The Law of Ecclesiastical Disgruntlement


Back in August, 2012, I received an email from “Cheryl,” a prospective student at Seattle Pacific Seminary, who felt a call to pastoral ministry. She asked my advice on which of two denominations she should join. I replied…

Adventure Story(1)


At the time of this story, I was a United Methodist pastor in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was sitting in my church office when the phone rang. The caller explained that her daughter, Karen, had recently gotten engaged, and asked if I would perform the wedding. “We belong to another Methodist Church,” she said, “but yours is closer to the site of the reception.” Then she added that Karen, who lived in Florida, wouldn’t be coming home until a week before the wedding. That ruled out any pre-marital counseling. By now I was getting leery of this situation, but the mother assured me that the pastor of her church, my colleague in ministry, was okay with this plan, that the couple would be getting premarital counseling at their church in Florida, and that a professional wedding consultant would handle all the local arrangements. So I somewhat reluctantly I agreed. Fortunately, the preparations went quite smoothly over the next few months, and the bride-to-be called me several times from Florida to extend the proper courtesies and make sure everything was lined up. My worries were over—or so I thought.

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This week, Dr. Rick Steele’s “From the Associate Dean’s Desk” entry on the SPS blog, SignPosts, is entitled, “Kant and the Climbing Tree.” It is dedicated to dear friends and esteemed Seattle Pacific University colleagues, Dr. C. Edward Smyth, Professor Emeritus of Educational Ministry, and Dr. Les Steele, Professor Emeritus of Christian Formation. “When I […]