Category Archives: Current programs

Spring Break

It was a typical spring morning in a rural south Texas town. Blue sky, a few puffy cumulous clones floating around, and a slight breeze blowing through the mesquite trees. A few residents were gathered outside the gas station/general store drinking coffee, enjoying this glorious South Texas Spring weather.

We were just a couple of College kids from SMSU on our way to South Padre Island. After driving all night we were just a couple of hours from our destination. Seven days of sun, sea, and sand. While my friend took his turn behind the wheel I was taking a well-deserved nap.

Suddenly I woke up from my nap to see a trailer stopped on the road ahead with our car headed straight toward it at 65 MPH.

LOOK OUT! I screamed.

We swerved to the left just in time to avoid a rear-end collision. The right side of our car smashed into the trailer, the impact sending us into a spin. We finally came to rest on the roadside 40 to 50 yards from the trailer we just hit. Miraculously no one was hurt.

After the Crash

Have you ever had a near death experience?  It changes your life. I attended church as a kid and always said I believed in God. But this was the first time I felt God was looking out for me personally. Andy had fallen asleep at the wheel. Had I not awoken when I did we would have smashed into that trailer and most certainly been killed. But God had other plans for my life.

Nine months after my near fatal collision I met Linda. We soon graduated and began climbing the corporate ladder. Over the next few years, we got married, traveled across the US and Europe, purchased our dream home, and had Lauren and Amanda. as Saturday Night Live ’s Garrett Morris would say: “Life was veddy veddy good to me.” I felt wide awake and so alive.

Little did I know this castle of sand I was building would soon come tumbling down.

Divided Methodist Church

On February 26, the United Methodist General Conference 2019 delegates passed The Traditional Plan 438 to 384. The judicial council raised several constitutionality issues. They addressed these issues with amendments to the Traditional Plan.

The Rev. Tim McClendon, South Carolina, called for a vote on the Traditional Plan as amended. This affirms the church’s current bans on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage.

Opponents mounted a last-ditch effort to bring back the One Church Plan. Delegates defeated the One Church Plan by a vote of 449-374. The Rev. Tom Berlin, Virginia Conference, spoke for a minority report for the One Church Plan.

Berlin told delegates that approving the One Church Plan did not force any pastor or church to perform same-sex marriages. Nor did it force anyone to change what they believe about the Bible. In addition the plan would allow conferences to ordain LGBTQ pastors. It would also allow churches to host, and pastors to officiate at same-sex marriages.

“If the Traditional Plan is voted in, it will be a virus that will make the American church very sick” he said. “Many pastors are going to leave, many annual conference will leave. … There will be trials, and they will be on the news. The only news about the church will be about people we don’t serve.”

Where Will We Go From Here?

Adopting the Traditional Plan is yet another milestone in the evolution of the Methodist Church. Time will tell how this ultimately unfolds. Will the church decide on an amicable separation similar to the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches?

I have family and friends on both sides of this controversial issue. Personally I disagree with the church’s position. I wish they would have adopted the One Church Plan. However, I understand and respect their decision. As Methodists we may be divided on this issue. However, we will survive.

My first encounter with a gay man came in the mid-1990s. He worked for me. We were on a business trip to San Francisco where we talked about his partner who died from AIDS. I was deeply moved by his story. Prior to that conversation I was admittedly a bit homophobic. His testimony put a human face on the issue for me. Since then I have met many gay and lesbian individuals and couples. Many of whom I consider good friends.

Regardless of what happens to the church I will try to live faithfully by the example shown by Jesus Christ.

John 13:34
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Band of Brothers

I met Dave Hubin in early December 2002. We were table mates at the St. John’s table, Walk to Emmaus #1039. We didn’t seem to have much in common. He retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt Col. and Command Pilot. I would begin long-term disability on Saturday. In fact, I didn’t spend a lot of time talking with Dave that weekend. Little did we know it would be the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

Following the three-day experience, we formed a small group to support each other in our ongoing walk with Christ. This reunion group, which we named Band of Brothers consisted of six members. Myself, Dave, our table leader Tim Barton, Mike Ford, Tony LoBosso, and Todd Yackley. We met for breakfast each week at 6:30 AM at Jim’s restaurant, Lp. 410 @ Broadway. Tony’s work commitments forced him to quit after a few weeks. Joe Carter replaced him and we moved our meeting location to North Central Baptist Hospital cafeteria. I can still remember those super tacos 😃🌮. Todd, a United States Air Force captain was soon transferred to South Dakota. After Joe died we started meeting for lunch at my house.

Each week we begin the meeting with an opening prayer. We then take turns discussing our spirituality from the prior week(s). Our discussion then shifts to things like our Closest to Christ moments and Calls to Discipleship. We end each of our turns with Prayers for Special Needs. Finally, we close with a prayer of Thanksgiving.

Dave has long been the heart and soul of the Band of Brothers reunion group. We seldom met when he wasn’t available. In recent years deteriorating health has made his participation exceedingly difficult. He was parliamentarian of the group. Thus appropriately he always ran the anchor leg at our meetings.

Final Farewell

I attended David’s memorial service Friday. Seems like we could have tried a little harder for one more reunion group meeting. We will miss you David as you take your final mission into the Wild Blue Yonder.