Making Membership Mean Something. (via CTG) I’ve struggled with this idea – do you go with the “high expectation” membership standards of Ginghamsburg and others with multi-week membership classes, or with the Resurrection model (2-3 hour introduction in one afternoon). (Note: Resurrection’s membership is also “high expectation” they make very clear the expectation that membership is about responsibility, not privilege and members are expected to attend every week, give proportionally, engage in service and learning opportunities, they just present it in a different package – “belong before believe”).
20 Questions for Reviewing 2010. I haven’t sat down and answered these, but it is a great set of questions to really get you to think about the year and help clarify your values, accomplishments, and expectations.
Also from Levite Chronicles: I Hate Communication. Great reminder that the oft used phrase, “we need more communication” is fundamentally mis-communication for “we need more explanation”, “we need more affirmation”, “we need more persuasion”, “we need more confession”, etc.
Jeremy Smith with more on the UMC Call to Action Report. I get his concerns, but so far I’m not too worried about them; I’d like to believe there is a way to maintain Methodist accountability while easing up on some of the administrative rules. I was speaking with a friend last week, who brought up a greater point of how does the Call to Action report speak to the UMC as a global church – the material is clearly focused on North American congregations; how might we learn from our sisters and brothers in regions where the church is dramatically growing (ie Africa), and might we use that to become a truly global connection, letting go of the traditional US hegemony*?
*Yeah, I was a debate nerd in high school, so from time-to-time I like to bust out words like hegemony.
Another one from my favorite hasidic reggae singer celebrating the miracle of the Maccabee revolt.
Admittedly I enjoy this way more than I probably should, but it’s got to be done:
And for something a little more serious – Sufjan Stevens “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (because it IS still advent).