Saturday, November 28, 2009


Thanksgiving was a great day, or should I say, days. A bunch of church people from various churches in Fortuna have been planning with the River Life folks, especially Ginny, to get ready to serve a community dinner and bring in folks who either would have nothing to eat that day at all, or who don't have a community to belong to in that day. It was a week of working together, a week of seeing what this church does best, of people cooking, but also preparing a welcoming feast.
We serve over a hundred people with maybe another fifty dinners going out to people who couldn't make it and more food to those who would take our ample leftovers home.

We had people dressed for a special occasion and some who came as they were, or in what they could find. We had people from around the corner and some bicycling in from Chicago. Everyone was greeted with enthusiasm, served with grace and generosity and sent off with blessings and armloads. Conversations were so engaged that we left our program out completely and just let the wonderful mix of people talk.

Ham and Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, stuffing, drinks and apple and pumpkin pie. Hand-made name tags, and Christmas ornaments crafted by some of the kids.

I was so high coming home I couldn't get my feet to touch the ground. Happy Thanksgiving.

Madonna revisited

It is the third week of November and Madonna is still very present. No comments on the blog but lots flying around the church. A few angry notes and whisperings.

I always like good discussion on topics even, sometimes especially, when they disagree with me and this one has taken on some rather interesting edges. The congregation seems split itself about this. Some hated it. Some disliked it but see the reason for it. Some thought it was inspiring or could be helpful for reaching their kids or grandkids. Reactions all over the map.

The discussion revolves around a few important questions:

What is appropriate in church? And, more specifically, what is appropriate in communicating the gospel?

How do traditions and patterns in the church invite or keep away people who are not now coming to church? This is especially important in two arenas: how does the music we do invite or separate us, how open are we to the language and methods of communicating in the culture around us. Should we be radically different and speak radically different than the culture around us?

All the Saints around Us

First Sunday of November, All Saints Day.  All the ghosts are back in the ground and only the good spirits of love can stay in this celebration of the ones who form our faith.  We think of dead treasured ones, we thing of those who taught us to believe, and the ones that "let the light shine through".  On this day, three of our Stephen's Ministry saints (Linda, Jean and Sharon) shared a bit of their story with us for the sermon.

I have been recording the worship services for a month now.  At some point with a purpose of podcasting the sermon if not the worship service -- can't figure out how to negotiate the privacy issues.  But, we are just now starting to take the DVDs we make to people who couldn't make it to the service.  And, all of a sudden, we become their saints, their contact to the church community with prayers and songs already a weeks past, but still alive and kicking in the minds and hearts of those who now have access to the whole worship service.  The picture is taken for a long way away and that brings some distance, but nearly everyone is amplified in the worship service so the sound is good and clear.

We took communion to homebound this week, an idea gift from Judith in her consultation.

Saints all over the place.  

Moses Dies

On Sunday October 25th we shared in church the end of the Moses series.  Moses dies.  Not so much discussion as story.  I used not only stories from our Biblical record, but also some of the wonderful and touching legends from the traditions of the grandmothers and grandfathers of our faith.  Midrash is the tradition of stories that are passed down.  I found a wonderful book many years ago that follows the Old Testament with many of these stories.  They are from all over the place.  The book is Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg (published in Philadelphia by Jewish Publication Society, 1909)  This volume is just the stories all piled on one another as if it was one story.  There is also a six volume set of books that footnote each of the legends and add some more.  Wonderful resource for getting into the spirit of the very alive book which is our scripture.

Work Day

Turning a big cat box into a memorial garden.  Fluffy dirt, watering pipes, protective cover, some very big rocks and a lot of bending over.

Thank you everyone.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The Israelites get to the land of promise, find giants and won't go.

It is time to go, time to commit, time to move into the future that we can't even imagine.  Time to jump.

Yes, that was Madonna up on the screen.  I have heard more about this sermon than almost any other.  Here is the link to the YouTube video Jump by Madonna I think this is not computer assisted, I think they are amazing jumpers.  It is one of my favorite music videos, great music and it helps me want to leap into life. 

That is the Israelites choice because they can't go back to Egypt -- the old traditions that enslave them are now behind and gone.  Ahead is the unknown.  Since they can't move ahead, God creates a generation of those just holding onto the faith, dwindling and dying out, till a new generation can take the jump.  Wow, that sounds a lot like nearly the whole United Methodist Church in the last fifty years.  This is a hard scripture! 

Remember, next Monday (the 26th) Judith Pruess-Mellow is going to be here consulting with us about how we facilitate our ministry to seniors in our church and out city.  What questions would you like to ask an expert in Senior Spirituality??

The Clown of God

Foolishness and play, juggling and teddy bears, preaching from the floor and singing "Rise and Shine".  Through it all children laughing and the kind is simplicity that would make my teacher glad.  I had a good time on Saint Francis Sunday.  And it is so important to me.  I like complexity and deep talks, I like electronic gadgets and a lot of the trapping that require a bunch of money.  Saint Francis talks to me again and again about letting go of most of the stuff that makes this culture in this time go.  Eat whatever you have, share, play and get close to nature that God created. 

This year I used the image of balancing to talk about the truths that Saint Francis saw in his society. Do you know why a stick stood on end will now stay up?  A six foot pole falls over even if very carefully balanced, but a bottle of water (roughly the same shape) stays up.  Maybe we didn't have any engineers in the crowd on Sunday.  We talked about "center of gravity"  It takes a lot of enegy and stability to keep a hierarchy going.  Things come stable when the pole is turned sideways and lays on the floor. 
We went into the yard at the end of the service to bless about ten or twelve new members of the church all with fuzzy noses who also have trouble sitting still through a sermon.  The alpaca couldn't make it.  Thank you to the four young folks who cared for the animals while we were in the church. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Communing with Lutherans

Packed house at Christ Lutheran this week.  We celebrated (and celebrated and celebrated and celebrated -- I know we ran late) communion in a joint service.  What a pleasure to all be together.  Jim Goldsmith and I interwove stories of Martin Luther and John Wesley.  Bell Choir and Methodist Choir and grape juice and wine and the too-many-people-up-front waltz for communion.  I only completely lost my place once, but found that Jim and I cover for each other pretty well.  I will look forward to working with that community again.

On world communion it is a good thing to do something that makes it seem like the Christian church is actually one.  There have been enough stories this week about how we fight with one another.  I keep thinking that the way God is going to destroy the world at Armageddon is going to be to lock all the different Christian churches into a room together and stand back.  Who needs four horses of the apocalypse?  It hurts my heart.

This week I am juggling a house without Harriet with getting ready for my favorite Sunday of the year.  Saint Francis in a brand new place.  I don't think anyone knows what they are getting into yet -- and of course, neither do I.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Babies, Backsides and Reformers

The fourth Sunday on Moses.  A great story of Moses wanting to see God and God stuffing him into a crack in the rock, covering up Moses' face while God passes by and just showing God leaving.  I think it is true that I am not fast enough to get much more of a glimpse than that.  God is always before me and I have a tough time staying free enough to even catch up.  It is an odd truth about ministry.  We run as fast as we can to stay up with God, finally give up and rest for a moment and find God sitting with us.  My Mom taught me this with a phrase she used that I don't think I have quite got -- Stop so you can Go.

This week a baby born into the church.  I have been in younger congregations than this one but it has been a long time since a baby was born into one of my churches.  Holding a one day old baby, all seven pounds and long fingers, and I wonder what kind of church will liven his spirit twenty years from now.

I am getting ready for Sunday at the Lutheran Church.  Everyone remember

10:00  Christ Lutheran Church on Smith Lane, just south of Ray's 

I have found myself thinking about stories of the two founders of our church.  Wildly different styles and temperaments but both working hard to reform a church bound into itself and to bring the church closer to real people.  So many stories I read make me think we need their energy today.  What message of grace would they whisper into the ear of a one day old child born into a church with so few children?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Teaching Talmud to Church

Everyone stomping and shaking the church in the story time being the Holy Mountain. The Ten Commandments to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas with hand motions by the Choir. And reflections on the process of dialogue that is our Bible -- it doesn't take very long before the Ten Commandments get very complicated in everyday life.

Today God sent us several people needing help, a few who probably didn't need the kind of help they were asking for.

Upstairs, the Scotia Band cleaning up and prepping the upstairs room for their stuff, and downstairs a memorial service.

The Church Council met briefly after the service to get a task force started on Church Development that will follow up on the plan we set for ourselves last week. A whole table at fellowship time was folks who are newly coming to church and perhaps ten out of the sixty or seventy people at worship were exploring the church.

We see in each week all the elements that make a church vibrant -- worship, exploration, questions and imagination, people in need asking, people grieving being surrounded and comforted, church space used in new ways, puzzles to solve and new possibilities to see all the ways God is at work, private conversations, healing touch, and audio-visual equipment sort of working. God grant us the fullness of a church in motion as we are marching to Zion.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Plan

Wow, this weeks has sped by. Sunday was a big day for me: worship, then the plan, then a meeting for Stephen's ministers, then the rain and a nap. We did worship on asking the question: what do we need? I find this a particularly difficult spiritual issue because I understand that we are to ask God for what we need. However, there are a lot of people that don't get even basic needs. However, asking the question of what we really need is essential in good discernment of our paths and is woven all over the Moses story and the Exodus, not just the stories of manna and the story of water in the desert that we did on Sunday.

After the worship, a great potluck -- I got exactly two bites of food. And then we talked about the new development plan. If you didn't get the summary, we posted it on the website (follow the link for "development". (By the way the last newsletter is up there also.) None of the proposals are too earthshattering or make too many changes to what is going on and it seemed like most everyone is either excited about the plan or at least ready for it. So we started initiating things. After the meeting, the Stephen's ministers gathered are are getting ready to teach a small group on dealing with grief and loss.
If you have any comments, you can leave them here. How do you think the meeting went? Chuck already got to work on this and put things into an action plan which is attached to the Plan on the website. Check it out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Julie and Julia

Yesterday I talked more than listened in the sermon, does that mean I preached? I think it was my first sermon in Fortuna.

We are starting a series about the Exodus and facing the new world in front of us. I have always loved the Moses story and it has been speaking to me for the two months I have been here. Sermon 1: we get trapped by tradition (Egypt) and it is a process to get out.

I don't know how many people notice the screen. But Christine has been running the computer the last couple of weeks and we are learning new things about it every week, getting better and better. This week, she was getting up hymns for the sing along as fast as people could request them. Great job, thank you Christine!

Harriet, Jennifer and I went to see Julie and Julia today -- again. I loved the movie when I saw it last week or whenever, and loved it more today. No surprise.

  • I loved Julie Powell's book when it came out.
  • I love Julia Child's cookbooks -- I don't have Mastering the Art of French cooking, but I have two of her Julia Child and Company books. I think I have made everything in them.
  • Julia was one of my cooking teachers -- I love her TV shows and have been watching them for a hundred years.
  • Cooking saved my life when I was in a bad place. I would watch a cooking show (usually from the Great Chefs series) go out, buy the ingredients and make it that day trying to make it look like the Great Chefs did. As I paid attention to the little details, I fell in love with life again.
  • And I adore the fact that the movie is really about falling in love and being in love in all sorts of ways. (The movie is such an oddity. Two married couples, wonderful rounded human beings. No affairs, no stripper bar down the block, the world does not end tomorrow nor do people get gunned down in the street. It takes a long time to get goals met, and loving is something that happens over a long time.)
Thank you Nora Ephron and everyone else that made this wonderful, spiritual, movie. You have lifted my spirits, made me laugh and laugh, and reminded me of some things that are very important to me.

I know in the church, we are suppose to say that it is just Jesus that saves us. But the fact is that it has always been a non-theological two way street. That is, our theology says that Jesus saves as a sheer act of grace, but we also have to get off our backsides and do something. (The Israelites have to pack and get out of Egypt).

Have you taken on a discipline or project that saved your life? What was it?

picture from

Monday, August 24, 2009

Faye and the Good Samaritan

We are going to have to get a digital camera at church because it would have been worth the cost just to have a picture of Faye getting beat up by Craig, Jim, and two kids and lying woe-is-me on the floor hamming up the one beset by robbers in the Good Samaritan story. Another picture would have been Joanne (the Good Samaritan) dragging Rick (the donkey) down the center aisle by his ear. Lots of fun.

How do we decide who we help in a world full of suffering and requests for help and when? Once more a lot of wisdom from the congregation shared in church.

Here are the end-points of the conversation:

There are two ways to give to others:


We give because we need to give. Don't count the cost or worry about the consequences. Give and let it go (don't let your right hand know what your left is doing).


Mission is a call. We care that we are indeed helping. It demands relationship and love as the foundation of action and will almost always implicate us in a justice issue.

Ted's Rule #634 of the Spiritual Journey.

Always open your heart when there is suffering, But only do what you are called to do. Corralary: if you aren’t doing what God is calling you to do, you are getting in the way. If you are doing more than God is calling you to do, you are getting in the way.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Greg, er, Craig, uh Greg uh??

See full size imageWhat fun today in church. We were talking about how we make decisions and I called up the three people from the congregation to chairs up front to interview while I gave a brief introduction. When I started to interview them, I noticed that Craig was sitting on the stool. Greg, whom I had asked this week to do the interview, had been sitting with Craig during worship and had told Craig to go up. Ok! Except that all through the service, Greg kept coming up to answer the questions also.

How do we make good choices and follow God? Well, that is how a lot of the time. We think we know what we are doing, but we turn around and everything is different that the plan. It was fun to watch Greg up and down, interested in the questions. It was even more fun knowing that I had planned on asking four people, two men and two women with differing decision styles, but decided on three for time sake. Chance called out the four. God is in the unexpected changes.

Ignatian Process of Discernment

1. Stop
2. Become Free to Make Decisions
3. Surface Ideas (using careful thought, but also imagination).
4. Gather Relevant Data
5. Evaluate Options
6. Test on Congruence with Fruits of the Spirit

(fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:16-26 look at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).

Picture found at

Monday, August 10, 2009


Attentive. Prepared. Hopeful. Anxious. Grounded. Present. These were some of the traits we saw from fishing that applied to fishing and waiting for God (a phrase from Psalm 130). Good conversation. Also a thank you send off for all the musical and personal gifts shared with us by Harriet.

My favorite comment of the morning. I sat in the sanctuary with a fishing pole, line out, waiting, asking,

"What am I doing?"

"You're doing it wrong!"

And, I was.

They told me I didn't have my finger on the line to see if there were any strikes. (Thankfully, no one told me I was doing it wrong -- that there is no fishable water anywhere inside the church. Think about it.) Anyway, it was an instructive mistake because that is what we do with God. We ask God a question and then we sit around waiting without anything in motion that would catch a signal if it was sent. We don't know how to listen, who to listen to, or what to listen for.

As I am trying to learn how to fish, that is what I am hearing. Fisherfolk don't just throw lines endlessly into the water. The people that are talking to me know there are fish where they are fishing. That's not the problem, getting them to strike is. Not so for me, I have no idea how to tell if a fish is around. That's how most people pray. They have no idea whether God is around, they just float requests and questions into space and wait to trip over something.

What do you need to learn about how to pray?

picture found at

Friday, August 7, 2009

True Colors

I am getting ready to do another conversational and listening sermon this week on waiting for God, God waiting for us, Silence, Absence. Silence and waiting is where we crystalize, let who we are become transparent and clear. I have been thinking a lot about the Cyndi Lauper song as I have been writing. There is a stunning rendition on YouTube of her singing the song in a little studio on an old Howard Stern show. She does it very raw and direct, hunched over a mic singing her heart out. Here is who I am! Wow!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Waiting for God

On the surface, this statement is a bit ridiculous. How can you wait for a supreme presence that is everywhere all the time? How can you wait for a loving presence that is constantly filling you with life? Dietrich Bonhoeffer says something nice in his short book, "Creation". The creating word of God is a continuing word of God. If God was ever to stop saying our name we would utterly cease to exist. So, every aspect of creation is constantly affirmed (or loved) by the Creator.

But knowing that there is air all around me, and breathing deeply the breath of life are two different things. Knowing that God is everywhere and knowing the God who is everywhere are miles apart. Here is where the waiting comes.

Last week, I mentioned that Christian maturity can be measured by four elements:
grounding in prayer,
an assurance of God's presence,
the freedom to make choices,
and the orientation to service (or better, love).

These will map out the general themes of the next four conversational sermons. This week we will reflect on silence, assurance and prayer as a continual engagement with ineffable presence of God, something we often have no awareness of at all.

So, what does it mean to you to wait for God?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Talking with the Preaching

In our spiritual tradition, God is found in the community of faith (to be sure everywhere else also, if one pays attention). Our Wesleyan tradition values this affirmation highly. In the beginning, the spiritual path was the small group meetings where people shared their own faith with each other and in the sharing found God's Presence and direction.

In the last decades the world has grown wary of experts. We all know the feeling of being duped by someone playing games with statistic and our media attention has wide enough scope to get evidence of almost any view. So, people are beginning to turn to places where real people share what they are going through. It is much more messy than experts, and probably a whole lot less penetrating, but in the mess we find the comfort of authenticity. This is the real strength of blogs, we see not only the resulting reflection but the process. Which is exactly what we found in Wesleyan class meeting. God is not sought in the answer, but in the process, and so the Spirit we discover is a flowing Presence -- a river of life, not a rock of salvation.

This week's sermon and for the next few weeks will flow with this conversation as we learn to discover God's word in our community. We will explore together various aspects of our good news of this conversation.

August 9, 2009 Waiting for God Psalm 130
August 16, 2009 Asking for Wisdom 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
August 23, 2009 Taking off Thick Skins Ephesians 6:10-20
August 30, 2009 Arising to the Beloved Song of Solomon 2:8-13

How did you feel about that this week?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

That's the United Methodist slogan now. And all of us are struggling with the ins and outs of it. But tonight was the Trustees meeting and one of the questions we are asking is what if the doors are too open? Can they be too open? We have someone sleeping out back who has, we think, been coming in when folks come in for classes, then disappearing somewhere and once the classes leave can then stay in the church. This is a constant struggle for almost every church there is. When do we help, when do we refer, when do we chase away? Every once in a while there are some easy answers in this conversation, but not very often and when there are easy answers, there are usually lot of pain somewhere in the mix.

We know that all of us are going to have to be more diligent about locking doors and checking in building - always in pairs, please. Safety and protecting children is a high priority. But often there is no real danger and most of the time someone hurting and needing care which we may or may not be able to give. All this mixed up with a new pastor who doesn't know the services available yet. It is a good problem to face and I think we will find God in lots of places as we struggle with the questions.

Ted Rule for the Spiritual Journey #764 Open your heart wherever there is someone in trouble, always let it in, never grow callous to the needs of those around us, but But BUT only do what God calls us to do. There are more needs in the world than we can ever solve, but Jesus calls us to live in compassion -- ALWAYS. Whatever answers Christians have to give in the world come compassionate, risking hearts. But, we can't do everything. Which leads us straight to the question: what does God want us to do? Good thing for Trustees to discern wouldn't you say.

What do you think we should do?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Book

Jim preached a wonderful sermon this morning. Oh, I know he said that he was just talkin' but if sermons are just for preachers, then he's a preacher. We got a tour around the Bible, some of his favorite parts, an encouragement to question as we search together the mysteries in the Bible, a model for a life-long study of the Bible and then an encouragement on how to live from Michah 6. "What does the Lord require of you but to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God." And another from Matthew 7, "Ask and the door shall be opened, seek and you will find."

Jim came on the heals of two ordained preachers guest preaching at our church, a DS with a pile of years of experience, and another retired preacher with another pile of years of experience, and he could not have preached with better style, depth of understanding of the scriptures or a good healthy dose of God's Word.

Not that long ago, I heard another Jim, and a Mike, preach on the essentials of the Bible, and they both look a similar scope of the Bible and used some of the same scriptures to lift up three "Greats" in the Bible. (Jim Griffith and Mike Slaughter, a church start consultant and pastor of the vibrant Ginghamsburg, Ohio UMC).
  1. The Great Commandment: (Deuteronomy 6) "The Lord your God is one and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." Later on Hillel and Jesus will add "and love your neighbor as yourself".
  2. The Great Requirement: (Jim's Micah passage) to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly.
  3. The Great Commission: (from Matthew 28) "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations".
Tell us what you took away Sunday from Jim's sermon.
Thank you Jim.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mapping Change

Church Council met on Tuesday and we began what will be an ongoing discussion about change. That, largely, is the purpose of this blog -- to look at the most essential elements of the church and discuss change. It has to be a conversation, or, in the best of the Wesleyan tradition, a holy conferencing.

The Annual Conference is using Dan Dick's book, "Vital Signs", to help set some parameters for revitalizing the church. We all took the survey in the book with our best guesses for the answers for now. In the next couple of weeks, we will do some research and find out what the real answers are.

Vital Signs looks at two factors for revitalizing churches, growth and stability and maps a church on this spectrum.

Now, we were just doing our best guesses on Tuesday night, but if they prove true, then we chart at about the "y" in decaying, meaning both unstable and declining (plot point -3.1,-.8) in averages tallied ably by Nick at the meeting -- thank you Nick. The quadrants are:
  • Decaying: both declining and unstable. 51% of the churches in his study fit into this area, and since half the churches in this Conference are under 85 in worship attendance. Stressed leadership and finances leads to an inward looking church.
  • Dystrophic: growing but unstable, these churches may offer lots of services to a bunch of folks but have a hard time keeping track of everyone.
  • Retrogressive: stable but declining, these churches are often transitional and have limited their focus to be manageable as they decline, or to focus their energies as they are growing from declining congregations.
  • Vital: growing and stable, they tend to define membership in terms of the ministries offered.
Follow the link to a nice summary article on this by Susan Hansen.

Tuesday night we began to talk about two questions: who does God want us to serve in Fortuna, and are we ready to care for those God sends?

Where do you think we are in growth and in stability? Do you have some advice for the Council?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Finding Our Own Prayer

A bit of chaos today. I sat in the sound booth to see how things work behind the scenes. Things didn't work which gave me the chance to see a whole bunch of people working to try and solve the problem. I could see the care that goes on behind the scenes to make worship a good experience for everyone.

Sitting in the back is an odd experience for me. I like things up front. In the back you can't hear others singing during the hymns so it feels like you are singing alone. But, I get to see more of the caring behind the scenes: the attentiveness of the greeters and ushers, instructions given quietly to help people feel at home, the constant attention given to the service by Val and the others in the sound booth, the people that come in and out of the service for different reasons, the hosts leaving early to set out the feast, the quiet scurrying when things don't work according to plan. People finding a special niche, all their own in service to the worshiping community. Wonderful!

Gerhart Drumm started off his lovely sermon today about the Lord's Prayer with the statement that he was not going to say how to pray the Lord's prayer, but how he prayed the Lord's Prayer. It is a prayer we say in common, but everyone's prayer needs to be different because we are all different and come from different situations. It was like what I saw from the back -- everyone was in worship together, but all the workers at the back had a different way to bring their gifts to the community.

What is my prayer? What is your prayer? How is your prayer different than another's? How is it significant that we have different prayers or similar ones?

What do you think?

(the picture is one of my favorites: Chagall's Lamentation of Jeremiah)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Prophet without Voice

This is my eighth day in Fortuna. Odd week of doing ministry by doing almost no work at all. Moving is part of the job, and so I have been working over-long days every day for a month now. But all the dirt and dust and garbage and cleaning and packing and unpacking and tearing down and setting up is all done in the midst of a monumental work of love. The way has been paved by so many, and I am so grateful. We have been surrounded in blessings from long before we stepped foot into Fortuna. Thank you.

This week, I got a gift. My first Sunday at Fortuna United Methodist Church was spent sitting in the pew watching while others lead the service and Carol Newquist preached the sermon. He talked about Jesus not being able to really preach in his own home town. The only voice I had was when John stuck two pieces of paper in my hand before the service and told me I was singing the anthems with the men of the congregation -- patriotic songs, "don't worry, it's all melody". Carol talked about expectations, and being real with one another, and how Jesus couldn't be accepted as a special person in his own home town because everyone already knew who he was. I like the question he poses to me.

Do I do better ministry where I am known or where I am not known? It is a pretty acute question for me right now. But I think it is a good question for all of us.

What do you think? Where do you do your best ministry?