November 2012

Bus Ministry Impact

This story is based on real events that happened in July 2012 in Argentina. Real names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

Bus ministry. What do you think about when you read those two words? I think about sticky seats and tired bus drivers. Permission slips and liabilities. Unending camp trips with endless camp songs. But 10-year-old Julie hears those words and smiles.

Casting Blame or Anchors

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United Methodist Bishop Robert Schnase stated in an address:

'We United Methodists must stop blaming societal circumstances and denigrating other religious movements and denominations. God is not finished with United Methodism. Let every congregation devote a full weekend at the church, from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, engaged in casting our anchor into the future.'

Meet MNU's David Spittal

David J. Spittal is president of MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) in Olathe, Kansas, a role he assumed in February. Son of a Nazarene pastor, he was born and raised in Canada. He and his wife, Donna, have two married sons, Todd and Ryan, and six grandchildren.

Pastor as Theologian

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In Nazarene polity, tradition, and current practice, the local church pastor has many roles. One of the most important is 'theologian-in-residence.' The pastor is called to frame the conversation of his or her parish, to clearly communicate how the community of faith thinks about God, the world, the Church, and persons, making sure the congregation's lived-out practice fits with our theology.

Before You Leave

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Dear Twentysomethings,

I don't blame you for leaving the church. I really don't.

When researchers report, 'About 8 million twentysomethings who were active churchgoers as teenagers . . . will no longer be particularly engaged in a church by their thirtieth birthday' (You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church, and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman), we should not be surprised. When I hear of the pain many of you have experienced in a church, I understand why you want to leave.

The Step That Changed His Life

Chaplain Mike Meyer used his cane to steady himself as he knelt at the altar at the Central Florida District Assembly to be ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. As he maneuvered his prosthetic legs into a kneeling position, he remembered how one step in Vietnam changed his life forever. Forty years - and it was still picture-clear in his mind.

Why Wesleyans Aren't Fundamentalists

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Wesleyans aren't fundamentalists because that would require them to exchange a high doctrine of Scripture for a low one.

Wesleyans and Christian fundamentalists (hereafter referred to as fundamentalists or fundamentalism) agree on many aspects of Christian doctrine, but there are major differences that involve what Wesleyans believe about revelation, the "Word of God," truth, discipleship, and fidelity to Christian doctrine. The following distinctions are not meant to discredit anyone's love for God.

The Great Scandal

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The real Jesus of Nazareth is winsome and attractive. When we see Jesus, full of compassion and grace, we're drawn to Him. Finding new life in Christ and following Him launches us into lives of high adventure, purpose, joy, endless discovery, and growth in grace. Asking Christ to fill us with his Spirit, our faith goes into action and we're empowered for pure-hearted living and service to others.

Ramping Up the Compassion Factor

Recently, someone asked, "How are the Nazarenes doing in the Middle East?" The answer varies from country to country. Nazarenes in Baghdad face the dangers of explosions in the market. Egyptians live in uncertainty with a drastically weakened economy and a newly-elected government. Syrians are exhausted from civil war and ministering to hundreds of displaced families. Jordanians are coping with thousands of refugees, and people in Israel and the West Bank continue on with occupation and violence.