I’ve spent nearly a week here with Elizabeth (yes, Donn and Susan too!). We saw Donn graduate with his master’s in organizational development. There’s been a lot of family time. Ann and Jack came up from Dallas. Donn and I went to see my cousin, Steven & Betty, and uncle, Truman and Bernice.
Of course the big draw was Elizabeth. She was a little slow coming to me, but when Susan gave her a package of string cheese to carry to me so I could open it for her, I was immediately a friend. Soon I was grandpa and the fun began.
I am totally proud of Donn. Not only did he do very well in his program, but he is also a super husband and father. I so enjoyed seeing him caring for Elizabeth, jumping to help Susan, hosting a great party with good friends, talking about issues, laughing, living. He and I had great talks about all kinds of things. It was the longest time we’ve spent together in many years. When the end came, we embraced, exchanged “love you,”Â and then embraced again.
The graduation was in a huge church building, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I’ll admit that I don’t think of UMC churches as large, multi-campus churches. I was really pleased to see their mission statement displayed prominently in the large lobby: To build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. The I saw their vision statement: “Changing lives, transforming the community and renewing the mainline church.” When I went to their web site (here), I was surprised to see a sermon series on the seven deadly sins. Â The sermon was intellectual, but very much to the point. Their beliefs statement tries to place them on the theological spectrum:
United MethodistsÂ hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.Â
Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that was lively, and small groups where people could grow in faith.
Methodists have open hearts, and open minds–and welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith.
I had to repent of my stereotyping!
Now I have to get back to Doctrine: Timeless Truths for Truthless Times. But I may want to look at more pictures. Or perhaps you want to do it for me? They are here.