Friday, April 20, 2007

Church Mice in the News

It seems the upcoming Church Mice episode of "American Bible Society Presents" has brought my name across the desk of more than one newspaper reporter. In the past week I have been interviewed by three different news organizations, and as of today have been featured in two of them, with the third running an article next week. Following are the articles from this week:

Wilmington Star-News
Whiteville News Reporter

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The New Preacher

The Methodist Church practices itinerancy - that is, pastors are not hired or fired by individual churches, they are appointed to a particular church for a particular season by the Bishop and a council of elders. Each June, throughout the NC Conference, some pastors will pack their belongings, bid farewell to their congregations, and head off in a moving van to become part of a new church family. As the van disappears around the corner, the old congregation waits and wonders, "Wonder what our new preacher will be like?"

I am happy to say that this year, my family and I are not moving. At least not as of today - this is the week we receive appointment phone calls, and it's now late Thursday afternoon so I think we can leave our packing boxes stored in the attic of the parsonage for at least twelve more months.

I did receive a letter today from the pastor of my home church, announcing that he is leaving for a new appointment. I mention him here today because he is the one who helped get me started in the ministry. It was under his pastoral care that I was confirmed at charge conference to enter the ministry of the Methodist Church, and it was under his leadership that I received my first appointment. The last Sunday I was in my home church was a beautiful service, and felt like a sending off or commissioning... I'll never forget that morning as long as I live.

Oh yeah, he also married Cheryl and I, and baptized Aspen. He's been an important part of my lfe. I wish him well in his new appointment, and I pray that those in his new flock realize what a good man they're getting to shepherd them.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Church Mice on TV

Back in January I was interviewed for a television series called "American Bible Society Presents." The episode with Church Mice will air April 22-28. The listing of stations and times that will carry the show can be found at

The guy from Associated Television suggested to check your local listings to make sure the time is correct.

Unfortunately, none of the local stations are carried by our satellite provider, and if I were to get a set of rabbit ears to try to pick it up it wouldn't do me any good either becasue I have a men's breakfast that morning. (Actually, I'm sure they would understand if I missed the breakfast). I will be receiving a DVD in the mail after the show has aired.

I would never have believed this in all my wildest dreams. God has been so good to me.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Maundy Thursday

This evening I held a special Maundy Thursday Communion Service at both of the churches I serve. At Lebanon, we had four people show up: Daphne, Harold, Mary and David. At Bethel, the turnout was not much better: Bill, Milton, Pam, Cathy, Ruth, Vernon and Betty Jo. But at both services, I spoke of how the small number allowed us to share an intimacy at the Lord's Table not possible with a large turnout. Instead of being nameless faces in a parade to the altar, we were a small band who came to the altar as individual sinners, but left as a family. On the way home, I realized that counting myself there were a total of twelve who took communion this evening. That's twelve individuals who took the bread and the cup... just like the twelve who gathered with Jesus for that Passover feast. Funny, I was disappointed with the turnout; but now I see that there was something special about the number who showed up. There were twelve of us. It gives me a new appreciation for the faces around that first table. We're all different - twelve unique individuals - just like the first twelve.

God works in mysterious ways.