Parker!

Jeff Nelson hits another one out of the park*. Donald Miller also addresses the subject of the Tigers game where Jim Joyce made the wrong call, costing Galarraga a perfect game. Like Jeff, Miller reminds the reader of the power of apology, in part, he writes:

If you’re a leader and you’re wrong, admit it. People will respect you. Admit it and show remorse. And if you follow a leader who struggles admitting they are wrong, DO NOT FOLLOW THEM. We all make mistakes, and people who admit their mistakes are in touch with their humanity, and those who don’t are simply delusional. And if they are not willing to pay for their mistakes, you better believe they are going to make those around them pay.

Rick Dake gives a few words on his experience of church as a youth versus the church of today. I’ve occasionally thought about how our “home” church experience can shape and influence our expectations of how we give leadership to the church today, sometimes to a negative degree, wanting to recapture a past imperfectly remembered. Rick’s post is a nice celebration of the positive changes that have taken place. Like Rick, my missional experiences were pretty limited – collecting for UNICEF was about it; the “big trip” we took was to go skiing in Minnesota, but in these last seven years of ministry I’ve led youth to serve others in Alabama, Washington DC, and Mexico; plus had the opportunity to be among the first to bring youth and adults to do flood recovery work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This isn’t the church of yesterday, and that is something to be thankful for.

Kem Meyer asks, “Are you leading a movement or managing an institution?” It’s a good question to consider – especially within Methodism which was always intended to be a movement instead of an institution.

Great meditation on transitions from The Art of Non-Conformity, that is especially meaningful given an work transition, now less than two weeks away:

I say: hold on to the moment as long as you can. Fight for it if you have to. Get up early and stay up late. Be brave. Choose the raw emotion, even the awkwardness if necessary. If we must go on to something else, let’s at least think about what was and what could have been.

The more intense the feeling, the better. If synchronicity and the feeling of being part of something meaningful comes with sadness, loneliness, and disappointment, so be it. I just know that I don’t want the alternative—mediocrity, routine, the safe and the comfortable.

Len Sweet on the need to adapt to and adopt the new digital language… “the devil is already learning the language of Google, are you?”

The Google Language from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Lifehacker offers an excellent guide to escaping from office clutter. Much needed advice in my case, hopefully I can just commit to actually following through with it.

If you have the time (about 16 minutes), I’d also encourage you to check out this TED talk from David Byrne (you can also download it from itunes, for playback at another time). Byrne speaks to how the setting influences the form in the creation of music. Might the same be true for preaching? Is it possible that where we preach, subtly changes how we preach, and where we write influences what we write? I think it was Adam Hamilton who once suggested that if you write your sermon in the church office it will come out sounding like it was written for “church people,” but if you write it outside the church (coffee shop, restaurant, etc.) it will more likely speak better to people outside the church.

In preparation for the move I’m making in a little less than two weeks, I had to make the difficult decision to part with a part with a portion of my music collection that I still had on cassette tape. Admittedly, they weren’t great works of art, and can be easily replaced with better quality digital versions, but it’s still hard for me to part with those pieces of plastic and magnetized tape. Here’s one of the songs I had to part with:



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