Archive for November 15, 2006

Just Do It Already!

Our bishops are meeting, and they’ve talked about the importance of starting new churches. They describe their desire to ramp up the church planting efforts from 75 new churches a year to 365 churches a year.

“The bishops not only envision planting at least one new church every day outside the United States, where there is significant membership growth, but also starting a new church every day in the United States, where the membership has declined for 40 years, [Bishop Lindsey Davis] said.”

I have only been in the UMC as a probationary elder for about a year and a half, and I’m already exhausted from all the talking. I’ve heard so much about starting new churches, but I have seen very little done to actually start new churches. I know it takes money; I know it’s complicated. Yet still, I want to say just do it already!

November 15, 2006 at 8:43 am Leave a comment

The Real Mary: Chapter Three

Scot McKnight begins this chapter with the following piece of information, “In the 1980s the government of Guatemala banned any public reciting of Mary’s Magnificat because it was deemed politically subversive (p. 15).” The Magnificat is a song about righting injustice and overthrowing power. This is a powerful reminder that the Mary in the creche is incomplete unless we picture Mary as a woman of justice. McKnight compares the Magnificat with members of the African American community signing We Shall Overcome in the 60s and 70s.

How many of us think of Mary as a revolutionary? Maybe some of us. Yet, I would wager a guess that most of the average churchgoers in the United States would not catch this particular emphasis in the birth narratives of Jesus. McKnight even suggests that Mary is much like the disciples in that she has expectations of a earthly Davidic dynasty with Jesus enthroned in Jerusalem (p. 21).

Some folks won’t appreciate this work because it doesn’t go deeply into the composition of the gospel narratives and talk about the editor/authors much, simply attributing everything said to ‘the real Mary’ at face value. Even though I appreciate this sentiment, I think it is interesting and important to read Mary’s voice as Mary’s voice and see where it leads. In this chapter, it leads to justice, peace, and freedom from oppression. How could we disapprove?

November 15, 2006 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

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November 2006

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