FEMALE CEO’s ONLY 5% and DECLINING

FEMALE CEO’s ONLY 5% and DECLINING

August 7, 2018 By

Women continue to be kept from top leadership even in the Fortune 500 Companies where a woman broke through the glass ceiling and became CEO.  Here is an article on this.

It says in part:

By Jeff Green

Of the at least 24 female chief executive officers of S&P 500 companies who’ve stepped down since 2009, all but three have been replaced by a man, according to an analysis of data on executive departures compiled quarterly by recruiter Spencer Stuart. That includes PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi, who announced Monday that she’ll leave the post in October, and at least four other women this year.

The largest companies have struggled to elevate women, who hold only about 5 percent of CEO positions. Progress has stalled even amid the revelations of harassment or other misconduct brought to light by the #MeToo movement and pressure from investors such as State Street Corp. and BlackRock Inc. to get boards to add diversity.

“Despite the advances that females have made over the last 10 years, and the big push that’s going on to get them into executive positions, if you look at the talent pool of available individuals, it’s going to be mostly men,” said Tom Flannery, who leads the global chief executive board services practice at Boyden, an executive recruiter. “Just from a pure odds standpoint, most of the time, when a CEO is replaced,

PORNOGRAPHY AND ACEDIA

PORNOGRAPHY AND ACEDIA

July 9, 2018 By

The attempt to empty human life from its spiritual foundation has created a secular culture that is vulnerable to addiction.  This is true whether the addiction is physical, financial, relational or spiritual.  In this excellent article on the spiritual foundation for the use of pornography, Duke Divinity Professor Reinhard Hütter provides a profound explanation of both how we got to where we are and how to find our way out.  Unsurprisingly it has to do with the Spiritual Disciplines that connect us with God.

Professor Hütter begins his article by saying:

“A uniquely toxic combination of the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh has become an almost normal component of everyday life: the perturbingly pervasive use of pornography in general and internet pornography in particular, with its dangerous addictiveness and its lethal effect on the Christian spiritual life. To comprehend the spiritual roots of this crisis, we need to recall an all-too-forgotten vice, acedia, usually called “sloth” but better rendered as “spiritual apathy.” It is the very forgoing of friendship with God—which is the fulfillment of the transcendent dignity and calling of the human person—and the embrace of the self-indulgent deception that there never was and never will be friendship with God, that there never was and never will be a transcendent calling and dignity of the human person. Nothing matters much, because the one thing that really matters, God’s love and friendship,

WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE 4th OF JULY?  1852

WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE 4th OF JULY? 1852

July 5, 2018 By

In 1852 in Rochester, NY where the Free Methodist Church would organize eight years later stating that a primary purpose of this new “FREE” Methodist church is the the abolition of slavery, the  former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglas gave a speech on the 4th of July that is still sadly relevant today.  It is helpful to hear the first-person testimony of those who have and are suffering the prejudice that betrays our nation’s claims of independence for all who are endowed by their Creator with equal, unalienable rights.  This seven minute video is an important reminder of the ongoing work of the FMC in these United States of America.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

REAL MEN SHIELD THE DEFENSELESS AND PROTECT FAMILIES

REAL MEN SHIELD THE DEFENSELESS AND PROTECT FAMILIES

June 29, 2018 By

We often hear our culture remind men to protect their own family.  Here Mark Adams, Superintendent of the Sierra Pacific Conference of the Free Methodist Church, reminds us that Christians protect and care for all families, not only his own.  Written for Father’s Day it speaks to men, however the message is for all Christians, men and women.

Supt. Mark Adams

June, 2018

Today is Father’s Day.  I am so proud of all four of my sons.  They are Lars, Jake, Alex and Felix.  Each are young men with sharp minds, quick wits, compassionate hearts and willing to sacrifice much to benefit others.  Three are fathers themselves, and really great dads at that!  I could not be a happier dad.  So, sons, remember – real men shield the defenseless and protect families.

Consequently, I must say something about the current American implementation of a policy to tear apart families as an immigration deterrent.  I am disheartened as a Christian father that the policy is being defended by national spokespersons (Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders) through biblical texts.  On a personal identity level (I have identified as an “evangelical Christian”) I am dismayed that over the past few years it seems that evangelical Christianity as a whole is becoming enmeshed with a political agenda that places nationalistic views ahead global Christian concerns, even promoting initiatives that seem to dehumanize others.

THE BIBLICAL STORY IS A MIGRATION STORY

THE BIBLICAL STORY IS A MIGRATION STORY

June 28, 2018 By

Scripture is inspired for all people in all places in all times calling us to a higher response than this world even knows.  Here Rev. Julia Matallana-Freedman, who in 2018 received her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity and was ordained Elder in the Free Methodist Church in Southern California, provides a thoughtful guidance to which each of us are called by God to respond as the church – the called-out-ones.

Rev. Matallana-Freedman

June 2018

So much about our faith as North American Christians is discursive. Ultimately the words we use and the interpretive choices we make matter because our actions unfurl alongside our discursive choices. The Christian ethicist, Stanley Hauerwas, frames it this way:

“The most creative social strategy we have to offer is the church. Here we show the world a manner of life the world can never achieve through social coercion or governmental action. We Serve the world by showing it something that it is not, namely, a place where God is forming a family out of strangers.” (Resident Aliens, 39).

We know there are many FM leaders across the nation already actively involved in refugee ministries and initiatives. This post embodies our striving for the centering of this ongoing work and to lift up the stories of FM Churches on the borderlands and in the trenches of this ongoing moral corruption. This reflection is searching for the increase of unlikely voices coupled with divine creativity to do God’s work faithfully.

ROMANS 13 and ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS

ROMANS 13 and ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS

June 23, 2018 By

SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY

By Bishop David Kendall – June 2018

Over the weekend, the United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, cited the Apostle Paul as a form of support for our government’s draconian “no tolerance” policy that separates children from their parents should the parents illegally enter the U.S.  Aside from the unjust practice of punishing innocent children for alleged crimes of their parents, Romans 13 has been woefully misappropriated to justify what is arguably the opposite of Paul’s intent in this celebrated chapter.  That is my focus in what follows.

[Since this will be longer than a more typical post here are the conclusions which I draw.  First, Romans 13 cannot be used legitimately to support any particular governmental policy or program, at any time.  Second, nor should it be read as a command for Jesus-followers to support the government regardless of its policies.  Third, it is a reminder that government, as such, is good but not absolute; and that leaders are accountable and will answer to God, if to no one else.  And, fourth, followers of Jesus have a mission to accomplish with or without the assistance of government, and they are the people called and equipped to demonstrate the good that all governments seek as they give themselves to love.  Read on to see why I make such conclusions.]

Before observing what the Apostle Paul says in this highly celebrated text on the Christian’s duty to governing authorities,

LIVED EXPERIENCE of FEMALE FREE METHODIST PASTORS

LIVED EXPERIENCE of FEMALE FREE METHODIST PASTORS

April 5, 2018 By

The Study Commission on Doctrine commissioned the creation of this film in order to allow all of us to experience the struggles of female pastors.  Though each of the many women who shepherd our churches, including the five pastors in this film, would gladly give moving stories of God’s grace within their ministries, the fact is that it is difficult for our women.  Just as in other professions where women experience bias due to the curse of patriarchy explained in Genesis 3:16, this same result of the fall permeates the very church God intended to be His instrument of healing the effects of sin.

Free Methodists have clearly established our conviction that in the church there is no distinction between male and female and that both are gifted to shepherd the church, we have found that we need to speak to the heart as well as the mind.  When in the late 1800’s our founder, B.T. Roberts wrote the book on Ordaining Women (also in Spanish) and gave a clear explanation looking at Scripture, Tradition and Reason, he sadly found that the church was not ready to follow his leadership.  It was not until the middle of the 20th century that the church he founded joined him in this vision given by God and began ordaining women.  But now in the 21st century we still make it hard on the women God has called. Perhaps we do it in more subtle ways now such that we do not forbid them from being ordained,

DIVERSITY IS NOT A FRINGE ISSUE

DIVERSITY IS NOT A FRINGE ISSUE

April 4, 2018 By

The description of the church in the books of Acts and Revelation both make it clear that the present and future church is diverse in culture, tribe and language.  However, this diversity requires the intentional leadership of pastors and denominational leaders.  In this discussion with Bryan Loritts we enter into a profound discussion that can assist all of us in this work. The article describes him: “Bryan Loritts, whose work as a pastor, nonprofit leader, author and consultant focuses on encouraging multiethnic and multicultural church organization and worship. Loritts serves as senior pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, a multiethnic congregation in Silicon Valley. Before his move to California, he served as pastor for preaching and mission at Trinity Grace Church in New York City, and as the lead pastor for Fellowship Memphis church in Memphis, Tennessee. Loritts is also president of the Kainos Movement, an organization dedicated to making multiethnic church the new normal.”

In part the conversation says:

For the average pastor, a cultural dynamic like that feels intractable. How do you begin to shape a more equitable culture in line with the values of multiethnicity?

It really starts with awareness.

I wrote an article for the Global Leadership Summit some months ago, titled “’White Is Not a Four-Letter Word.” I take issue with the demonization of “white” for sport. But I believe, after spending decades in this line of work, that our white brothers and sisters do not consciously think in terms of whiteness.

SUNKEN PLACE THEOLOGY

SUNKEN PLACE THEOLOGY

March 7, 2018 By

Pastor and theologian Delonte Gholston has written an insightful theological and social commentary in Relevant titled: GET OUT CONTAINS A THEOLOGICAL LESSON THAT IS EASY TO MISS.  After noting that the first Black writer to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay and that he created a whole new genre of film being called the “social suspense thriller”, Gholston applies the insights to the church.  

In part he says:

A SUNKEN-PLACE THEOLOGY

What does a Jordan Peele suspense thriller have to do with the Church or Christian theology? Well, the reality is that black folk in America are eerily familiar with what I call “sunken-place theology.” As Dr. Curtis Steven Wilder makes painfully clear in his book Ebony And Ivy, the American Church, along with elite colleges and universities, was chief among those who trafficked not only in the kidnapping and commodification of black bodies but also in the development of a theology of black bondage.

We saw new reports recently that our founding father George Washington, who had his very own pew at Christ Church in historic Alexandria, Virginia, (once the largest center of human trafficking in America) quite literally had the teeth of black enslaved people in his mouth. While there is no lack of documentation of how so-called Christians in America quite literally kidnapped and sold black bodies, the Church must still reckon with its theology of black exploitation and the ways in which it continues to manifest itself today.

IMPLICIT GENDER BIASES IN BUSINESS

IMPLICIT GENDER BIASES IN BUSINESS

February 10, 2018 By

In an article exploring implicit gender bias, the Harvard Business Review explored the reality of this in the business world:  The article explains:

“Last year, Harvard Business Review investigated a company where women comprise only 20% of senior roles. Their goal was to find out whether differences in gender behavior explained promotion disparities. The researchers perused communication exchanges and data coming from sociometric badges that recorded interactions between employees. They hypothesized that explicit preferences such as women having fewer mentors or less facetime with managers would account for discrepancies. But as they analyzed their data, they found men and women’s work patterns and performances were indistinguishable. And yet women weren’t advancing whereas men were. What gives?

It comes down to implicit biases, the researchers concluded, which are our unconscious tendencies to favor one thing over another. Often, these mental shortcuts are morally neutral, like linking “doctor” and “nurse” and “hospital.” But connect “doctor” to “he” and “nurse” to “she,” and these associations become loaded, and can, as others have observed, have oppressive consequences.

This reality helps explain why most organizations struggle to close gender gaps: It’s not enough for women to compete and show they’re capable. Implicit attitudes must change, too. But how? Here’s where to begin:

Know what gender bias looks like

A preeminent legal scholar identifies two prominent forms of workplace bias against women:

First,