Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goodbye Orlando

Everybody say bye to Mickey!

General Assembly 2013 has closed. 

(Please note: I'm at the airport waiting for my flight. I may share a few more General Assembly posts once I'm back home. I have a few more stories to tell...but they are a little long to type out with my thumbs on my phone!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our Folks (take 3)

I was walking through the Exhibit Hall this morning (the last day of General Assembly) and who should I run into...

...the Reverends Brett and Trish Winters!

They are doing well and asked me to share their love with everyone at FCC Scottsdale. Don't worry, I already shared your love with them!

Our Folks (take 2)

Finally got a picture with Lea and one of RJ here at General Assembly. Both photos are from last night's Regions of the Southwest Reception. 

FCC Scottsdale at General Assembly!

Leadership Lecture

Take-away lines from Shelia Spencer's Leadership Development Lecture:

"If you desire a robotic, static thinker -- train them. If you are seeking innovative, critical thinkers -- develop them."

"Leaders are developed through: relationship, coaching, and mentoring."

"Leaders are developed by calling out their uniqueness. Invite them to discover their unique gifts, callings, and leadership styles."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our folks

With the thousands of Disciples here at General Assembly it can be hard to find everyone you want to see. 

But rest assured that I've seen our three FCC Scottadale folks (Lea, Daryl, and RJ) and that they are all doing well and enjoying Assembly. 

Here's a photo of Daryl and I from the GLAD Banquet last night. 

It's Not All About You

Want to know where the Young Adults are and what they are up to?

My dear friend and colleague Rev. Courtney Richards along with Julie Richardson Brown have just published a collection called "It's Not All About You: Young Adults Seeking Justice" that shares some of those stories. 

I picked up a copy at their book signing yesterday...

...and since Courtney has known me since I was a teenager (please don't ask her to spill any embarrassing stories about me!) she signed my copy with these words:

Monday Night's Sermon

Rev. Filiberto Pereira brought a powerful word with his sermon on Monday Night. 

Here are a few highlights:
"We will only see Jesus if we have hospitable eyes.  We will only be able to hear the voice of Jesus if we listen for the one who is in need."

"God's will is not anonymous. God's will is called love. "

HOPE Partnership at GA

The business sessions started today at General Assembly. There were official reports, recommendations, and resolutions for the Assembly Delegates to receive and consider. 

One of the items on the docket was the official report from Church Extension for Missional Development. These are the folks who helped us with our PIP Project last year AND are helping us with Hope Partnership this year. Here are a couple of things of note from the report:

Rick Risenger lifted up the guiding question: How do we use space and place to foster mission and ministry rather than impeding it?

Gilberto Collazo pushed that "Leaders are helping focus not on administrating a church, but on serving the kingdom of God. "

After the report I ran in to my Hope partnership Clergy Coach Rev. Mike Fronk. Since we had only previously chatted via Skype and Text Message I am glad to finally offer photographic evidence that the two of us actually exist!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Friends at Assembly

So General Assembly is under way!

The folks in Florida have been wonderful in welcoming us. The layout of the Convention Center is strange, and the air is thick with humidity, but the welcome is very very real. 

General Assembly is like a family reunion and it has been good to connect with friends from all over the country. Here are a few!

Our friend the Rev. Dr. Eric Smith (on the right; you'll remember him as the preacher from my installation) with Rev. Mark Miller-McLemore (Dean of the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt). 

The Reverends Martin and Lori Tapia from Alas de Salvacion in Gilbert. 

Our General Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins leading worship on Sunday Night. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

En route

I'm waiting at Sky Harbor for my flight to Orlando. Because of the length of the flight and the three time zones I'm crossing I get on the plane at 9:10 and won't get off until 5:40!

Anyway, this is a test to make sure the mobile blogging app will work!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Whiteboard: General Assembly

Alright, so I had to cheat on the Whiteboard this week.

With so much to do before leaving town for the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Orlando, I just didn't have time to draw the image I wanted to on the Whiteboard. So instead, well, I did this:

If you can't tell what I did there, well, I just taped a picture of the General Assembly Logo on the Whiteboard. In fact, I didn't even use a big enough picture to really what it is going on there. Here, how about this...

I hope you'll forgive me, just this once, for not having an original drawing for you!

While I'm away at General Assembly our very own Al Beasley will be our guest preacher on Sunday. Al will be bringing a powerful word using the Parable of the Good Samaritan as his text.


Luke 10:25-37 The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’
He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’
And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’
Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’
He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

General Assembly 2013

On Saturday I'll leave for Orlando for the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

That is insider language, so let's translate.

General Assembly is the every-other-year, big-old, national/international meeting of our denomination.

And this time around we'll be in Orlando.

There will be four folks from our church attending General Assembly: Lea, Daryl, RJ, and me. I'll be updating the blog from General Assembly with some photos, some highlights, and some observations to share a piece of the Assembly experience with you all.

Just because you can't make it to General Assembly doesn't mean you can't keep up. In fact, there are plenty of ways on the internet (in addition to my blog!) to keep up!

Each of the daily General Assembly Worship Services will be web cast over the internet. Click here to visit the General Assembly Live Stream Page. For a list of when the web casts will be going and to see a list of FAQ's about the web casts, click here.

You can see photos from the Assembly at the Church's Flickr Page.

You can see video highlights from the Assembly at the Church's YouTube Page.

While you are keeping up with the General Assembly, you can read up on the Assembly Resolutions by clicking here. Read about the Learning Tracks here. Keep up with the Youth Programming here. Check out the fabulous list of Assembly Speakers here. Follow along on Facebook here. Twitter here. Read a letter from our General Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins here.

Oh, and watch the video below.

I'll be tagging all of my General Assembly posts with the Label "General Assembly 2013" (creative, right?) and you can keep up with the running list of posts by visiting

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Whiteboard: Joyful Noise

Could there be a better commandment in scripture than the opening line of Psalm 66, "Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise."

This Sunday we will gather in worship to do just that. Not simply to make a noise, but to make a joyful noise to God!

{And for the record, that is a Speaker Box drawn in the middle of the Whiteboard where the speaker heads make the O's in JOYFUL NOISE. I think it looks good, but other folks have had a hard time seeing it!}


Psalm 66 Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.’

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
who rules by his might for ever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.

Three Things: Elders Meeting

The Elders met yesterday evening for their regularly scheduled summer meeting. Here are the "Three Things You Should Know" from their time together:

  1. After much preparation, discernment, and study our very own Al Beasley has been formally approved for Commissioned Ministry by the Arizona Commission on Ministry. This is a HUGE deal and we are very proud of Al for his hard work, commitment, and faithfulness. As a congregation we will have the opportunity to formally affirm Al as our Commissioned Minister of Visitation at an upcoming, special Congregational Meeting on August 11. Lot more details to come!
  2. As is our practice we reviewed our visitation list, discussed the visits, phone calls, cards and letters that we have sent out and spent an intentional time in prayer for our church members.
  3. Rev. Brian went over his travel schedule for the coming weeks which includes a trip to Orlando for General Assembly (7/13 to 7/18) and a trip to Barcelona for vacation (7/22 to 8/5).