A Response to the Charleston Church Shootings

Over the past few days, I have continued in prayer for Charleston. I want to share a portion of my response to the Charleston Church Shootings which I preached this morning at First United Methodist Church. I believe it is important and inadequate. You can find the entire sermon and manuscript online here.


Let me be clear:
God never intends us to choose evil.
The Charleston Church Shootings were not part of God’s plan.
Racism, murder and tragedy will never be God’s will.
Evil is never, ever God’s plan.

Each one of us has choices to make every day.
We choose between good and evil.
We choose between forgiveness and resentment.
We choose between light and darkness.
The choices that we make – both big and small lead us closer to God or further away from God.

Choose good.
Choose forgiveness.
Choose light and life.
Choose to follow Jesus Christ, Emmanuel – God is with us.

Wisdom for Ministry

At the young adult clergy booth at the Kansas West Annual Conference, participants were invited to add a post it note sharing wisdom for ministry. The responses were (in no particular order):

  • Be who God created you to be. You!
  • Don’t worry. Be happy. 🙂
  • Have Fun!! 🙂
  • BE a blessing
  • Quit living in Fear!
  • Be flexible
  • and stubborn when necessary!
  • Spend time in prayer and reading scripture daily
  • Laugh a lot
  • Don’t be so serious!
  • Be honest
  • Shake lots of hands
  • Don’t be silenced or defeated in your dreams
  • It’ll be alright!
  • Can’t please everyone!
  • Hang in there!
  • Love the people. Love the Community
  • take care of your OWN health!
  • Take Vacation! OFTEN!
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Ministry is an honor & a privilege ENJOY!
  • People are more important than programs!
  • If you look at it in the right light, how can there be any darkness?
  • Stay in The Word.
  • Just love your people!
  • Believe in God. Believe in the church. Believe in yourself.
  • Be creative & trust what you know!
  • Smile 🙂
  • Forgiveness is First
  • Share the Love
  • Make rounds like a doctor
  • Smile be happy
  • Rehearse!

Some photos, thanks to Jeff Slater