Monday, May 7, 2012

Theology, Eucharist, and Ministry Conference

United Theological Seminary will hold a conference called "Theology, Eucharist and Ministry" on May 17 of this year. This conference is in honor of Kendall K. McCabe, a retiring professor who has taught at United for 35 years. Speakers and participants are as follows:

William J. Abraham is the Albert C. Outler Chair in Wesleyan Studies at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.  He is the author of Wesley for Armchair Theologians and Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers to Feminism.

Ron Anderson is Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Worship at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.  He is the author of Taught by God: Teaching and Spiritual Formation and Worship and Christian Identity: Practicing Ourselves.

Daniel Castelo is Associate Professor of Theology at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, WA.  He is the author of The Apathetic God: Exploring the Contemporary Relevance of Divine Impassibility.

Paul W. Chilcote is Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, OH.  He is the author of Recapturing the Wesleys’ Vision.

John Drury is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ministry at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN.

Richard Eslinger is Professor of Homiletics and Worship at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  He is the author of Web of Preaching: New Options in Homiletic Method and A New Hearing: Living Options in Homiletics. 

Elaine Heath is McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.  She is the author of We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with the Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community.

Sarah H. Lancaster is Professor in the Werner Chair of Theology at Methodist Theological School of Ohio in Columbus, OH.  She is the author of The Pursuit of Happiness: Blessing and Fulfillment in Christian Faith and Women and the Authority of Scripture: A Narrative Approach. 

Matthew Levering is Professor of Religious Studies at The University of Dayton and the author or editor of numerous books, including The Betrayal of Charity and The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity. 

Rebekah Miles is Associate Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.  She is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Pastor as Moral Guide and Wesley and the Quadrilateral: Renewing the Conversation.

Andrew Sung Park is Professor of Theology and Ethics at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  He is the author of Triune Atonement: Christ’s Healing for Sinners, Victims and the Whole Creation and From Hurt to Healing: A Theology of the Wounded.

Brent Peterson is Associate Professor of Theology at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID.  He is the promotional secretary of the Wesleyan Theological Society and the author of Created to Worship: God’s Invitation to Become Fully Human.

Don E. Saliers is William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus, at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta Georgia.  He is the author of Worship as Theology and Worship and Spirituality.

Jason E. Vickers is Associate Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  He is the author of Minding the Good Ground: A Theology for Church Renewal and Wesley: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Geoffrey Wainwright is Robert Earl Cushman Professor of Christian Theology at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC.  He is the author of dozens of books and articles, including Doxology: A Systematic Theology and Lesslie Newbigin: A Theological Life.

Robin Knowles Wallace is Professor in the Taylor Endowed Chair of Worship and Music at Methodist Theological School of Ohio in Columbus, OH.  She is the author of The Christian Year: A Guide for Worship and Preaching and Worshipping in the Small Membership Church. 

Karen B. Westerfield Tucker is Professor of Worship at Boston University School of Theology in Boston, MA.  She is the author of American Methodist Worship and editor of The Sunday Service of the Methodists.

Edward P. Wimberly is Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost of the Interdenominal Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.  He is the author of African American Pastoral Care: The Politics of Oppression and Empowerment and Moving from Shame to Self-Worth: Preaching and Pastoral Care. 

Joyce Ann Zimmerman is a Sister of the Precious Blood, Dayton, OH, the founding Director of the Institute for Liturgical Ministry, and the author of The Ministry of Liturgical Environment.

To learn more about this event or to register, click here

Friday, May 4, 2012

Annual Conference Sessions Dedicated to to Disability Awareness

The following petition was approved at the 2012 GC to raise awareness of people with disabilities in the church: 

Each Conference shall designate that at least one Annual Conference session during the 2013-2016 quadrennium will have a theme centered on Disability Awareness to set an example for each District and Local Church.  Resources and guidance are available from the Committee on Disability Ministries (currently the United Methodist Task Force on Disability Ministries – see separate petition for name change) and UMCOR Health/Health and Welfare Ministries.  

This is a very important step forward in raising awareness about issues related to people with disabilities. 

New UM Certification Course: Ministry with People with Disabilities

A few years ago I received a message from Bishop Peggy Johnson regarding seminary offerings related to ministry with people with disabilities. While I had done research in this area, United, like many other schools, was lacking with regard to educational offerings in this area. This fall I will teach a course called Disability, the Bible, and the Church, using Amos Yong's book with a very similar title as the primary textbook. Bishop Johnson has kindly agreed to produce a video for the course and to have discussion with us via Skype. 

This course is being folded into a brand new United Methodist certification in Ministry with People with Disabilities. I am very pleased that my seminary is working to provide education regarding this much-neglected area in the life of the church. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Plan UMC passes

"Plan UMC," a plan to restructure the UMC, has passed on the floor of GC. You can learn more about the plan here. This could end up going to Judicial Council, though. 

Update: It did go to the Judicial Council, which struck it down. So, no restructuring at this time.... 

New restructuring plan being debated

With the demise of the Call to Action legislation, a new plan is being debated. There was a move to refer restructuring plans for further study, but it was voted down. And this means... something is probably going to happen here. To be continued....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Full communion with historically black Methodist denominations

The UMC General Conference has voted to approve full communion with the historically black Methodist denominations. This is an important and historic event. Hopefully it will lead to more substantive cooperation between denominations. At least it's a step in the right direction. 

Secured Appointments

The "guaranteed" appointment of UMC elders was passed as a calendar item approved overwhelmingly in legislative committee. In the plenary session there was a motion to reconsider, but the motion failed. So... no more secured appointments for elders. This is a huge change in our polity with far reaching consequences.... It's just not clear what all of those consequences are yet.