Blogs/Columns


Latest from the Bishop

Pastoral message following Judicial Council rulings

5/3/2019

Bishop Ough urges Minnesota United Methodists to stay together and strong in this in-between time, and to be the leaders and the church God is calling us to be.


Best days ever at camp—today and to come

8/29/2012

It was Monday morning, July 23. I was at Koronis Assembly Grounds on a site visit with our prospective director of camping, Keith Shew. A young girl was riding her bike down the hill in front of the dining hall, yelling out: “Best. Day. Ever!” This was even before breakfast. We have gone through many hard discussions and made difficult decisions related to our camp and retreat ministry. ...


Farewell, Minnesota

8/29/2012

by Bishop Sally Dyck As I leave Minnesota, I want to thank all of you for the welcome and support that both Ken and I received while here. One of the joys of the journey I've been on in this ministry is being able to live and work in Minnesota. Have I mentioned to you lately how much we have loved living in this wonderful state? One of my intentional goals was to make sure that the rest ...


Pension update from General Conference 2012

8/29/2012

What happened at General Conference 2012? It depends on who you ask. If you ask a conference treasurer or benefits officer, they will mention some of the changes in the area of clergy pensions and benefits. It’s important to know that for those already retired, pension benefits will not change. Active clergy will not lose any pension benefits already accrued. Whatever your age or status ...


Vital Congregations entry #3: Why professions of faith?

8/29/2012

It’s been eight months since the churches of the Minnesota Annual Conference began recording and reporting weekly statistical data for our nation-wide United Methodist Vital Congregations project. United Methodist churches across the country have set goals and are intentionally tracking seven important metrics: worship attendance people received into membership by profession of faith ...


Can we talk?

8/7/2012

I know this column is called “Since You Asked,” but I would like to turn the tables and ask a question of you this month. My question is: can we talk? Comedian Joan Rivers often used this phrase during her act. When she said this, it usually meant that she was about to make someone (her husband, for example) uncomfortable. I’m going to take this opportunity to channel Joan Rivers and ask...


The quality of the conversation

8/7/2012

Recently, I made a few college visits with my nephew. One president, in speaking to the potential students, stated that a criterion you should use in assessing a college is the quality of the conversation that happens in the dormitory hallways in those late night gatherings. What I expected him to say was to judge a school by what happens in the classroom. Instead, he said the level of ...


Vital congregations series #2: Why worship?

8/7/2012

It’s been seven months since the churches of the Minnesota Annual Conference began recording and reporting weekly statistical data for our nation-wide United Methodist Vital Congregations program. United Methodist churches across the country have set goals and are intentionally tracking seven important metrics: 1. worship attendance 2. persons received into membership by profession of ...


Vital congregations series #1: Why measure?

7/3/2012

It’s been six months since Minnesota United Methodist churches began reporting weekly statistical data to the denomination-wide Vital Congregations project. United Methodist churches across the connection have set goals and are tracking progress in seven areas: worship attendance people received into membership by profession of faith number of small groups number of people participating...


What does my church ‘get back’ from apportionments?

6/29/2012

When church members ask this of pastors, district superintendents, and conference staff, they may be hoping for an answer in a dollar amount. Then they could compare that to the church’s apportionment payments. I sometimes wish I could give that type of answer because it is what I’m trained to do—measure and account for financial transactions. But participation in paying apportionments ...


A change of pace

6/22/2012

Why do we keep doing what is not working hoping for different results? LeeAnne Watkins, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, reports that her church canceled all of its adult education opportunities and midweek services (“This just isn’t working,” Christian Century, June 14). They tried everything: Bible studies, book studies, video studies, morning and evening groups, ...


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