Tuesday, June 25 2019 by Matt Horan
There are many people, both in the United States and around the world, who assert beyond the shadow of a doubt that every word of the Bible is the inerrant, literal truth. They might further assert that any true Christian should agree with them. If the Bible says Creation happened in six days, then Creation happened in six days. If the Bible says that Jonah was really swallowed by a whale, then Jonah was really swallowed by a whale.
Across the globe, adherents to Christianity hold this conviction to varying degrees. Some would say that there are errors in it. Some would claim that some of it is literal, some metaphor, and some hyperbole. Across the globe and across the centuries, people have passionately argued for their view, and passionately accused others of heresy. As the debates have worn on, more and more people have found it increasingly difficult to figure out who to listen to and what to believe. Ultimately, more and more have found the easiest course of action is to simply ignore the whole thing. (more…)
Monday, June 24 2019 by Anna Moore
FLORIDA UNITED METHODIST ANNUAL CONFERENCE
JUNE 4-8, 2019
REPORT FROM HERITAGE UMC LAY DELEGATE
What power there is in the singing and praise of 1600 Methodists! Once again, the FLUMC Annual Conference was held at Florida Southern College in Lakeland which was a most gracious and organized host. More food venues and constant buses and golf carts to parking served the delegates well. Matt Horan (Clergy) and Sue Blanchard (Lay) represented Heritage UMC. Other delegates from Heritage who represented the District include Mel Swets, Dan Byrd and Jodie Byrd. Youth delegates included Ashley Horan, Avery Gross and April Allen.
There were a few changes this year. For the first time in my memory, we had four armed officers outside and in the lobby of where we met. My first thought: “We Methodists must be a rowdy bunch!” It took me until the second day to realize why they were there – a disturbing sign of the times. Another change was an improved voting method that used electronic voting buttons through a WiFi system. Results were almost instantaneous and made the voting process much more efficient.
Truthfully, I did not find the worship music to be as exciting as last year, so I won’t be linking you to that as I have done in previous years. I do recommend two speaker videos: Rev. Cynthia Weems and Rev. Will Willimon. Both are gifted speakers and brought wonderful messages. These will be worth your time!
Monday, February 25 2019 by Matt Horan
[Scene: An empty stage, filmed in black and white. There is a microphone on a stand illuminated by spotlights. Footsteps echo as Pastor Christian steps into the light from stage left, stopping at the microphone, hands folded behind his back. A brief whine of feedback is heard, then fades.]
Pastor Christian: Confession is bad for your reputation, but it’s good for your soul. I guess everyone has to weigh which one is more important to them sometimes. Today, I’m going to err on the side of my soul and offer a confession, and so here it is: People try to avoid guys like me.
You know the kind I mean. The one you’re afraid of winding up next to on an airplane, on a bus, or in an elevator. The one you hope doesn’t marry into your family. The one you hope doesn’t come knocking on your door, or hand you a pamphlet in the mall. The one you hope doesn’t get assigned to the cubicle next to you.