Thursday, August 23, 2007


The United Methodist Women are putting together a recipe book. I love to cook. So it seems like I should be able to contribute to the book.

Problem is I never use recipes. Oh sometimes I will look at a book to remember the proper temperature for something or I will take ideas for a particular dish from a book. But I don’t use recipes. Now if I was a baker, I would have to use recipes. Baking is an exact science, Kendra does the baking. I prefer to be an artist, to create in the moment, to allow the ingredients at hand to determine what the meal will be. Sure there is planning involved (sometimes) and lessons learned from failed experiments (ask Kendra about those) but I don’t want to follow recipes, I want each meal to be a new experience. (This drives Kendra crazy.)

Don’t get me wrong, there are basic skills to be learned. There are tools to be used and some foundations of the chemistry of cooking that are necessary for a good meal. There is method to the madness. In my constant search for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey I have learned the great joy of brining from Alton Brown of the Food Network.

This year I want to encourage LUMC to create “Experiments of Faith.” There are scientist among us who will experiment with great precision. There are others among us who will experiment with an artistic flair. It is my hope that these experiments are the shared experiences we have of God’s grace. Some of the experiments will be new ministry programs. Some of the experiments will become a committee. Some of the experiments will be new relationships. Some of the experiments will involve worship. Some of them will become personal devotions.

This will require an atmosphere of grace as we encourage one another to try new things for the ministry of Jesus Christ. Want to begin a new Bible Study? Sweet! Want to begin a program for children? Go for it! Want to reach out to older adults? Amen! Want to sing a new song in worship? Praise God! Some of our experiments will not turn out as we had hoped. May we have the grace to laugh and learn from our “failures.” Some of our experiments will take off in directions we didn’t think of. In all that we do, may we have the humility to give thanks for all that God is doing in the ministry of Longview United Methodist Church.