Bishop's Blog Archive


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Christ and Culture Revisited No.1 ©

We look back with a mixture of scorn, dismay, and amazement. It was Nov. 27, a.d. 1095, when Pope Urban II launched the first Crusade to “retake the Holy Land.”  At the time, when Pope Urban finished his sermon calling for the First Crusade, there ...

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Calling Clergy to Bridge Building ©

The response to COVID-19 varies throughout the conference – from district to district, county to county, family unit to family unit. The Be the Bridge Racial Reconciliation Training Seminar is an important and excellent opportunity for us to come ...

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Looking Beyond Division ©

Bipartisanship is seemingly rare these days, but it does happen. Our daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Lowry Meek, works for The American Network of Community Options and Resources (known simply as ANCOR). ANCOR is a national trade group representing both ...

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Anguish and Witness in Troubled Times ©

As I write this blog today, I am, along with so many of you, in anguish. The shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, followed by the gunning down of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber pierces the heart. Stunned incredulity at ...

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Passion and Wisdom ©

While “sheltering in place,” Jolynn and I have enjoyed a return to “Sunday night at the Movies.” A few weeks ago, we watched the great old action flick “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Early this week, I came across an arresting reflection on ...

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Getting History Right – Juneteenth ©

As Jolynn and I watched the evening news, a report came on about the Tulsa massacre.  By now you may know the story. At the end of May 1921 mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma....

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Our Prayer: “On Earth as it is in Heaven” ©

Moderator's Note: A video in which Bishop Lowry directly and fervently addresses the recent events surrounding the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd and the blight of racism and shares some ideas for concrete, specific action to fight racism...

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A Sickness in Our Soul ©

Racism is a sickness in our soul. It is a scourge which haunts the best of us. Like most of you, Jolynn and I have watched with horror the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. Many of us are at loss for how to appropriately ...

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A Christian Response to the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery ©

While the COVID-19 crisis clamors for our attention and the struggle on how best to re-open swamps our perceptions, the sin of racism still blights our society and nation. We have witnessed one person, a white woman, being celebrated, encouraged and...

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Reflections on The Line Becomes a River ©

Moving into the heart of January, we tend to slide easily over the first part of the life of Jesus and settle back into our lives.  Amid the chaos of international events, the clamor of impeachment hearings and the ongoing drama of our everyday ...

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 ...

Spiritual Warfare, the Crisis on the Border and the Wrestling of My Heart ©

John Wimber There is an urban legend about John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Church movement and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. The story goes that after his conversion to Christ, he started to attend a local church in his area. ...

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...

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 ...

Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way #14 ©

Practical Christianity Last Saturday I was sitting at the First Steps: How to Big Your WIG Journey gathering in the Fellowship Hall of University UMC. The gathering wrestled with the goal of how we reach out to a new generation. The WIG (Wildly I...

Iona Interlude ©

I am pausing my “Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way” series to share a brief word on a pilgrimage in leadership development. By the time this is posted, I will be in Iona, Scotland with a group of young adults from the Central Texas Conference....

Reflections on the Visit of a Holy Man

I confess to being late to work this morning. I stayed extra half hour at home to watch the arrival of Pope Francis at the White House. The crowds gathered, the pomp and ceremony; the gravitas of press coverage, and the respectful public speeches - ...

A Call for Prayer and Healing from the Council of Bishops

Once a quadrennium, the United Methodist Council of Bishops meets intentionally outside the United States, which reminds us that we are truly a worldwide church. As we gather in Berlin, I ask for your prayers, especially for those Christians ...

Racism is Real!

In preparation for Thanksgiving my wife has decorated our house beautifully. If you step into the living room and look at the mantle over the fireplace, four elegant figurines peer out from the fall foliage. On the left are the classic looking ...

Facing the Demons

The words are rightly well known. They are oft uttered in heartfelt worship. Any genuine life of intentional discipleship rides on the wings of its application. What words are those? “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us ...

Critical Behavioral Change

Common wisdom is that we change our beliefs, then our actions follow. Reality is often different. Most of us act our way into a new way of thinking and believing. If we push hard on this distinction, the truth emerges that it is a both/and not an ...

CORE STRATEGIES: Wesleyan Spirituality and Theology

My recent participation in the 13th Oxford Institute for Wesley Studies has given me much reason to pause and reflect on the importance of our Wesleyan essence. With this blog I am beginning a series of blogs on core strategies of the Central Texas ...

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 ...

The Great 50 Days

Easter is over. As a pastor for 30 years I am aware of a sense of the life of the church moving on. We start looking towards the end of school, graduations, Mother’s Day, summer activities, Vacation Bible School, mission trips - the list is almost ...

Outwardly Focused & Upwardly Witnessing

Allow me to begin with a story that comes from Pastor Steve Nance at Groesbeck First UMC. “The lady that runs our local housing authority office called the church some time back asking for clothing for one of her clients. She called nine local ...

Saint Nicholas Takes a Knee

A reprint of a treasured work of art hangs just inside my office entrance. It is Paolo Veronese’s painting of The Consecration of Saint Nicholas. I beheld the original in The National Gallery, London, England, while on renewal leave last ...

The Outlandish Claims of Radical Orthodoxy

It is right there in the great opening overture of the Gospel of John. “The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The phrase translated ...

An Arch of Holiness

Few secular books have stayed with me at the depth of Robert Quinn’s Deep Change. I first read it over 11 years ago and still find myself going back to it for insight. Quinn’s central thesis is simple. We face the choice between deep change or slow ...