Showing posts from July, 2011

Braeswood Assembly Welcomes All in SW Houston

Braeswood's steeple is easy to find and has been at its present location for many years. Not far from the corner of Braeswood and Fondren, surely this area of town has seen its share of change over the last 30 years. It was easy to find a parking space even though I saw no signage for the existence of visitor spaces upon entering. On my walk to the building, I discovered about 30 "VIP" parking spaces designated for visitors. All were used except one or two. There is a more distant shuttle lot as well.

Led by Senior Pastor Steve Banning, who is Anglo and son of the former Senior Pastor Earl Banning, Braeswood is multi-cultural: there are two full Sunday Hispanic services in their Fellowship Hall. The congregation was largely African American and African immigrant at the 10:45 Contemporary service in the sanctuary. This congregation numbered approximately 350, maybe more. The sanctuary with balcony looks like it will hold between 700 and 750. According to their websi…

Dr. Oz is not my doctor

Nor do I find community in the blink of an eye or a snap of my finger. For that matter, a click wishing a happy birthday is nice, but not very enduring. Jesus' blessings are not to "the friended" or the "liked this." (Matt. 5: 3-12)

I'm thinking about how the Amish, are, according to Weird Al, " just technologically impaired," but in a good way. The telephone makes my convenience more important than the act of face to face community. In the heyday of 1980's televangelism, an ad for the Episcopal church read, "With all due respect to TV Evangelism, have you ever seen a Sony that could give Holy Communion?"

Like pretending Dr. Oz is "my doctor" by watching his program, "community" has become the least common denominator where the road of least resistance is encouraged, and one size fits all. Telling me I have "notifications" is not going to change the fact that I lack motivation in the area of extending rea…

Let's be honest about "clergy health"

Let's take a look at a recent stab at this topic, courtesy of the Board of Pensions of the UMC. I know these recommendations are the fruit of hard work, long hours, prayer, reflection, and concern. I appreciate the committee's effort and energy. Their work should start a conversation at least and hopefully bring about some positive change. The task force’s recommendations are set forth below, with my response in the last three paragraphs of this post. More help for those entering licensed or ordained ministry: Stronger screening of candidates for ministry, standardization and strengthening of the residency program during the provisional period, and providing a provision for a career‐long mentor, apart from the district superintendent.Guidelines for healthy work/life balance: Champion and monitor clergy health and wellness, promoting annual (regional) conference resources, and providing support to clergy, spouses and families.Changes to itinerancy and appointment making: …