Thoughts on the 4th of July

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard talks about being a citizen of America. He says, “Even as we celebrate the United States … We need to see where we have fallen short of our highest ideals.”  … Every year my birthday falls ten days before the celebration of the United States of America… Continue Reading Thoughts on the 4th of July

Joyful journey to annual conference

Bishop David Bard has not missed an annual conference session since 1984. He believes that conference can be a means of grace, whether sessions are held in-person or online … Let me confess to you that I really miss not being together in person for annual conference. I miss the handshakes and the hugs. I… Continue Reading Joyful journey to annual conference

Faith to hang on and keep going

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard shares about a squirrel hanging onto a branch in the wind. It reminds him how faith and trust in Christ hold us together. … I have a wonderful office here in the Lansing area, and I have used it much less frequently this past year-plus. It is… Continue Reading Faith to hang on and keep going

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