Okay, I’ll admit it: I did not watch any of the coverage of the recent Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.

It seems pretty obvious that people who are ACTORS make their living “putting on a show”. And that is just the point that made the outcome of this “actual trial” pretty obvious from the very beginning. All we needed was a few news reports panning the crowd of shouting fans outside the courthouse, many of them dressed in pirate outfits, to know what was going on. Johnny Depp was not on trial. It was Captain Jack Sparrow in the courthouse dock. No matter the questionable character of that nefarious scalawag on the silver screen, he was and remains a fan favorite character. Just a reminder, by the way, in case you have in mind that Capt. Jack Sparrow is actually a famous pirate leader from days long gone by, the wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies is based upon a popular Disney amusement park ride. It is all make believe.

It is the curious case of Rev. Gretta Vosper, Minister of West Hills United Church in Toronto. I do not know Rev. Vosper personally but have been interested in this situation for several years. Rev. Vosper is the bestselling author of With or Without God: Why the Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe. Rev. Vosper’s aim in her book and her practice of ministry is to deconstruct the Christian faith, dispatch with all the supernatural assertions about God, Jesus, eternity, salvation, sin, authority, and base the whole project, the entire Christian movement, simply on love which, she holds, is the core of Christianity.

Still, I have in mind an enduring image of Captain Jack Sparrow:

It is from the opening of the first film in the series (The Curse of the Black Pearl). Capt. Jack is high on the ship’s mast, heroically voyaging toward adventure. Or so it seems. As the camera pulls back, we see that the ship is sinking. Capt. Jack steps onto the dock. Just in the nick of time!

I have conversations with quite a few leaders, both pastors and laity, of local United Methodist congregations on an ongoing basis. They want to move forward with a vibrant and fruitful ministry through their local church in their local community. But they find the gnarly mess of our denominational conflict and confusion seems to hold everything back. They feel like the denominational ship is indeed sinking and have almost no option of stepping into a solid future “just in the nick of time.”

Perhaps we should stop waiting for somebody else to come to our rescue. Maybe you are the one, or you and few others within your local church, who can begin to prayerfully discern, become informed, and begin to chart a new course for the local church you call home.

Here is an outstanding opportunity for information, inspiration, and networking connections.

There is no cost for attending, but registration helps us make sure there is a lunch for you! (And yes, we will “pass the hat” to help cover costs of the lunch).

Sponsored by the Northern Illinois, Illinois Great Rivers, and Iowa Regional Chapters of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.

I hope to see you there!

New Day Regional Gathering
Saturday, June 25th
First United Methodist Church
Geneseo, Illinois (a nice ride in the country)
10 am – 3 pm (Lunch provided)
Worship, Prayer, Inspiration, and Information

Keynote Speaker:
Rev. Angela Pleasants,
VP, Church and Clergy Relations, Global Methodist Church

Workshops (you can attend two of the four)
1. Aligning Your Local Church for the Future – Rev. Dr. Chris Ritter
2. What? So what? Now What? Questions for your local church – Rev. Dr. Bob Phillips
3. Four Legit Reasons for Joining the Global Methodist Church – Rev. Mike Morgan
4. How Churches are Making the Transition for a Better Future – Rev. Angela Pleasants

There is no cost for attending, but registration helps us make sure there is a lunch for you!
(And yes, we will “pass the hat” to help cover costs of the lunch).

Sponsored by the Northern Illinois, Illinois Great Rivers, and Iowa Regional Chapters of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.

I hope to see you there!

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REV. DR. SCOTT FIELD

REV. DR. SCOTT FIELD

NIC Clergy/Retired
Resource Networking Coordinator
Northern Illinois Wesleyan Covenant Association

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