Ivan Corbin of Connexions
My name is Ivan Garth Corbin and I am Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand, FL (www.trinityumcdeland..com) . I am married to Debbie and have two children, Chris, a religion major at Florida Southern College, and a daughter , Rachel, who is a Junior at DeLand High School. I have been serving United Methodist Churches in North Georgia and Florida since June 1984. I served in Center Point, Georgia, Boca Raton, Key West, Fruitland Park and now, DeLand, Florida. I am greatly involved in church transformation at the local and conference level, have been very involved in the Russia Initiative and Cuba-Florida Covenant and have been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity and World Vision for many, many years. I believe in the ministry of the local churches utilizing the gifts of both clergy and laity.
Why do you blog? I actually guest blog on Richard Hall’s site and usually to stir the pot on subjects that appeal to me. I may start my own blog someday, but am happy to make guest appearances for now.
What has been your best blogging experience? Just having the opportunity to express my opinion with many other thoughtful people on the Connexions blog, either in response to Richard’s entries or other guest entries, has been a rewarding experience.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger? Don’t try to cover more than one subject at a time and don’t get too defensive when people respond with opposite or even harsh opinions.
If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be? I actually don’t read too many blogs – time factor, for some reason – anyway, I read Richard Hall’s Connexions regularly.
Who are your spiritual heroes? Jesus, Gandhi, Bonheoffer, John and Charles Wesley, C.S. Lewis, Rev. Leslie Poe and my grandmother, Jennie Leone Davies Corbin Squires (she outlived 3 husbands, thus the many names)
What are you reading at the moment? The Da Vinci Code, Bill Easum’s “Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First,” Nancy Beach’s “An Hour on Sunday,” and N. Graham Standish’s “Becoming a Blessed Church.”
What is your favorite hymn and why? “Be Thou My Vision.” I love the Irish tune (even though I am of Welsh decent) and the Theo centric message is where I am spiritually.
Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind? When I was 17 years old I drove through South Georgia to look at my eventual college. I saw all sorts of shacks along the road where people still lived and I thought “If this is what Jimmy Carter did for Georgia as governor, I can’t imagine what he’s going to do to the US now that he is president.” This was 1977 and I had been raised in a Republican household. I eventually realized that, despite serving only one term, Jimmy Carter has done more as a former president than almost anyone before and after – especially with Habitat for Humanity and in the area of human rights, fair elections in other nations and weighing in on some pretty important issues. Needless to say, I repented of being a Republican long, long ago, though I tend to now vote for the candidate I feel is right, not because he or she is of one party or another.
What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat? I have a real issue with the United States’ seeing itself as God’s new Israel and chosen people, thus giving it the right to be the world’s watch dog, policeman, and conscience.
If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be? Term limits for senators and congress people so that they would actually enact laws and legislative measures that reflect what is best for our country and the world without regard to who they might be offending that could keep them from being re-elected. Knowing you’re in your final term no matter what might actually encourage courageous leadership.
If you could effect one major policy change in the Methodist Church, what would it be? I would like to find a way to elect delegates to General and Jurisdictional conferences that reflect the majority of the members of the UM Church instead of the many times most liberal and conservative persons.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? Life is a gift – cherish it and use it wisely, living each day with joy and expectation.
What, if anything, do you worry about? I worry about what kind of world we’re leaving for my children, grandchildren and future generations.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently? I would learn to eat better and exercise more much earlier in life.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)? I have a romantic notion that I would like to live out my remaining years after retirement either in my ancestral home of Wales or the state of Virginia in the Blue Ridge area near the Shenandoah River.
What do you like doing in your spare time? Genealogy, golf and activities with my wife, Debbie and my children Christopher and Rachel.
What is your most treasured possession? My collection of family photos and memorabilia.
What talent would you most like to have? I’d love to be an excellent guitar player.
If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be? Any one of the original disciples of Jesus (including Judas), Abraham Lincoln and John Wesley.