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

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

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

Ash Wednesday is so contemporary

“We are both dust and stardust.” Bishop David Bard cites coronavirus and stresses in The United Methodist Church as examples of why we mortals need an observance like Ash Wednesday … We have arrived once again at the season of Lent, the 40 days, not including Sundays (each Sunday is meant to be a “little… Continue Reading Ash Wednesday is so contemporary

Interesting times

Interesting times call for out of the ordinary actions. Bishop David Bard recalls a conference speaker’s words about a “liminal season,” as he explains the reasons for a special annual conference session … In a speech given in South Africa in 1966, Senator Robert Kennedy noted that there was a Chinese curse, “May you live… Continue Reading Interesting times

New year, new tasks

In his first Joyful Journey blog of 2020, Bishop David Bard talks about important tasks before The Michigan Conference of The UMC: ministry work, soul work, and grief work … Perhaps some of you are familiar with the beautiful words of Howard Thurman’s, “The Work of Christmas.” When the song of the angels is stilled,… Continue Reading New year, new tasks

Light and life

Remembering lyrics of Charles Wesley and Bruce Springsteen, Bishop David Bard, reflects on the nature of darkness and light. Looking ahead, he forecasts “The new year will not be dull.” … I am thinking of the verse from Isaiah often read on Christmas Eve: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;… Continue Reading Light and life