Fishers UMC Blog

The Way of Jesus

In the wake of recent national events, I wrote the following on my Facebook page.  It seemed to resonate with a lot of people, and so today I share it with you.  May we offer the world a better way – the Way of Jesus.

“Sometime around 1960, my father - a baby at the time - was left at an orphanage in South Korea. He never knew his biological parents, who, I can only assume, made the most responsible, loving decision they/she could during a very difficult time. Thankfully, my father was adopted by an American couple - one of whom immigrated to the United States from England with her parents when she was a little girl.

A few years prior and completely unbeknownst to my father, my mother's father fought along the 38th parallel in the Korean War. Once or twice, my grandpa would tell me stories of his time in the war. They were pain-filled memories, but also ones of hope. My grandpa fought in the U.S. army alongside the South Koreans and other persons of color within his own regiment.

I am the product of a South Korean man and a U.S. Caucasian woman.

I am proud of that. And I am proud of them.

I am especially proud of them and for the memories I have during the particularly difficult times when they, we, my sisters, and I have been victims of racist remarks, labels, assumptions, actions, and behaviors.

I begin with their story, because their story is my story. I am the "hyphen." I am Korean-American. Perhaps this is why I feel such kinship with the God-Man, Jesus the Christ. He is the paradigmatic "Hyphen" who invites all who follow him to live a similar existence - as persons who walk with one foot on earth and the other in the Kingdom of God. Of course, Jesus-followers know that their allegiance to Christ takes priority over their allegiance to any particular flag. Sometimes we forget or too quickly conflate the two.

I also share this because I believe, very deeply, that we are #BetterTogether. I know that is not easy, that it takes work, that it takes humility and the willingness to learn from those different than ourselves. I also know this is a work we MUST be about and for which we must diligently strive, particularly we who call ourselves followers of Jesus.

There is no place for racism. There is no place for national rhetoric rooted in fear. There is no place for partisanship, denominationalism, or even something as basic as school-allegiance to divide us any longer.

This is a call for diligence. This is a call for repentance. This is a call for forgiveness. This is a call to no longer be afraid.

For it is most certainly true: "There is no fear in love. For perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18

#BeTheChange

Pastor Jared Kendall
Associate Pastor

Posted by Jared Kendall with

What are your takeaways?

I recently attended the Global Leadership Conference with a team from Fishers United Methodist Church. As awesome as the speakers were, equally incredible was the time to unpack the talks and envision with the team. As I continue to replay the experience and the learnings from the Jam Packed two days, I want to continue the conversations. In addition to continuing the conversations, I would love to see even more people from our church attend the event. I often ask at the end of a conference, “What are your takeaways?  ” These are two of the myriad of practical and inspirational takeaways from the conference. Here are a few others that got my attention.

Bill Hybels founder of Willow Creek

“Tolerance is for cowards”

Work hard to understand, move into uncomfortable territory, expand your knowledge, and learn from others.

Sheryl Sandberg Chief Operating Officer at Facebook

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”

Brian Stevenson Founder and Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative

“There is power in Proximity and only in Proximity can we experience the needs of others. Change the narrative get closer to the needs.”

Andy Stanley Founder and Pastor of Northpoint Ministries

“Be a student not a critic’

“Recognize rather than resist”

“Replace How with Wow !”

Laszlo Bock, former “Googles Senior Vice President of People Operations,  co-founder of Humu

“A learning organization starts with a recognition that all of us want to grow and to help others grow.”

Juliet Funt CEO of Whitespace at Work

But studies show that people who feel a sense of balance at home work 21% harder than their off-kilter counterparts. And more importantly, they become truly connected with their loved ones.

Marcus Buckingham, founder Marcus Buckingham Company

4 key values that contribute to life corporate (WE) and personal (Me) Purpose, Excellence, Support and a Future.

Sam Adeyemi Founder and Senior Pastor Daystar Christian Centre, Nigeria

‘In order to get to the heart of the matter, you must first check the matter of the heart, then change people from the inside out.”

Immaculee Ilbagiza survivor of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide

(Survived with 7 other women in a 3 ft X 4ft bathroom for 91 Days)

I knew that my heart and mind would always be tempted to feel anger--to find blame and hate. But I resolved that when the negative feelings came upon me, I wouldn't wait for them to grow or fester. I would always turn immediately to the Source of all true power: I would turn to God and let His love and forgiveness protect and save me.

Angela Duckworth, Professor University of Pennsylvania

Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina……..  Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.     (Never quit on a bad day)

Gary Haugen Founder and CEO  of International Justice League

Fears destroy our dreams, fear wins out when we think of ourselves first, most common fear is the fear of failure.  Relentlessly pursue your fear by beginning each day with a half hour of quiet time.

“We cannot move forward, while retreating to the bunker of defense.”

I know that is a bunch of takeaways. My prayer is that one of those would be a takeaway from this blog. My prayer is that perhaps one of these will spark a conversation over a cup of coffee, lunch or a walk in the park. As you continue to wrestle with life it is best done with a community of people to lean in with.  I am buying for those moments you want to lean in and discover a deeper calling, disclose a fear, share a dream, not quit on a bad day, or to get to the heart of the matter. Perhaps next year you will join the team for the Global Leadership Conference August 9, and 10 in Indianapolis. I believe in this so much I will find the funds to invest in the first 5 from Fishers UMC who have never attended a Global Leadership Summit.

Larry Crane
Director of Children's Ministries              
Posted by Larry Crane with

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