Last year for Thanksgiving, my family came in from five different states to Wimberley, TX where we gathered for to celebrate my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. The property we rented was beautiful, and had a lot of space to spread out. Some of the cousins, also known as the ‘third generation’ (‘gen three’ for short), stayed in renovated old barn that we named the bunkhouse. It was there that we laid down the expectations of our time together that came to be known as the ‘bunkhouse rules.’Read More
Mark R. Mitchell lost good friends in the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Along with grieving, Mitchell — lay leader of nearby Floresville United Methodist Church and the Las Misiones District of the Rio Texas Conference — has been trying to offer practical help. “There is no expiration date on our offers of help,” he said. His words this week have had me wondering what else might not have an expiration date.Read More
Last Saturday my wife, Heather, and I dressed up as Beauty and the Beast-turned-prince for our church’s Trunk or Treat event. We and other church members passed out candy from the trunks of our cars and brought smiles to a lot of children. By participating in this Halloween tradition we also joined in an ancient church traditional of redeeming festivals with dark pasts.Read More
The cold wind has blown in, and just like that, our Texas weather has gone from 85 to 55 overnight. It seems as though a new season is finally here. A season where we start by seeing a change in colors and temperature, and then
we watch as the leaves fall away and we're left with a landscape that might be seen as bare.
We live in a world where bad things happen and people talk about them. News stories and social media feeds fill up with the negative news of the day. Sadly, all that negative news crowds out the often more numerous instances of good news. But this week I received some really good news about hurricane relief efforts. So take this, negative news. Things are about to get positive…Read More
Between now and November 19th, Access is collecting items for FUMCR's Ark House Ministry that provides temporary, low-cost housing for out-of-town families receiving extended medical treatment at a local hospital.Read More
This week as I have grappled with the horrific shooting on Sunday night, I have been at a loss for words. I continue breathing deeply, feeling the weight as well as the frustration of another shooting. While I have been at a loss for ‘new’ words I might share with you, I came across this song that was released this week called “Dear Hate” by Maren Morris. In the song, she says “Dear Hate, I saw you on the news today. Like a shock that takes my breath away. You fall like rain, cover us in drops of pain. I'm afraid that we just might drown.” I was oddly comforted that someone was naming both my fear and frustration. And yet, just as the song does not stop there, neither does my faith.Read More
Back in the day I discovered a pallet full of ceiling tiles in the barn on our farm. They were the white tiles that make up the suspended ceilings common in offices. I didn't know where they came from or how long they might be around, but their rectangular shape resembled that of playing cards, and that gave me an idea.Read More
About a month ago one of my former professors from Perkins School of Theology, Dr. Bill Bryan, passed away. I had the privilege of taking a class with him on leadership. One of the most important things he taught me was that a good leader is one who is “unusually committed and action-oriented.” Dr. Bryan taught me about the importance of being dedicated to the people we serve and care for. He even taught the importance of getting up on the roof for more than just fixing a repair.Read More
Our church's photography team snapped this photo on November 2, 2014. That Sunday we held an Access worship service in a tent on an empty, grassy field where our Worship and Arts Center is today. We imagined the transformation of that empty space into worship space.
This fall will mark the conclusion of the 3-year "Imagine" capital campaign to fund that transformation. The scripture from which we took the "Imagine" name, the prayerful process that led to our church expanding its facilities, and the unforeseen changes in Richardson since that time all testify to a God that imagines far more than we can.Read More
In the aftermath of Harvey and with Irma bearing down, I've had some conversations about how God is involved with hurricanes. A couple people shared that they've been told God is using hurricanes to punish people. But that explanation contradicts what Jesus said and ignores clear guidance he gave to his followers in the aftermath of tragic death.Read More