Shalom to you

I’ve only just returned, but I must be leaving again.

I started blogging about 10 years ago. Back then, it was a way to explore a lot of questions I had about the United Methodist Church and Wesleyan theology. Over the years, my blogging has been a source of great blessing as I’ve become part of conversations across the United Methodist Church and made friends who I know only online. In all these things, my blog has always been very personal. Although I have been a part-time pastor for nine years now, my blog has never been a pastor’s blog. It has always been just me asking questions and making observations.

Now I am in a season of transition into full-time ministry. In July, I will be appointed as a pastor somewhere in Indiana. As I have been reflecting on that, it has become clear to me that this blog site and my public writing will need to undergo some changes. Simply put, there will no longer be a division between “my blog” and a “pastor’s blog.”

As much as I enjoy being in dialogue with voices from the Pacific to the Atlantic — and further afield — my blogging (if I continue to blog) as a full-time pastor needs to be focused on the congregation and community to which I will be appointed. And so I will be shutting down this site.

I have been grateful for this community of Methobloggers. You gave me a place to ask questions and have my questions honored and respected with critical and supportive feedback. It has been a honor to be a part of this tribe.

I will remain very interested in the wider denomination and the important issues that confront it. And from my location as a local church pastor, provisional elder, and aspiring member of the Indiana Annual Conference, I hope to have a positive impact on the church. The United Methodist Church has given me so much. I hope to give back to this odd body of believers raised up by the Holy Spirit. I hope to keep writing in some way. I will seek to be true to my baptismal vows to strengthen the ministry of the church. But this personal blog can no longer be a high enough priority to continue on in the way it has in the past.

Grace and peace be with you all. God bless you.

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12 thoughts on “Shalom to you

  1. John, I join with those who hope that you will keep the site active even if you don’t continue to post. I haven’t commented often and I haven’t always agreed with your conclusions, but I have appreciated your honesty as you confront the questions and seek to grow in your understanding of Christianity from a Wesleyan perspective.

    I made the mistake of deleting my blog once and I have regretted it ever since. If I can offer a piece of advice, don’t make the same mistake.

    Blessings and peace to you as you seek to follow your calling.

  2. It’s alright not to be consistent here, but I hope to learn from you as you grow in ministry. I’m thankful for your voice and have never thought of you as anything less than an equal colleague. You don’t have to update all the time, but do return as insight strikes!

  3. A view from the pew: Please do not delete your blog. As a person in the pew, you are part of my inspiration that there is hope for the UMC–you have absolutely no delusions of the church you are about to become connected to in a big way but yet you feel called to proceed. I am struggling with my own long-time connection with the Methodist/United Methodist Church; it was never anything I ever chose; I was not only baptized into it I was born into it. I have been stunned over the past few years by what I have learned about the denomination. Locally, I am wrestling with my relationship with the local church as I watch it become more and more institutionalized. I first attended worship there in 1981 and I was not drawn to it because of what it was doing but of who it was as a community of people. Sadly, that is no longer enough; it has to be “doing something”. Keep the blog whether you write in or not; you never know what the future might bring. Blessings on you as you do your small part to help the UMC find a new direction based on its past!

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