Amicable Encounters Episode III: The Candidate

Posted: June 25, 2014 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized

By Matt Horaninterview1

Eric’s fingers were cramping.  He was typing the second paper of the day, and estimated that he’d been typing for about five hours total.  He loved being in seminary–the learning, the professors, the friends he’d made, the theological discussions–it had been great.  If it wasn’t for all of the reading and writing, it would have been perfect.  To top it all off, as a reward for finishing seminary, he would get to then write his paperwork for commissioning.  He was a certified candidate from the Louisiana Annual Conference, on the track to become an elder.

The phone rang as he began page four.  He picked it up, and was surprised to hear the voice of the staff-parish relations chairperson, Elizabeth Wyatt, from his home church in Baton Rouge.  “Hello Eric!  How are things in seminary?”

They chit-chatted for a few minutes, and Elizabeth gushed about how proud the whole church was of him.  He was their first ever certified candidate for ministry, and every visit home made him feel like a conquering hero.

“Well, Eric, let me tell you the reason for my call.”  Elizabeth got down to business, “You and I have talked a few times about the  homosexuality issue, and I’ve always thought that you and I are pretty much on the same page.  Would you agree?” Read the rest of this entry »

Amicable Encounters Episode 2: Get Out The Vote

Posted: June 14, 2014 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized

By Matt HoranVote

Rebecca was pacing back and forth in front of the living room window.  Her daughter and new grandson had just landed at the airport and were due to walk in her front door in about 45 minutes.  She’d been waiting for weeks, and could hardly stand to wait another minute.  She kept looking out the window in hopes of seeing them, though she knew that even if they’d had a police escort through every stoplight driving 80 miles per hour the whole way they still wouldn’t be there yet.

She decided to go and double check and make sure that the “Pack-n-Play” she’d gotten was ready.  She’d put it up two days ago and had checked it about a half-dozen times, but once more couldn’t hurt.  She began to reconsider the positioning of the stuffed animals she had sitting on top of the dresser to welcome him to grandma’s house when the doorbell rang.  She normally told people that she “didn’t move like she used to,” but she was suddenly moving like she never had before towards her front door.  She pulled the door open smiling widely, her arms already feeling the ache of needing to hug her daughter and hold her grandbaby.

“Disappointment” didn’t do justice to what she felt when she looked out and saw a familiar couple standing on her front porch.  She knew them from somewhere, but more than anything, she knew that they weren’t her daughter and grandson. Read the rest of this entry »

Amicable Encounters Episode I: Windows

Posted: June 13, 2014 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized

By Matt HoranSt_Peters_three_christs

Scott opened his 11th plastic bin in his fourth room.  Somebody told him at one of his many orientation meetings that there had been a collection of shoes at a nearby church for kids who might need them while at the Aldersgate Youth Camp.  He’d stored that for use in a couple months when he’d be getting things ready for Summer Camp 2016–they’d need to find them and have them readily available.  He hadn’t anticipated two boys tipping over their canoe during their Confirmation retreat two months before summer camp would start, which is why he was in his fourth room opening his 11th bin in hopes that this one would be the one containing the shoes.  Sadly, it was not.
The walkie-talkie clipped to his belt squawked at him, “Scott, you have a Mrs. Jenkins here to meet with you.”   Read the rest of this entry »

From “On Schism”

Posted: June 3, 2014 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized

The John Wesley statue at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.

By John Wesley

“I entreat you, therefore, my brethren, all that fear God, and have a desire to please them, all that wish to have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward man, think not so slightly of this matter, but consider it calmly. Do not rashly tear asunder the sacred ties which unite you to any Christian society.

This indeed is not of so much consequence to you who are only a nominal Christian. For you are not now vitally united to any of the members of Christ. Though you are called a Christian, you are not really a member of any Christian Church.

But if you are a living member, if you live the life that is hid with Christ in God, then take care how you tend the body of Christ by separating from your brethren. It is a thing evil in itself. It is a sore evil in its consequences. O have pity upon yourself! Have pity on your brethren. Have pity even upon the world of the ungodly! Do not lay more stumbling-blocks in the way of these for whom Christ died.”