Blogs/Columns


Latest from the Bishop

Easter message: ‘Pray with your eyes wide open’

4/18/2019

Bishop Ough invites us to look for change, for hope, and for signs of Christ’s victory over death “with eyes wide open” in anticipation of the future.


Fly fishing or ice fishing?

3/2/2012

For me, fishing is more than recreation; it’s a time of re-creation of body, mind, and spirit. It takes me away from the normal scenes and routines of life. The activity redirects thoughts from roles and responsibilities to the pursuit of different game. The environment stirs the soul as all five senses are stimulated by ocean, river, lake and stream. I enjoy all forms of fishing, but a ...


How do we calculate the budget ceiling? Why do we apportion for uncollectibles?

3/2/2012

I often hear questions about the annual conference apportioned budget, such as, “How do we calculate this?” or “Why do we do that?” Here’s some information about one of the “hows” (our ceiling rule) and one of the “whys” (a separate line item as a contingency for uncollectible apportionments). The Minnesota Conference has a budget “ceiling” rule that prevents the annual conference budget...


Noticed, known, and cared for

3/2/2012

Most every Tuesday and Thursday morning I drag myself out of bed at 5:10 a.m. so I can torture myself for an hour on a spin bike. I do it for one really good reason: I need the exercise. But mostly what helps me get there is I have a friend who attends the same class. I know she will be there, and I tell myself that if she can make it, I can too. And I like starting my day seeing and ...


2011: How we’ve focused our ministry

2/9/2012

by Cindy Gregorson and Barbara Carroll Looking back on 2011, the word that describes the work of the Minnesota Annual Conference is focus. We have spent the past year focusing our work and resources toward our key priorities of reaching new people and cultivating spiritual vitality. 1. We launchedthe Healthy Church Initiative, an intensive process for congregations to assess their ...


Being church vs. doing church

12/28/2011

I was talking with a pastor of a new church in another denomination recently and was struck by his novel approach to ministry. What caught my attention was not just his seamless interweaving of Christian worship and interfaith dialogue. What caught my attention was not just the two-point charge he launched in two different restaurant/bars across town from one another. What caught my ...


New neighbors have arrived

12/22/2011

I noticed something was changing as I handed out candy on Halloween. By my informal observation, 80 percent of my trick-or-treaters were NOT Caucasian. I live in Rosemount. Most people, upon hearing where I live, would expect the opposite . . . that 80 percent of my neighbors are Caucasian. I knew that the block I lived on was fairly diverse in terms of age and ethnicity—which is one of ...


Welcoming the C & E Christians

11/28/2011

I admit it: I like those schmaltzy Christmas movies that the Hallmark channel runs around the clock this time of year. Yes, they can be cheesy. But they always tell a story of some kind of transformation. My favorites tell about someone whose heart is hardened and who is somehow an outsider, either by their own choice or circumstance. Eventually they get loved into new life and often ...


Glimpses of the past that shaped our witness

10/27/2011

These days people may be able to choose from more than one United Methodist church within driving distance. But a hundred or so years ago, when people of European, African, and Asian descent were just starting to move into the Minnesota area, forming congregations entailed special challenges. What sacrifices did those early Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren make so we can enjoy ...


Choose generosity

10/26/2011

I am one of those who commute to work every day. I don’t mind the drive. It is the traffic I hate. You can never predict it. Some days I sail into work; other days I barely crawl. On those crawling days, which are all too frequent, I find myself becoming increasingly impatient and frustrated, especially when we are stopped on the freeway for no apparent reason. I can understand how road ...


Experimentation is the road to the future

10/25/2011

Do you remember when twitter was a bird’s song? text was ink on a page? applications were something you filled out for college admission? outlook was an attitude toward life? facebook was your family photo album? GPS was a Good Passenger in the adjacent Seat? and Skype was simply a typographical error? The world is changing at an accelerated pace. When we don’t try some new things, we ...


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