Bishop's Blog Archive


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Jesus is Lord – the Heart of Discipleship ©

The earliest creedal affirmation of Christians is the simple phrase, “Jesus is Lord.” Such a confession stood in sharp contrast to the central claim of the Roman Empire with its assertion that Caesar is Lord. At the heart of discipleship lies the ...

Confession. Conviction and Response ©

The headline in Tuesday morning’s Fort Worth Star Telegram read, “A Day of Outrage in Response to Shootings.” Such a headline calls to mind our need for confession, conviction and response. It is morally bankrupt to simply receive the news of the ...

Entire Sanctification (A Guest Blog) ©

As I have indicated in previous blogs during this time of crisis in The United Methodist Church, I find myself being driven back to core purposes for The United Methodist Church. In doing so, I cannot avoid wrestling on a deeper level than I have in ...

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A Key Sign of Spiritual Health and Disciple-making Vitality ©

I returned home from a month of renewal leave last Monday (Aug. 19), and quickly found myself re-immersed in the regular routine of the episcopal office. There were predictable emails awaiting me about this initiative or that problem. A slew of ...

As the Storm Rages: Part III ©

This Blog is part three of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video ...

As the Storm Rages: Part I ©

This Blog is part one of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video of ...

Amid the Fluid Chaos ©

For those following larger issues in the United Methodist Church in America, it is an understatement to assert that this is a time of fluid chaos. Conversations, and even threatened action for or against the recently concluded General Conference, ...

A New Thing ©

After the called General Conference in St. Louis, I (along with others) was asked to write a brief article for Circuit Rider, an online magazine put out by The United Methodist Publishing House. The writers were asked specifically to not re-argue or...

The Holy Spirit at Work ©

As I write, it is a Sunday afternoon and I have just returned to my office from sharing with Mooreville United Methodist Church in worship. While with those good and faithful people, I saw the Holy Spirit at work. But I am ahead of myself. Though ...

Important Wespath Pensions Information on the Way Forward

Late last week , the Bishops across the United Methodist Church received an important communication from the General Secretary of Wespath (previously known as the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits) Barbara Boigegrain. General Secretary ...

Living the Christian Difference ©

As we watched the evening news together (as is our custom), Jolynn and I were sitting together on the couch holding hands. Halfway through the broadcast, Jolynn shook her hand loose and asked, “Are you upset?” Her question was spot on. I was ...

The Journey to Jerusalem ©

If Lent is anything, it is a journey with Jesus to Jerusalem - to the cross and beyond. If Lent is anything, it is a journey of faith. Recently, I have been reading Matthew Bates probing book on New Testament theology Salvation by Allegiance Alone: ...

HURRICANE RESPONSE: Great Faithfulness in the Face of Disaster ©

The Apostle Paul famously called for a special offering for the Jerusalem Church and Christians suffering in hard times during a famine in the 40s A.D. Those words of almost two thousand years ago are easily echoed today in response to the great ...

Living the Big Three ©

For last 7 years as bishop of the Fort Worth Episcopal Area, The Central Texas Conference, I have stressed the critical importance and centrality of what I call the “big three” as the focus of our work as a Conference “energizing and equipping local ...

Conclave and Kenya ©

Like many of you, my year has begun with a full slate of ministry activities. It began January 3rd with a day and a half in the office to answer emails and plow through paperwork accumulated from the Christmas – New Year break time. The afternoon of ...

Recovering the Methodist Movement ©

A while back a friend called my attention to a March 2013 article by David Brooks entitled “How Movements Recover.” A part of what grabbed my interest is the often repeated comment about the “Methodist” movement. Movemental growth in the church for a...

A Great Work of Justice ©

One of great ministries taking place in the Central Texas Conference is Methodist Justice Ministry (MJM) under the leadership of Rev. Brooks Harrington. MJM is an outgrowth of First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Texas. Their website (http://...

Flood Relief for Our Neighbors ©

The pictures and news reports are graphic. The flooding is historic in size and scope. The impact has been described as “catastrophic” by The Central Texas Conference’s Coordinator of Disaster Response Rev. Laraine Waughtal. Already the response by ...

A WITNESS IN HONOR OF ST. PATRICK ©

“I rise today in power’s strength, invoking the Trinity, believing in threeness, confessing the oneness, of creation’s Creator.” Thus opens the full text of the famous Celtic prayer St. Patrick’s Breastplate. There is more, much more, to the prayer ...

The Sons and Daughter of the San Antonio Episcopal Area are Going Home ©

Rio Texas, Central Texas & the Work of a Bishop By now many regular readers of this blog are aware that I will be serving as one of four bishops providing episcopal supervision to the Rio Texas Conference until Sept. 1. Bishop Janice Huie (Texas ...

Ministry and Mission Celebrations ©

Amid all of the bad news we hear, often the good news gets lost. Many of us have experienced the reality of two manifestations of the church existing side by side within the same Conference. On the one hand there are those places of shrinkage, ...

Christ the Refugee ©

The words are so simple and common. They come at the conclusion of Matthew’s great story of the Savior’s birth. We read the story at Christmas but rarely focus on closing verses and still less preach on them. “When the magi had departed, an angel ...

Flood Waters, Tornados and the Connection ©

Wednesday morning I arrived back in the Central Texas Conference offices from Montgomery, Alabama. Jolynn and I had been gone for the previous three and a half days while I had the honor and joy of serving as the Conference Preacher for the Alabama- ...

A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirt #6:

  A MISSIONARY CHURCH Shortly before I was elected as bishop in the United Methodist Church, I stood with others, including two bishops, at a tiny country church in Leesville, Texas. A plaque was dedicated to Alejo Hernandez who had been ordained at ...

Progress on Imagining No Malaria, Prayer Missionary & Captives ©

One of the great Focus Areas of the United Methodist Church during the last eight years has been combating killer diseases. In particular, the United Methodist Church has focused on combating the killer disease of malaria through Nothing But Nets and...

An Unfolding Work of the Holy Spirit

  On returning home from the Council of Bishops week-long meeting in Oklahoma City, I find myself slowly getting back into the issues of ministry in our local setting. Among the disagreements at the Council, the great sign of encouragement was our ...

Take My Baby

Our second day at Maua Methodist Hospital in Maua, Kenya, we split to various tasks. A part of our group went with the hospital chaplain on her rounds. As they moved from ward to ward, they came to the maternity unit. The ward did not have private ...

Re-Learning from John the Evangelist

In an earlier blog (September 26, 2014 – Medical Camp & the Ongoing Ministry of Ken Diehm), I wrote about the incredible experience of participating in a Medical Mission Camp near Maua, Kenya. We were among the poorest of the poor and engaged in a ...

Kenya and Habitat

Over the past three weeks much (though not all) of the focus of my work has been on missions and missional issues facing the church. By missional, I broadly mean engaging in deeds of love, justice and mercy. This falls under the broad theological ...

MEDICAL CAMP AND THE ONGOING MINISTRY OF KEN DIEHM

On Wednesday (and again today - Friday, September 26th), the Central Texas Conference Mission Team share with key personal in an incredible experience called "Medical Camp." Leaving after morning chapel at the Maua Methodist Hospital, we drove for ...

MAUA MISSION

The day opens with worship at 7:30 in the hospital chapel. The simple but pleasant sanctuary fills with hospital staff and we stand to sing. The music comes from an old British Methodist hymnal and is known to many of us. As the voices lift in song, ...

Math and Mission

One of the great gurus of church and conference vitality is Dr. Gil Rendle. Gil serves as Senior Consultant for the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF). He is the convener and guide for the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ) Bishops Conclave (a bishops’ ...

A Christian Response to the Border Crisis

The image of protestors angrily greeting three busloads of mostly women and children in San Diego is both vivid and powerful. Primal emotions were stirred. The victims were often terrified younger children. The great issue – immigration reform – is a...

MISSION TO FORT WORTH

What comes to your mind when you think of a missionary? I must confess that my usual image is both anchored in the past and colonial in genre. I imagine Albert Schweitzer and pith helmets. Intellectually I know better. Here in Central Texas we are ...

The Prisoner’s Prayer

In May of 2008 Jolynn took a trip to Ethiopia with the group from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio (where she was serving as a faculty member). The trip was led by a retired Lutheran Missionary whose place on the UIW faculty ...

Good News on a Great Connection

Amid reports on institutional angst and anguish (including the recent letter from the Council of Bishops) what is often lost is the great good news of tremendous ministry taking place through the United Methodist Connection. Friends, there are some ...

Representative Granger Working with Imagine No Malaria

Tuesday, September 3rd I had the privilege of visiting with Representative Kay Granger, Congresswoman for the 12th District in which I reside. On behalf of the other bishops of Texas (Bledsoe, Dorff, Huie and McKee) along with Bishop Tom Bickerton ...

A Drop in the Bucket

I can’t take claim for the title of this blog. Rather, I write to lift up and celebrate the ministry of one of our adult Sunday School Classes. The Contemporary Forum class of First United Methodist Church in Georgetown, Texas is living the ...

Connection and Conference

Last night I watched the reports on the tornadoes that ripped through the Granbury-Cleburne area. I could not help but remember the devastation caused to St. Barnabas and Arlington a little over a year ago. Like so many, I took time to pray for those...

When Faith Kicks In

On Thursday morning, April 25, I travelled to West, Texas with staff leadership from the Central Texas Conference (Rev. Dawne Phillips, Rev. Kyland Dobbins, & Vance Morton) to assess how the Conference might best continue to respond to the tragedy. ...

“Yes, UMCOR is here!”

It is easy in our day to take the United Methodist Connection for granted. It is easier still to view “apportionments” as taxes. A variety of recent events not only challenge but also decisively set aside any sense that the connection is unimportant ...

Church in a Time of Change

I find myself settling back in upon our return from our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It feels good to be back in the routine of episcopal life in the Central Texas Conference. Wednesday afternoon I drove down to the South District office and met with...

Extravagant Generosity and Vital Congregations

As I move through the accumulated paperwork of my office, many different items caught my attention. Two offer witness to living out of our missional purpose of “making disciples for the transformation of the world.” Rev. Dawne Phillips shared that ...

I SAW GOD

On Friday night our CTCYM Community Living Center shared in a moving, humorous and thought provoking worship service. Every team came forward & each CTCYMer was invited to share. As if in a cascading litany, young person after young person spoke the ...

RAMPING UP IN ARKANSAS

The words lay sterile on the page in the little read Book of Resolutions: "The United Methodist Church believes God's love is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot be just observers. So we care enough about ...

JOY AND BLESSING AT CTCYM

Today (Monday, June 11th) finished my first full day at CTCYM (Central Texas Conference Youth Mission). Our young people are a joy as they come together in mission and service! We are building a wheel chair ramp for an older couple in great need. ...