In the midst of life

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard says, “In the midst of life, we are in death.” Then he proclaims with joy, ” Death is real, so, too, resurrection.” … “In the midst of life, we are in death.” These words begin the century’s-old graveside liturgy of the church. In the midst of life,… Continue Reading In the midst of life

Holding it together

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop Bard considers what scripture, poets, and everyday experience reveal about the challenges of holding it together … “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) These words celebrate the power of friendship and relationships in life.  Two together create a third, strong entity that can withstand stress and… Continue Reading Holding it together

The way of love

Lent is a time to focus on spiritual disciplines. Bishop David Bard calls Michigan United Methodists to intentional focus on the discipline of love through patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, and humility… For a brief month, there is a lot that happens in February. President’s Day is February 15. The day prior, February 14, is Valentine’s Day.… Continue Reading The way of love

Maturity of mind and heart

How do we grow in Christian maturity? Bishop David Bard notes that growth is difficult in the social media age. He encourages intellectual curiosity, complex thinking, and a generous spirit …  It was August 1998. I was appointed as a district superintendent in the Minnesota Conference and attended the training for new superintendents at Lake… Continue Reading Maturity of mind and heart

Grace upon grace for trauma upon trauma

2020 has been marked by trauma — polarization, racial reckoning, economic hardship, denominational division, and fragility in our democracy. Bishop David Bard shares the good news of God’s gift of grace … This is my final blog for 2020, and what a year this has been. As the calendar turned from 2019 to 2020 we… Continue Reading Grace upon grace for trauma upon trauma

Redeeming the Season

Uncertain times present an opportunity for “redeeming the season,” says Bishop David Bard. He adds, “Redeeming the season remembers that we are involved in a long work.” … A favorite Bible study method for me involves comparing various English translations and renditions of a passage of Scripture. Doing so reminds me that the Scriptures we… Continue Reading Redeeming the Season

Means of grace

Bishop David Bard asserts that during this time of the ongoing pandemic, “Such a moment asks that we think more deeply about the means of grace.” He shares about online communion … Grace. Paul, in Ephesians, writes, “for by grace you have been saved through faith.” While not all Christian theologians center the idea of… Continue Reading Means of grace

Loss and learning

What does it take to remain faithful during a season of loss? Bishop David Bard asserts that, as followers of Jesus, learning about self-giving love is important … Psalm 116:10 is rather startling. “I have remained faithful, even when I said, ‘I am suffering so badly!’” (Common English Bible) Life for all of us, including… Continue Reading Loss and learning

Small moments

A morning TV show reminds Bishop David Bard of the importance of small moments for happiness. He expresses gratitude for such times he has experienced in the weeks just past … Waking up and getting ready for work a couple of days following annual conference, and most days work is just down the hall. I… Continue Reading Small moments

Next faithful steps

The road to a just society in America stretches before us. Bishop David Bard encourages all to take faithful steps in working against racism while walking the road with Christ … If you say, “Look, we did not know this” – does not the Weigher of Hearts discern? ~ Proverbs 24:12a Walking you make the road.… Continue Reading Next faithful steps