the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sunday 11/20/05 Year A - Christ the King

This Week's Texts

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 95:1-7a
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46

You must read Justice for "the Least of These," Salvation for All by Karen A. Keely at "The Witness."

from Brian Stoffrengen:
I love [this passage], because these good works are not really works that earn us heaven because the doers of them don't realize that they have done anything good. Caring for other people is such a part of their (redeemed) nature, that they are produced naturally -- like a good tree naturally producing good fruit. In the same way, the "goats" don't realize that they have done anything wrong. "The Great Surprise" may be a more appropriate title to this text than "The Final Judgment."


Blogger Christopher said...

Thgnaks joel for your kind comment. I still feel a bit hallow from the experience. My in laws are retiring in a few years just north of Atlanta, they are cbf missionaries. we'll be up that way this christmas. it looks like your into the liturgical calendar . . . I'm thinking about giving the lectionary a run starting with this upcomming advent. peace to you Brother.

11/16/2005 3:24 PM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...

I have been using the common lectionary exclusively for three years now. I have completed one three year cycle. It has broadened my knowledge of scripture and forced me to preach from passages that I would not have chosen on my own. I highly recommend it.

11/16/2005 7:50 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

yes I agree and have heard that from other preachers (preach passages that they might overlook or shy away from).

11/19/2005 12:35 AM  
Anonymous Morris Taber, said...

You asked the question on another site about what the United Methodist Decision 1032 is all about. I am not a blogger at heart--moreover, the detail dosn't fit wellon a blog site.

The short answer is that--as you know--Methodists are in great disagreement on the issue of homsoexuality--a nasty sin or largely genetic? The conservatives on that issue have obtained a majority on our church's "Supreme Court" In deciding a case arising out of a VA pastor's refusal to allow a homosexual man in a committed relationship to join the church to which had been previously invited--and his being placed on adminstrative leave for resisting the direction of his District Superintendent, Bishop, and the clergy of his Conference--The basis for their action is the language cited in the Bishops' pastoral letter---ALL persons amy be members of the UM Church.
In order overturn those actions, support the exclusion of an avowed homosexual man, and restore the local pastor, the Judicial Council essentially created new Church law. We do not emphasize or demand adherence to a specific creeed or catechism--Beliefs are between oneself and God and people of differing beliefs are welcome--Wisconsin Synod to Roman Catholic. We also refer to our church structure as "connectional." By that we mean that, we mean that we accept our place as a part of a system that appoints pastors to churchs and expects certain acquiesence in the structure of the system as determined by decisions by lay and clergy at various levels. This framework for getting done the work of the church has been seen as the essence, not dooctrinal uniformity. !031 and 1032 essentially stated that local pastors are free to impose their doctrinal or other tests on church membeship and are not subject to supervision by the denomination in so doing.

We have absolutely no quarrel with credal churches or with independent congregations that wish to set their own standards for membership. There are many paths of faith and we make no attempt to impose ours on others.

However, that has not been the approach of the United Methodist Church--and there is nothing in the very extensive body of church rules to support what is essentially a 180 degree turn in polity.

I would be happy to correspond directly with you on this topic. I am an active layman with four UM clergy close family members.

11/20/2005 3:11 PM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...


Thank you for your response. I understand what the Judicial Decision 1032 is and what it is about. We have been having the same debates in the Baptist community as well. My question had to do with the published response of the Council of Bishops posted on William Willmon's site. It appeard to me to be a lot of double talk with no real substance and if I am reading it correctly it is useless and so, it seems, is the Council of Bishops.

Your response and comments are very welcome.

11/20/2005 10:02 PM  

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