Thoughts on the upcoming GC2019

The following offers a summary of the various plans that will be presented at the upcoming special General Conference in February (?), 2019.  This speaks to the future of the United Methodist Church,

“A New Circle”

This will be on the back page of the Fishkill United Methodist Church bulletin for this coming Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Christ the King Sunday (Year B).

It was the Preacher who wrote in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything and a time for every purpose.

One of the first things humankind noted was the changing of the seasons, of life, growth, maturation, death, and then a repetition of the cycle.  It is a circle that, as the song goes, that remains unbroken.

Today is the end of the church’s liturgical year; tomorrow we begin a new one with the beginning of Advent and the preparation for the coming of Jesus.  So, we celebrate the end of one year in the church and the beginning of a new one, of the completion of one cycle in the church life and the beginning of a new cycle.

But there are times when we must step away from the circle.  It has been fun and challenging to find ways to express the thoughts of the scriptures while being constrained to a 4 ½” x 6 ½” space but the time has come to step away, to rest and recharge.

With this new cycle, I will be taking a sabbatical, allowing others to contribute and allow Pastor Micah to explore other ways to use this space.

I will continue to write in areas of faith and science and I will continue to sing in the choir.  I hope that in this coming year, you will find ways to help others through this cycle of life.

~~ in peace and with Christ, Tony Mitchell

Three Ways to Spread What’s Going On… – The Catholic Astronomer

A piece of interest – something I will be doing more of in the coming year

I got an email recently from someone who’d read an interview of mine… Hi Br. Guy, I just came across this 2017 article. Your quote, “More scientists who are church-goers need to make their science known to their parishioners”  is something that I have contemplated over the years but wasn’t really sure about how to exactly go about it, do you have any suggestions? Good question, actually. Here’s how I answered him:     Great to hear from you! And good on you, to call my bluff about me saying what “somebody else” should be doing! So here are some thoughts off the top of my head… Then I sent the following: 1. Read and spread the word about our two web sites, The Catholic Astronomer and our Faith and Science resource site. 2. Get involved with groups already in existence in your parish, such as the CCD classes the Knights of Columbus your local parish Mens’ club if one exists Once you … Continue reading →

Source: Three Ways to Spread What’s Going On… – The Catholic Astronomer

“The Nature of Power”

This will be on the back page of the Fishkill UMC bulletin for Sunday, November 18, 2018 (the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B)

While I was at Truman State University, Charles McClain was named the new President.  As he was new to the community, I took it upon myself to invite him to dinner at the dormitory cafeteria one night.  I didn’t think he would accept the offer but, to my surprise and delight, he immediately did.

As we went to the cafeteria and through the serving line, everyone thought that he was my father and not the new President of the college.  Until that moment, the President of the college didn’t mingle with the staff or students.  It was the beginning of a cultural change that transformed a regional college into a national liberal arts institution.

This view of people in positions of power and prestige being separate and never interacting with those less powerful is apparent in the Scriptures as well.

Those in power, then and now, feel they are the chosen ones (chosen by themselves, not by God), and they are quite willing to let others know of this distinction.  They believe they speak the words of God and what they say is to be accepted without question.

But as much as they would have believed that Jesus came for them, Jesus came to minister to those without power or position.

Our acceptance of Christ as Savior does not give us power or prestige; it does not give us the right to decide who can enter Heaven.  It does mean that we show others who Christ was, is and will be, so that they can come to Christ.

~~Tony Mitchell

“The Armistice”

This will be on the back page of this Sunday’s November 11, 2018. 25th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B) bulletin at Fishkill UMC.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the  Armistice of World War I.  In the diary he kept during his service in France, my grandfather wrote, very simply,


November 11, 1918

A great day. The armistice was signed today. We were to resume our attack at 2 p.m. in case it was not signed. Slept in a German dugout last night.

Though he had a lot of pictures showing the consequences of war, with one exception, nothing my grandfather wrote told me how he felt about war. It was what he wrote on the front page of the diary that told me he saw war for what it was and what it could be.

If I should fall, will the finder of this take it on him or herself to see that it gets to my wife, Mrs. Walter L. Mitchell, 4150 A De Tonty Street, St. Louis, MO., USA? By doing so, they were conferring a favor upon Walter L. Mitchell, Captain, 34th US Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces, France.

My grandfather would retire as a Colonel in the Army and die at his home in St. Louis in 1955.

~~Tony Mitchell