“Who Gets Invited?”


Here is the “back page” for the 15 October 2017 (19th Sunday after Pentecost, year A) bulletin at Fishkill United Methodist Church.  Our services start at 10 and you are always welcome to come and be a part of the worship.


How many of you remember Steve Allen?  If I were to describe this talented individual in one word, I would say that he was creative.  Whether it was in the arts, the theater, or music, Steve Allen found new and creative ways to express his thoughts.  And one of those ways was through a television series he prepared for PBS, entitled “Meeting of the Minds”.  In this show, he brought together notable individuals of history (portrayed by actors) to meet and discuss ideas, common or otherwise (I first referenced this in “Guess Who’s Coming To Breakfast?”)

My notes don’t give me all those who sat at his table but it would have been nice to have Paul, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer there to discuss the nature of Christianity.

If you were given the opportunity, who would you invite to sit with you at your table and discuss topics of common interest?  And what would you do if any of the individuals you invited could not attend?  Who might you then invite?

Would St. Augustine be an acceptable substitute for Martin Luther?  Would you invite Attila the Hun, even if you knew he had bad table manners?

What if they didn’t let you know until the last minute?  Might there have been someone you overlooked because they were not famous?

Who might you invite to this metaphorical table if it meant that the course of history might change because you did.

We have chosen the path we will walk.  And who we walk with along the way tells us something about that path.  Who will you invite to walk with you today?

~~Tony Mitchell

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Monthly Clergy Letter Project Newsletter


The new issue of Clergy Project Newsletter is now available on-line. I urge you all to check this out as it has information related to the teaching of science and academic freedom.  

Here is an opportunity of participate in the project and the 2018 Evolution Weekend.  There is a chance for a free book!

The Great Question


This will be the back page for the bulletin of Fishkill United Methodist Church for September 3, 2017 (Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A).

The hallmark of the prophets of the Old Testament is their initial refusal to answer God’s call. Moses sought every excuse under the sun to get out of answering God’s call but God always had a response to keep Moses on track.

John Wesley was uncomfortable with the direction his new Methodist movement was going, away from the traditional church/sanctuary message and into the fields where the people were. Before World War II began, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was very tempted to stay in New York City but knew that he was needed in Germany, therefore, he left the safety of New York City and went to Berlin.

No doubt, there are those today who would rebel against Paul’s commands to feed our enemies when they are hungry or give them a drink when they are thirsty. We do not want to feed those who oppose; we want to see them suffer.

If we are who we say we are, we do not run away from the troubles of this world but rather, do as Jesus did and commanded us to do; that is, turn our faces to the troubles, just as Jesus faced His Death in Jerusalem.

Last week, Jesus asked the disciples “Who do you say I am?” This week, we are asked if we are going to follow Jesus. How will you respond?

Disaster Relieft


In light of the recent disaster in Sierra Leone and Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods, while you have your choice of where to send relief donations, I recommend the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  Of course, I am doing this because I am a United Methodist but also because 100% of the donations go to the relief operation (and not many other relief groups can say that).  The overhead for the operation comes from other appropriations.  

Also, it is better to go the donation route (whomever you choose) than donating materials and goods (unless requested).  The people running the group have a better understanding of what is happening, what is needed, and how to get it.

Our Letter to Our Congressman


The following is a letter that we just faxed to our Congressman (who happens to be a Democrat).


We are asking you to join with other members of the House of Representatives and present a Bill of Impeachment against Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

His pardon of Mr. Joe Arpaio for a state crime is an act which is not stated in the Constitution. The President, per the Constitution Constitution, may only pardon Federal crimes. In addition, while Mr. Trump did this on his own, which is his prerogative, he ignored the laws and regulations set by the Justice Department.

This action is another example of the disdain Mr. Trump has for the Constitution. His ownership of real estate properties, in the United States and overseas, is both unethical and in violation of the emolument clause of the Constitution.

Additionally, he has failed to carry out the duties of his office as outlined in the Constitution by failing to fill positions in the Executive Branch and then by appointing individuals who are woefully unqualified and whose goals are to destroy the objectives of the departments. This is not a time to discuss the role of said departments but to recognize that what is being done by this individuals, with the support of Mr. Trump, to bring harm and injustice to the people of the United States.

He has brought a state of chaos to the United States government and shame to this country.

The preamble of the Constitution outlines the role of the Federal government. But when you look at the budget Mr. Trump has proposed, you see again that Mr. Trump has no concern for the people of the United States.

Congressman Maloney, it is quite clear that Mr. Trump does not have the ability to serve as the President. More importantly, his temperament and questionable mental stability only reinforce the need for this Bill of Impeachment.

We are asking that you present this Bill and that you use all the parliamentary procedures at your disposal to make this the first priority of the House of Representatives. It is quite clear that Mr. Trump’s actions to dates and the actions that he is likely to take in the coming days only foresee a major Constitutional crisis.

The House of Representatives must act now!