1. Thank you to John Wesley. We missionals/emergents like to stir things up a bit, raise some hell, speak out boldly against injustice, reach neglected communities, and open the church doors in real ways to those who wouldn’t step foot in to a church in a million years. I think the life and works of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, grants us that permission even if the established church frowns on or is disinterested in such activities.
2. Thank you to the early church. Despite the overwhelming violence and power of the Roman empire, these earlier followers of Christ persisted and still show us 2,000 years later that love wins and that another way is possible.
3. Thank You to the prophetic church. Yeah, somewhere along the way (think Constantine but probably way before that as the church became more and more succesful) the church lost its way. But the link between mainstream religion and injustice is an age old problem ( the need for social propehtics like Micah, Amos, Isiaiah in the first place).
Instead of liberation and community, the churches began to preach and practice and protect the status quo. Whether it was St. Francis of Asissi, Dorothy Day, John Wesley, Dr. Martin Luther King, or countless others whose names history has forgotten, these communities figured out creative ways to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, in spite of violent threats and raw military and economic power or just plain ole’ apathy.
4. Thank You to EmergingUMC2 and beyond. Much thanks to the 30 or so United Methodists who gathered this November to talk about the possibilities of restoring missional methodism. As a participant, it was inspiring to hear all the amazing things going on across the country as Methodists struggle to rethink church. Let’s hope this conversation keeps going.
5. Thank You to the Emergent Conversation. I first started hearing about the emergent conversation a few years ago and it saved my faith or at least my participation in a church.
6. Thank You to no More George W. Bush in public office. Yeah, this is a cheap shot, but it is a little disconcerting that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both claimed to be United Methodists. That presidency might say more about the failures of the United Methodist church than anything else.
7. Thank You to the GBOD worship website. If you ever find yourself needing help with a worship service, check out the General Board of Discipleship’s worship webpage. Consistently updated and always helpful.
8. Thank You for some good Methodist blogs. Check this blog’s home page for them.
9. Thank You to The Future. More and more, it looks like the future of the church will be missional and emergent. Here is Phyllis Tickle’s take on it.
10. Thank You to Jesus Christ. Not in that cheezy I just won the super-bowl kid of way, but for not letting fear or the quest for prestige and power get in the way of God’s plan.