Jesus inside the beltway: Glocalization and relationship-rooted causes

On the last day of our GBCS young clergy leadership forum, we learned the term “glocalization.” It’s actually not an affirmation of the activist world cliche that we should “think globally and act locally.” The problem is precisely that we too often think about activism in global terms instead of local ones. Activism that is understood in kingdom terms should always seek as localized a form as possible even if it occurs over a distance that is global. Let me explain. Continue reading

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Jesus inside the beltway: love creates the space for truth

Yesterday, the young clergy leadership forum heard from Bill Mefford, the GBCS point person for immigration reform and other controversial causes. Bill shared with us that he actually spent most of his career as a local pastor to people in the rural midwest and Texas who would disagree with most of the things he’s advocating now. He said the most solid foundation for being able to speak prophetic Biblical truths in your congregation is for people to know that you love them. They can’t get that from the generic benevolence of a handshake and a warm smile. They need to be pursued and valued. Continue reading

Jesus inside the beltway: Two no-brainer gun policies

Continuing to blog through what I’m learning at the General Board of Church and Society Young Clergy Leadership Forum. We’re listening to a presentation about gun violence from a group called Heeding God’s Call that is blowing my mind. A common argument in debates over guns is that gun crimes are committed with guns that are purchased illegally. Two kids in my former youth group are in jail now because of crimes involving black market guns. So how do black market guns get out on the street? I never asked that question before. Well, I just found out one major way: it’s called straw purchasing and it’s perfectly legal. Continue reading

Jesus inside the beltway: “Why are you here?”

I am attending the young clergy leadership forum (#yclf on twitter) with the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) in Washington, DC. This is the agency that lobbies the federal government on behalf of the United Methodist Church according to the agenda set forth every four years by our General Conference. I decided I would blog about my experience in a series called “Jesus inside the beltway.” The first question it seems important to ask is why they exist. Continue reading