Addressing denominational tensions

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard addresses denominational tensions by correcting misinformation that is spreading about the Michigan Conference’s disaffiliation process and what theology he believes will guide the future UMC… We are not yet through the COVID-19 pandemic. People are still getting sick, and some are dying, but we seem to be… Continue Reading Addressing denominational tensions

It’s complicated

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard challenges us to appreciate complexity as a spiritual practice for maturing Christians … Unless I am specifically asked to do so, I never preach the same sermon twice. The major exception to that was when I served as a district superintendent and shared the same message at… Continue Reading It’s complicated

Take a moment or two for joy

Bishop David Bard, in this month’s Joyful Journey, encourages us to carve out time for joy-filled moments, so that we may have the capacity to care for the world’s pain and suffering … In college I double-majored in philosophy and psychology. Here is a question I never ask a young person in college: “What are… Continue Reading Take a moment or two for joy

Moving forward together

In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard turns our focus toward matters engaging the “heart and soul problems” in the nation and the church … I write this as I prepare for our annual conference gathering in Traverse City. I look forward to our being together for worship, learning, fellowship and business. I trust… Continue Reading Moving forward together

For all we know

Bishop David Bard says that love is the way forward regardless of what we know or don’t know about the future of The United Methodist Church … Here we are on the cusp of May. Time seems to move quickly during May. There are the final days of school and graduations. Those with summer homes… Continue Reading For all we know

One more, once!

Remembering Count Basie’s jazz tune, Bishop David Bard reflects on the unpredictable April weather and the eternal promise of Easter … April can be a strange month. My only canceled preaching engagement related to weather here in Michigan came on an April Sunday. The roads were icy that morning. Temperatures in April can dip well… Continue Reading One more, once!

Invitation to a holy Lent

“The invitation to a holy Lent is an invitation to deep inner work, ” says Bishop David Bard. He reflects on how grace surrounds acts of repentance and self-examination. … The church season of Lent, the 40 days, not including Sundays, of preparation for the celebration of the most significant day for Christian faith, Easter.… Continue Reading Invitation to a holy Lent

What’s love got to do with it?

Love asks us to be kind, uncomfortable, and grateful says Bishop David Bard in this month’s reflection on The Joyful Journey … February. For the briefest month of the year, there are a whole lot of celebrations and commemorations. February is Black History Month. Significant. So, too, LGBT History Month. It is also The Great… Continue Reading What’s love got to do with it?

Always now and not yet

Bishop David Bard reminds us that Christmas light, grace, hope, joy, peace, and love will soon arrive into the world and break through all that might get in the way. … As November moves toward December, I planned to write an essay filled with Christmas music and good cheer, an essay evoking the sights, sounds,… Continue Reading Always now and not yet

God’s grace is ‘a second wind’

Bishop David Bard reflects on Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, “Rejoice always.” He notes, “much of the time, that’s much harder than we think.” … BISHOP DAVID BARD Michigan Area United Methodist Church November arrives so quickly. ZOOM is not only an online meeting platform, it is our experience of time in September and October.… Continue Reading God’s grace is ‘a second wind’