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I’m not bashful when it comes to my position on homosexuality.

To me it’s a no-brainer.  I preach on a regular basis that Love is the most powerful force in the universe, that God’s Love can cross all boundaries and divisions.

So, love between two people of the same sex doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.  It’s Love.

This week, the Supreme Court of the U.S. is looking at California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

These are key laws that limit the rights of gays and lesbians.  The courts will be ruling on their constitutionality.  We’ll just have to see what happens.

I’m ready for these laws to change. How about you?

Now…

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Church.  We have our own set of laws that govern our behavior as churches.

Currently, our church laws prohibit gays and lesbians from being married in our churches.  And, “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained as pastors.

I’m ready for these laws to change, too. How about you?

In Romans, Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel…”  Nor am I.  The Gospel rocks!  The truth of Jesus is amazing!

But I am ashamed of our church’s stance on homosexuality.  We have misread The Gospel.

What will it take for us to change?  The answer is complicated.

We’re a global church, and the attitudes toward homosexuality vary from place to place.

We’re a methodical church, and things change very slowly.

We’re a divided church on many issues.

That’s part of what makes our denomination great — people with differing opinions on social issues can call each other brother and sister and worship the same God.

But, we are not treating everyone like full brother and full sister.  And that has got to change.

I’ve thought about leaving my denomination many times, because of this issue.

But I don’t WANT to leave it.

I want to CHANGE it.

Today I was planning to write a devotion about Holy Week.

About Jesus being betrayed and denied and condemned, and our complicity in allowing something so unjust to happen.

Somehow…

I think I just did.

Have a great week,

Mitch

http://humanrightscampaign.tumblr.com/

RateMyPastor.com

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HOW DOES YOUR PASTOR STACK UP AGAINST OTHER PASTORS IN YOUR AREA?

GO TO RateMyPastor.com AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!

Well actually…

There’s no such site.  Which is disappointing.  I mean, how will you know if your pastor is any good?

To help you out, I’ve made a little check sheet.  If your pastor meets each criteria, check that one off, and then add them up to see how they do:

THE IDEAL PASTOR SHOULD HAVE:

___ The flexibility of a gymnast.
___ The fund-raising skills of a televangelist.
___ The speaking skills of an orator.
___ The maturity of a veteran.
___ The administrative skills of a CEO.
___ The vision of an entrepreneur.
___ The conflict management skills of an arbitrator.
___ The spiritual power of a shaman.
___ The timing of a stand-up comedian.
___ The listening ear of a therapist.
___ The wisdom of a sage.
___ The knowledge of a professor.
___ The compassion of a tibetan monk.
___ The charisma of a celebrity.
___ The energy of an athlete.
___ The wardrobe of an executive.
___ The youthfulness of a Hipster.
___ The thirst for justice of a community organizer.
___ The tenderness of a hospice chaplain.
___ The leadership of a general.

So, how did you pastor do?

If you gave them 1-5 out of 20 they’re GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS.
If you gave them 6-10 out of 20 you’re BLESSED TO HAVE THEM.
If you gave them 11-20 YOU’RE LYING!

The truth is, NOBODY could be and do all the things people expect pastors to be and do!

It’s one of those professions that has lots of skills that can be attached to it. Some pastors are great fundraisers.  Others are great preachers or teachers.  Still others are phenomenal with pastoral care.

Your pastor is excellent in some things, good in others, and probably struggles a bit with other areas.  That’s normal.

See that list above?  That’s a better job description for a whole church!

Along with the gifts of the pastor, members of a church can lend their skills and gifts to provide a vital, well-rounded ministry.

It turns out I’m glad there’s no RateMyPastor.com.

We ALL are called to give our very best for the Kingdom, and that includes everybody, including you.

You’ll be happy to know…

there is no RateMyCongregation.com either. 🙂

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Magnets images are from zazzle.com

Many wombs.

womb

My bed…

never feels more comfortable than three minutes before my alarm goes off.

The sheets are the perfect temperature.  My body has conformed itself perfectly to the mattress.

The room is quiet.

I’ll lie there, in the 8 minutes between snoozes, wondering why I would ever climb out of this womb and into the harsh day.

Somehow, I force myself to stand up. The day begins.

Later, I hit

the shower…

If I could live in the shower, I would.  Warm water in a closed, safe environment.  Frequently the length of my shower is determined by how long the hot water lasts.  I give birth to most of my ideas in the shower. Another womb, that I hate to leave.

Somehow, I dry myself off.

I climb into

my car..

It’s messy, but it’s mine.

That 30 minute commute is me time.  I listen to books on tape.  I think.  Sometimes I pray.

I may be traveling 75 mph, but inside my car, I’m cozy.  Comfortable.

I pull into the parking lot and take a deep breath.  Yet again, another womb I hate to leave.

I step into

my office…

It’s a nice office, with a desk and a table and a closet.

It’s about as messy as my car, but it’s mine.

I plop down in my chair and check my e-mail.  I feel at home here.

But I can’t stay in this womb, either.  I have meetings to attend, events to plan, visits to make.

So I step out onto the street, and make my way downtown.

Out, finally, into

the world…

It’s cold today.

There’s no buffer between me and everybody and everything.

No separation between me and buildings and cars and trees.

And then I hear one tree in the parking lot across the street.

Its leaves rustle with the cool wind, and I am astounded to find myself

yet again in the presence of God.

And I remember:

The world is a womb.

What will God give birth to today?

Have a Great Week,

Mitch