“One day, a student of Socrates asked his venerable teacher how to become wise. Socrates led the student to a nearby lake and the two entered the water. Then, he held the student’s head under the surface as the frantic young man fought wildly. Finally, Socrates freed him. The young man gasped and gulped. Socrates watched calmly and said, “When you desire wisdom with the same intensity that you desire to breathe, then nothing will stop you from getting it.”
Socrates is right, the motivation to succeed comes from within us.
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“Sermons in Shorts” is an outdoor program hosted by English Lutheran Church of Ellsworth in its second year.
First, a group from an Ellsworth church took the Good News to an area bar.
Next, they brought the message to area parks, most recently one in east end. Soon, their mission will have them going to a local lake.
“This Ain’t Your Mama’s Church”
Our primary purpose at “This Ain’t Your Mama’s Church” is to share the message of God’s love and His amazing grace with the motorcycle community of the Central Valley, and to disciple and mentor those who Continue reading →
Toronto, Ontario – August 2011 – According to a November 2010 report from Global Scripture Impact, “Bible engagement in North America is at a shockingly low level, not only within the general population, but among church-attending Christians.” In an effort to effectively shine the light of God’s Word upon an otherwise darkened world, CBS has recently undertaken a number of strategic campaigns including partnerships with ministries and Bible societies around the world; various applications of social media networking; and the successful use of new technology, applied most recently with the inclusion of QR codes in our Bible Sunday drive.
Now, in a bold initiative that combines the growing popularity of e-publishing with the need to reach out in more personal and dynamic ways, CBS is launching the “Open the Bible; Open Your Mind” Shameless Bible Reader campaign. This eye-catching title reflects our conviction that when the true value of Scripture is realized, lives are dramatically changed by the transforming message of God’s Word. And, in a unique twist on the publishing dilemma of trying to figure out the public’s interests and needs, CBS will ask supporters to nominate and vote on the topics and issues they most want to know about related to the Bible. The winning subject, as determined by the title with the most votes, will be offered in a well-researched but easy-to-read book fully prepared and published within 100 days. The entire editorial journey – from creating the outline, to developing each chapter, through the final editing process – can be followed daily on Facebook, blogs and the CBS website.
Each donation of $10 or more towards one of a number of global Bible distribution projects will receive a free downloadable copy of the book along with the satisfaction of knowing that the money will be used to help fund the project’s goal of giving Bibles to 100,000 people. The Shameless Bible Reader book will be available through CBS and will be for sale from PraiseBooks, a Vancouver based company that has been distributing digital media to the church since 1998.
The Rev. Pam Estes has led a charge of three tiny churches in rural southern Arkansas and a small city church in Little Rock. Altogether, she has served Arkansas United Methodists in ordained ministry for 21 years, always going where her bishop sends her.
That is the covenant the church has had with its ordained elders: Serve where you are assigned and you always will have an appointment. Now that promise could be threatened: The denomination’s 2008-2012 Commission to Study the Ministry has made a preliminary recommendation of doing away with clergy job guarantees.
Estes worries about the uncertainty that she and other pastors will face if such a proposal is approved by the 2012 General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body.
“What will happen if my next appointment doesn’t work out?” she said. “Would I just be let go? By 2012, I would be 60-plus years old, and I’m a single woman.”
Estes represents a number of United Methodist ordained elders who expressed deep misgivings about a preliminary recommendation to end “guaranteed appointments” for elders in good standing while retaining the ability of bishops to move clergy to different assignments.
Guaranteed appointments are a major contributing factor to mediocrity and ineffectiveness, the ministry study commission told the United Methodist Council of Bishops at its recent spring meeting. The commission’s recommendations are included in an interim report, but the group will not release its final report for the 2012 General Conference until next year.
United Methodist elders agree incompetent clergy should be removed from their ranks. But many say there is a process in place now for such action, one with rights of appeal.
They fear the commission’s proposal would leave them open to arbitrary dismissal, compromising their freedom to speak hard truths to troubled congregations. In addition, they worry that such a shift would leave women and ethnic minorities more vulnerable to discrimination.
“I have a healthy enough view of the sinfulness of the human condition that I have some angst about changes that open the door to episcopal action against the freedom of the pulpit,” said the Rev. Carl Schenck, senior pastor of Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis.
“I wish to protect the church from laziness and incompetence,” he added. “But I also want to protect the church from discriminating against gifted pastors.”
Estes said she knows from experience that women still face resistance from some congregations.
“There are churches that don’t want pastors who are women, or only want pastors who are married,” she said. “If you happen to get a first appointment that isn’t a strong one, what happens then?”
The lifetime job guarantee for United Methodist elders is a promise the church can no longer keep, according to a study group.
“Guaranteed appointments” are a major factor contributing to mediocrity and ineffectiveness and emphasize the needs of the ministers rather than the mission of the church, declared the interim report of the denomination’s Commission to Study the Ministry: 2008-2012.
The report, presented to the United Methodist Council of Bishops at its recent spring meeting, recommends doing away with guaranteed jobs for elders in good standing, while retaining the ability of bishops to move clergy to different assignments and churches.
The commission will not release its final report for the 2012 General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body, until next year. But issues it is now addressing include how the denomination can drop clergy job guarantees while offering protections for women and minority clergy and care for older elders who may lose their jobs.
“The issue is the church now is facing the challenge of having a huge responsibility for people whether there is a place for them or not,” Bishop Alfred Gwinn Jr., commission chair, said in an interview.
Another tidbit I gleaned from this weeks conference. Think about the many ways you could use this program to teach others the importance of giving, caring for orphans, and how every one of us can make a change! We will be doing this outreach program in the near future – so stay tuned and help us make a change.