July 20, 2012
As our nation grieves over those lost in the tragic movie theater shooting in Colorado, I read this prayer which was written following the Virginia Tech shooting. I believe it speaks deeply to what we are feeling today. I pray it bring you comfort.
Litany for a Great Tragedy
the Rev. David Hicks
Lord, we come to you stunned, shocked, grieving … our hearts linked to those for whom this tragedy shall veil their hearts for a long time to come.
Lord, come to comfort us, and come to offer healing and hope to those whose spirits are wounded by the sudden death of ones they love.
Father, where can we turn when the senselessness of hatred and violence rips apart our complacency, save to you? Where is our peace, save in your arms of mercy?
Lord, we cry, Abba, Father! Comfort these your children, you who lost your only child. Embrace the ones among us for whom grief is so raw and fresh today.
We confess our sin, the violence that lurks in us all. We call it anger, hatred, revenge … whatever its name, it is a compelling power within us.
Lord, pull the root of bitterness, the whirlwind of anger, the deadened heart of hatred out of us and restore to us a heart of flesh. Refill us with your peace. Let your love be a lamp to light the way that leads us home.
When all else is stripped away, when all that the world offers us for meaning and purpose is removed, still you, your word, your will, your grace, your holy presence will remain.
ALL: Lord, we place our trust in you. We find our comfort in you. We find meaning that defeats random and chaotic violence in you. For you will wipe away every tear from our eyes and the eyes of our sisters and brothers, and we will be your people, and you will be our God.
In the power of the Resurrection, we pray. Amen.
“Copyright © 2007 Rev. David Hicks. Published by The General Board of Discipleship. Used with permission.” Original prayer here.
June 9, 2012
This upcoming week is going to be fun, emotional, and crazy. It is moving week in the United Methodist Church. I was thinking what songs could describe this week?
Most pastors (and a youth pastor) will celebrate their last Sunday at the church they work. My church is throwing me a reception at Sunday school. I seriously am planning on out associate pastor singing Adele’s Someone Like You.
On Wednesday literally dozens of pastors will move churches and parsonages. I wondering if any will listen to Gotye’s Somebody that I Used to Know.
After a roller coaster of emotions clam returns as reflection on your purpose stirs excitement. Your first Sunday you want to give it all you got With Everything (By Hillsong United).
What songs will you be listening to?
May 31, 2012
Last week I posted about tweeting and ministry. Here’s a response I got on facebook from my buddy Ben.
He got me thinking. What is the best way to leverage my blog for the ministry I will be in. Keep in mind I will be taking over two awesome, small, rural churches where the majority may not be blog readers. With that being said here are a few blogs that I know of and my thoughts towards them.
- Ben Gosden’s Friend – as Ben mentioned his friend will blog about the sermon he is planning for the week. I love the idea. I’m not sure if Wednesday would give me enough time to make adequate adjustments. I have seen Andrew Conard post his entire sermon on a public google document and ask for feedback. I love both ideas, but would probably tweak it a little bit.
- Ben Gosden’s Blog – Covered in the Masters Dust is a great blog. Ben will be a bishop one day if that is what he desires (I called it). He is a really sharp guy. He blogs about the topics dealt with mostly in mainline Christianity, specifically United Methodism, theology, doctrine, and church polity. I love checking out his blog. I highly recommend it, especially for young clergy. I hope to have opinions and ideas on his level one day, but I am simply not there yet. See also John Stephens or Kevin DeYoung.
- J.R. Lee - J.R. does an awesome job with his blog. He is probably the closest to what I want to emulate. He does two things really well in my opinion. The first I love his midweek review. He gives a lot of bullet points of things going on in the life of the church. Second he teases the upcoming sermons. Usually it is just the logo and a brief description. He also will put in some random post about books, life, devotion, etc. I could see something similar being beneficial.
- Perry Noble – Perry does a great job of providing devotional insights and bullet points of things going on in a church. It serves as a great way for the Sr. Pastor to adress all the people in an individual way, even though he could never spend the time with everyone due to the size of his congregation. He is very good at using his blog to challenge and motivate. It probably is not just my natural communication style, but extremely effective. See also Steven Furtick or Brandon Williams.
So all these include some academic, devotional, church development, and doctrine. I’m just trying to find the right mix. Did I describe these right? Did I leave any out? Which do you think will be most helpful?
April 25, 2012
This a post to a twitter buddy of mine, Andrew Conard. Andrew has an outstanding blog that is one of my favorite resources for ministry. One of my favorite post I recommend to pastor friends is his outline and comments on a service of Death and Resurrection. Also, he gets to hang out with one my heroes, Adam Hamilton. I could not resist responding to this tweet with a post on my blog.
Andrew, thanks for having a great blog and sharing with others! Here are some brief notes on what I would like to hear.
- I want to know EVERYTHING about your transition. I’ve already enjoyed what you have posted so far. I am so excited to be taking my first appointment at the Hagan/Union charge in the South Georgia Conference, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.
- I would like to know how your responsibilities will change from working at COR to being a Sr. Pastor at FUMC Eldorado. From going to a big staff to your new staff.
- What is your vision for your first year? Specifically how much work do you want to put in upfront so that you can leverage that work and connections later on while still having a family life.
- Strategically what will your goals be early on in sermon planning, vision casting, pastoral care, and corporate development?
I hope that helps! I am humbled you would even ask my opinion. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to hearing what God does through you and your family.
April 24, 2012
In preparation for my new appointment I am trying to figure out simple ways to put audio of sermons online. Right now neither church has a website and I will not have the talents of Justin Peay the Statesboro First Methodist Media Man.
Here is a little test run I did. I put an image in final cut and added audio of the sermon then uploaded it to vimeo. What are the pros and cons? I would love any suggestions.