Steve Heyduck of Everyday Theology
I live in McGregor, Texas, where I have been appointed as pastor since January 2004 (http://fumcmcgregor.com/ ). I have a daughter who is 16 and the president of the junior class at Mart High School. I was educated at J.L. McCullough High School, Southwestern University(http://www.southwestern.edu/ ), Asbury Seminary (http://www.asburyseminary.edu/ ) , and Baylor University, in the J.M Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies (http://www3.baylor.edu/Church_State/ ).
I stay young be staying connected to youth ministry and popular culture. This year I serve as the Central Texas Conference Youth Coordinator, and I also serve on the Advisory Board of our CTCYM (Central Texas Conference Youth in Mission).
Why do you blog?
I suppose I blog because blogging is an additional opportunity to express ideas, thoughts, and perspectives.
What has been your best blogging experience?
Being asked if something I had written could be shared with others.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Blog when you can, if you feel inspired or not.
If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
The first one I look at is Banditsnomore – though I contribute to it, I am always interested in seeing what my brother Richard has posted. The others I check first are WesleyBlog, Untied Methodists, and Locustsandhoney.
Who are your spiritual heroes?
John Wesley, of course. (isn’t that supposed to be one of my answers?) Steve Taylor, of CCM fame throughout the 80s is another. I always appreciated his satire and the edginess of his lyrics and music. Too much CCM in those early days relied on being Christian rather than being good. Taylor’s stuff was BOTH.
What are you reading at the moment?
Trying to get my dissertation jump started, I am reading everything I can get my hands on about the United Methodist Church and how it does or doesn’t do Church-State relations. Weber’s Politics and the Ordo Saludis is one of the main books on this. I also keep up with Wired magazine, just to see what the geeks are up to. I am re-reading Slaughter’s Unlearning Church with a Wednesday night group.
What is your favorite hymn and why?
Hymn? Do people still sing hymns? And can it be. Hands down, no competition. Once I learned it, it was my favorite. Singing it with the gusto and passion the way a chapel full at Asbury Seminary sing it, how could it NOT be my favorite? Did ever elsewhere such a combination of musical and theological passion meet?
Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind?
Race issues. Since I was studying Foucault during the O.J. Trial (I’ll be glad to explain that link if you email me and ask), I was awakened to see that the “melting pot” metaphor for the US on which I was raised was broken and futile. The great modern project of the US being a cultural melting pot really lead to the (mostly conservative) presumption that we are now somehow “beyond” culture. To many minorities, however, the de-hyphenating of America means turning everyone into white males.
What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
Following on my previous answer, that we in the US are somehow “beyond” culture and particularity.
If you could affect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
I would require all politicians to answer the questions asked of them rather than spinning off into canned statements that have been approved by staffers. To be fair, I would also require those in the media asking the questions to admit the bias and presumptions behind their questions.
If you could affect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
I would change the presumption that the local church exists to serve the Conference and General Boards and Agencies and the bureaucracy with no real connection to local laity that ensues.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Live. Live abundantly. Starting now, or maybe even yesterday.
What, if anything, do you worry about?
Being able to afford my daughter’s college education when the time comes. I also worry about the state of our denomination. One of these two I think I can do something about.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
If I had it to do all over again, would I make all the same decisions? I seriously doubt it. Would I change the place to which God has brought me? NOT A CHANCE!
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
Somewhere mountainous – or close enough that I could ski every winter.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Reading, watching Law & Order, playing PS2 games with my daughter, pretending I am a photographer, and blogging.
What is your most treasured possession?
The pictures I took of my daughter before her first prom last Spring.
What talent would you most like to have?
Does dunking on a 10 foot goal count?
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner, who would they be?
Steve Taylor, Bono, and Thomas Jefferson