Untied Methodist (John 11:44)

A working preacher in Washington, D.C., wrestles with Scripture, the (sigh) United Methodist Church and his soul.

Location: Washington, D.C., United States

Currently the pastor of Foundry UMC in Washington, DC, a wonderful and blessed reconciling congregation. Formerly a United Methodist communicator and editor. Formerly a campus minister. Formerly pastor in Philadelphia for 24 years. Graduate of Albright College and Boston University of Theology. Husband of Jane Malone and father of David, Nancy and Naomi. Resident of Capitol Hill, a wonderful place to live! Articles published in Zion's Herald, a must-read magazine for Methodists, a variety of United Methodist publications, the Christian Century, newspapers.


Some photos from Liberia

Liberia Jane
Originally uploaded by untied methodist.
I confess that I have just learned how to post photos. Here are some pictures from our trip to Liberia to attend the United Methodist annual conference there. It was a powerful and rich experience.

Here Jane Malone, my wife, is honored by the annual conference and presented with a traditional dress.


Blogger Mirdad said...

My first instinctive reaction to your report from Liberia was: "Those people's suffering was at their own hand. Everything which happened to them, they did to themselves. Why should I disturb myself to save them from their own folly? They will probably just go and do it all over again, once there is some infrastructure rebuilt to be plundered and stolen."

I confess these thoughts here, because I believe many people in our materialistic society think likewise.

But when I read those words again, I wondered with apprehension if God might perhaps say the same thing, upon viewing the sorry state of humanity in general - including me. Fortunately for us, I don't believe God would.

To approach God, we have to develop the qualities of God, including love, forbearance and a boundless compassion. Charitable work is often - maybe even always - fruitless. As Jesus observed, and who would know better: "The poor you have always with you."

The real lasting effect of charity is not the worldly betterment of the unfortunate, but the spiritual betterment of our souls. Whether or not there is any tangible effect from our efforts, there is a spiritual work going on within us, as every kid who has returned from the Appalachian Service Project will testify. Those who permit us to help them are doing US a favor, not vice versa.

This is the glory of Methodism: good works bring us closer to God, whether they are blessed with good results, or not.

To sum up: There is a wonderful song, called "Everything Possible." After listing everything possible for us, the refrain ends: "The only measure of your words and your deeds, will be the love you leave behind when you're gone."

4:53 PM  

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