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’

The many masks we wear

We put masks on. We take masks off. Both actions are important says Bishops David Bard as he considers the pandemic, division in The United Methodist Church, and uncovering events in our history … October. Cool breezes and brightly colored leaves. High School football on Friday nights and college football on Saturdays. Perhaps our first… Continue Reading The many masks we wear

Were you made for times like this?

Bishop David Bard reflects on this season of life and ministry and says nuanced thinking and tragic optimism are needed during a time of grief, trauma, and challenge … It has been a hot summer. According to weather data, July 2021 is the hottest July on record. Michigan has often been hot and humid, but… Continue Reading Were you made for times like this?

Come, let us reason together

Racism, division in the denomination, mission, vision, and inclusion are areas around which congregations can reason together says Bishop David Bard in this month’s Joyful Journey … “Come now, let us reason together.” Ever heard that phrase? It seems an invitation to a conversation. But, in its original context, the first chapter of Isaiah (as… Continue Reading Come, let us reason together

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