10 Things for emergent/missional United Methodists to Be thankful For…

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.


3 thoughts on “10 Things for emergent/missional United Methodists to Be thankful For…

  1. Thanks Mike. These are all wonderful things to be thankful for on a day of thanksgiving. To add to your list, I would add Thank you to the people of Lockerbie Central and the Kingdom work all of you are doing. Thank you also to Taylor Burton-Edwards for his work in missional Methodism.

  2. In regard to #6, and if I were you, Mike . . . I’d remember that the United Methodist Church is comprised of members with a wide variety of political affiliations and from across the associated ideological spectrum. Your Thanksgiving “statement” was not only a cheap shot – doubly distasteful seeing as you brought up Jesus soon after – but also very ignorant of the man and his heartfelt contributions to America + the world. W did more to fight AIDS in Africa . . . preserve the lives of the unborn . . . protect the country in the face of terrorism . . . than any other President has done.

    If anything the failures you speak of lie with UMC church leadership, which has on a number of issues decided it knows better than God. Those being said, we are to remember that our bond in Christ transcends all that in the big picture – yours and George’s included.

    I’ve said my piece on this (rather dated) subject, I won’t waste your time any longer. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  3. Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:


    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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