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Showing posts from February, 2020

Foolish Foundations

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Scripture: Matthew 7:15-29
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
These lyrics, penned by the English hymnist and Baptist minister Edward Mote, in 1834 capture a rugged spirituality born at the crossroads of great industrial advancement and civil upheaval. 1834. This is the year when new inventions are being patented every week while anti-abolitionist riots are breaking out in New York City—
The year that slavery is abolished in the British Empire while the Ursuline Convent in Massachusetts is burned to the ground by an anti-Catholic extremist group in the name of Jesus. On Christ the solid Rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand,
Mote writes. I imagine him standing at the intersection of prophetic hope and indescribable despair with a pen and paper in his hands, trying to hold onto a …

"Are You Leaving Us?"

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Within Methodist ecclesiology, there are bishops that appoint ministers to serve congregations. Methodist denominations--such as the United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, among others--operate under some version of this ecclesiological practice. I won't bore you with all the details. Additionally, I am not Methodist and have never been a part of that way of doing church so my experiential knowledge is limited. Much of my experience has been in the churches that practice some version of congregational polity and ecclesiology in which the local church decides who their minister(s) will be.

Within that system, the ministers, themselves, have greater agency--agency in the decision to apply, be interviewed and, if offered a position, say "yes" or "no." The congregations have agency as well. In most cases, ministers are at-will employees of a church, meaning there are no end dates in one's contr…