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Bishop's Blog Archive


Q&A from Reflections and Response to GC19 Meeting ©

On May 1, Bishop Lowry and the CTC Cabinet met with the Central Texas Conference clergy and lay leadership to reflect on and respond to the decisions made at General Conference 2019 and the subsequent Judicial Council rulings on those decisions. ...

On the Road Again ©

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 4th) opens a period of activity that comes around with all the regularity of blooming, perennial spring flowers. I will fly to Chicago to participate in the regularly scheduled spring meeting of the Council of Bishops of ...

No Mercy, No Justice, and Faithful and Fractured ©

Two books have come across my desk recently which I believe are worth sharing. I must confess at the outset that I have only read a small part of the first - No Mercy, No Justice. The second book Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy ...

Institutional Relationships and Faith Based Health Care

Thursday night (September 10th) I drove home from a very engaging and fruitful Cabinet Retreat. This morning (September 11th) I left early to attend a two day Texas Health Resources (THR) Leadership Conference focusing on the critical theme of ...

On the Way to the Council

As I write this blog, I am sitting in a hotel room in Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday October 29th. We have just finished the annual fall meeting of the United Methodist Publishing House Board. (Cokesbury & Abingdon Press are two of the better known ...

Faith, Hope and Clarity - and the Greatest of These is Clarity

When I was working on Doctor of Ministry degree (D. Min.), I had the privilege of studying under a marvelous preaching professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary named Robert Shelton. (Dr. Shelton later served as Dean and President at ...

Insights from Upper New York

Last Thursday I flew to Syracuse, New York. Friday and Saturday mornings I made two separate presentations/bible studies to the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. It was a great time of making new friends, sharing and learning ...

Designing the Path

I can still recall the thrill of listening to Bill Hybels, the Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, describe their mission well over two decades ago. “Willow Creek exists to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Jesus ...

Annual Conference Focuses on Making Disciples

I am often asked, “What is the theme of this year’s Annual Conference?” For me, the answer is always the same. Our theme is “to energize and equip local congregations to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The theme ...

An Inquiry on the Way to Taize

Saturday evening April 5th found Jolynn and me driving over to White’s Chapel UMC to participate in a special Taize “Pilgrimage of Trust” here in the northern part of Texas. Readers may well remember that the Central Texas Conference sponsored a ...

The Vital Connection of Vision and Obedience

Friday (October 25, 2013) I wrote a blog on Vision. In that blog I quoted Proverbs 29:18 in both the KJV translation and the CEB (Common English Bible) translation. Respectively the verse is rendered: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but...

Bishop’s Bible Camp for Adults

Please allow me a brief pause in my ongoing report on “Insights on Changes in Congregations, Clergy and Deployment” – reporting and reflecting on a detailed study of trends in the Central Texas Conference put together by the Lewis Center for ...

Rebuilding the Pipeline

This past week I have visited six seminaries – Chandler, Gammon (ITC), Duke, Asbury, Boston University, and Harvard. A seventh, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. was to be included but could not be fitted into the schedule. Perkins, ...

A Great Bible for Children

As I travel about the Central Texas Conference (St. Philips, Frost/Italy this past month, Chatfield last Sunday and St. Andrews, Arlington coming up in October – I’ll be visiting seminaries next week), I have the joy of coming into contact with young...

Prayer, Justice, Teaching and Evangelism

The last part of this week has been fascinating. It is include much of the key elements of the Wesleyan way of being Christian in my life. Thursday morning opened with a breakfast with my prayer and accountability partner. It is a way I stay grounded...

Christmas Eve, Making Disciples and Church Growth

I have shared often how crucial Christmas Eve worship is as an opportunity to reach non- or nominal Christians. A recent article in Ministry Matters (www.ministrymatters.com click on “Articles”, it was posted November 28th) entitled “How Christmas ...

Ministry Matters Making an Impact

At a recent meeting of the United Methodist Publishing House Board of Directors, we received a great report on a new online ministry. MinistryMatters.com (www.MinistryMatters.com) is the United Methodist Publishing House’s new ministry resource site....

Meeting at the Bridge

Thursday and Friday I have been at a South Central Jurisdictional College of Bishops meeting at Lydia Patterson Institute. Lydia Patterson Institute is a mission of the United Methodist Church and more specifically of the SCJ to share the gospel of ...

Iona Reflections

I must confess that I came to Iona Abbey with a romantic notion of the Abbey Community. Somehow in my mind it represented a modern representation of a heroic past involving courageous Christian witness and daring Christian service. While still ...

Wesley's Rules for Preaching

In my reading as I prepare to leave Tuesday for our Educational Opportunities Tour of Wesley Heritage sites in England, I came across the following comment: “The best general method of preaching (in every sermon) was outlined: to invite, to convince,...

The 85% Problem

Early in December I attended a regular learning group with other bishops that I am a part of – The Episcopal Leadership Forum at Duke Divinity School. While there, we listened to (among other great presentations – including our own Dr. Ginger ...

Informative Events

In the run up to the Thanksgiving holiday, I attended two informative events. While distinctly different from each other, each is evidence of the creative reflection taking place across the United Methodist Church. Saturday, November 20th I attended ...

Understanding Orthodoxy

My August 12th Wilderness Way column sparked a number of responses and questions about the meaning of orthodox Christian belief. They raised questions relative to what I meant by theologically orthodox. While that is a long and deep subject, in ...

Bishops' Week Focus

Currently I am in Arkansas at our Jurisdictional Conference Center, Mt. Sequoyah. June 23rd is a day for the meeting of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. Wednesday, June 24th we begin Bishops’ Week with a decidedly different thrust. ...

Liberal Arts Without Religion?

I sat through a discussion recently about whether a church-related college or university should require a course in religion as a part of a liberal arts education. Science classes, fine arts classes, language classes (to mention a few) are a ...