Bishop's Corner

Bishops get ‘Way Forward’ report

5/18/2018

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church received a report from the Commission on a Way Forward during the Council’s meeting April 30-May 4 in Chicago. The Commission had been assigned to examine all paragraphs about human sexuality in the denomination’s Book of Discipline and to explore options to maintain and strengthen the Church’s unity amid conflicting theological views. The work of the Council and Commission was guided by the mission, vision, and scope of ...


Do we live in the shadows?

4/13/2018

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN As a church, are we in a penumbra? What is that?   The word comes from the Latin and combines two words meaning almost and shadow. Are we shadows of what God is calling us to be? Are we almost what God intends us to be? A similar word, from the field of science, is eclipse. We enjoy seeing these astronomical events — the solar or lunar eclipses that occur when the earth, sun, and moon are in special celestial alignment. In medical terms, a penumbra is an event that occurs ...


Be a great disciple

3/23/2018

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples for the transformation of the world. But how do we know that a disciple has been formed? John Wesley wrote that the marks of discipleship are faith, hope, and love. Those are insights that define discipleship. In addition to these, I believe there are four concepts that shape the pathway of discipleship. The first mark of discipleship that I list is found in what has been called the Great Commandment. This ...


PALE GAS

3/2/2018

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN He held the aerosol can upright and pressed its button. I heard the hiss of contents spewing through the tiny hole. He had carefully wrapped the can with a homemade sign that read “PALE GAS.” As he sprayed the can intermittently during his presentation, this Catholic deacon talked about the “seven deadly sins,” behaviors long identified by Christians as the worst vices. Historically, the Church has referred to them as deadly because they are the taproots of sin. The seven ...


Content or discontent?

2/9/2018

BY: BISHOP JIMMY NUNN- The 2018 Winter Olympics are here. I am convinced that television ratings are higher for these games because of the personal stories the reporters tell about the commitment, struggles, and dedication of the athletes. Most stories include an awakening, where an athlete realizes a love for a sport and resolves to excel in that sport. Their zeal drives them to train and practice long hours each day. They forsake everything else for the cause. Malcom Gladwell called such ...


Soul Searching

1/19/2018

BY JIMMY NUNN During the holiday break, I spent more time reflecting on my personal goals, looking inside myself to see where I am in relationship to where God wants me to be. I realized some things that I had thought important were merely passing interests. And I resolved to realign my living with what God desires that I do. I recommend you, too, practice sincere self-evaluation about your Christian journey. Where are you spiritually in your life? It was easy to deceive myself into thinking ...


Hunger no more

12/22/2017

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN The opening words of the Christmas carol “Away in a Manger” lament the fact that the bed for newborn Jesus was a manger. He didn’t get to sleep in a crib. The sentiment offers a subtle judgment on Jesus’s parents. It suggests that, had we been there, we would have provided a crib, not a manger, for the birth of the Son of God.   Have you ever thought about the message of the manger? Normally a manger is a place for animals to eat, not a spot for anyone to sleep. But ...


Are you listening?

12/1/2017

A priest named Zechariah was chosen to go into the temple to perform the religious duties at the altar. While he was there, an angel of God appeared to him. The angel told Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son.   Zechariah did not listen. Instead, he asked an age-old question: How can I be sure of this? And he told the angel that was not plausible because of his and his wife’s ages. Zechariah was slow to listen and quick to question. He had questions because he was consumed...


Breaking a habit

11/10/2017

Luckily for me, my wife does most of the shopping. But occasionally I must go myself. Recently I visited a few stores with numerous fragile items for sale. Leaving one of them, I discovered a life lesson. I noticed it as soon as I walked across the threshold of the store that had seemed filled with breakable things: My hands dug deep into my pockets. I realized I was repeating a reflexive action that I learned as a boy. In my childhood, the last thing my mother said as we entered a store was, “...


Paying it forward

10/20/2017

BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN Forgiveness is tricky business. While it is a basic concept in the faith, it is one often misunderstood. One time Peter asked Jesus how many times someone should forgive. Is seven times enough? No. Jesus told a story of a king who wished to settle accounts. He summoned a servant who owed a sum so large that it could never be repaid. Yet the servant asked the king to be patient with him and promised to repay the debt. Jesus said, “The master had compassion on that servant, ...


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