James A. Harnish is a retired United Methodist pastor who most recently served Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. He has authored numerous books, Bible studies, and articles. Jim and his wife Marsha have two grown daughters.
He earned his BA at Asbury College and MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando and Bethune-Cookman University.
A recognized visionary leader in church revitalization, the Rev. Junius B. Dotson is the General Secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church. He began his tenure on July 1, 2016.
Prior to his present position, Rev. Dotson was pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, where he was instrumental in transforming the church into a 3,500-member multi-campus congregation.
Rev. Dotson received his undergraduate degree in political science, with a concentration in economics, at the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Dotson was ordained in June 1992.
Rev. Dotson served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Revitalization Taskforce of the Kansas West Conference (now part of the Great Plains Conference). He has served as facilitator for the Fitzgerald Program, a Discipleship Ministries program to equip pastors to begin start-up congregations. From 2009 to 2012, Rev. Dotson served on the Board of Directors of Discipleship Ministries where he was chair of the New Church Starts/Path1 division of the agency. Rev. Dotson also served on The Wichita Food Bank Executive Board and was appointed by the governor of Kansas to serve on the Kansas Sentencing Commission.
Rev. Dotson’s ministry has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, religious journals and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File,” as well as on NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco.
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English artist Gary Bunt was born in 1957, in the village of East Peckham, Kent. He studied at Hugh Christie Secondary from 1967 to 1972, but did not study art at that time. Gary works in the clapboard summer house at the end of his garden in Golden Green, near Tonbridge. He works in oils, for its sheer versatility. Gary calls it a shed rather than a studio, despite the fact that it is glazed along the front with plenty of natural light: a requirement for his painting. When the sun isn’t shining, he will draw and sketch.
Gary has no formal art training and considers that this is not a totally necessary thing. He says that the most important thing is to look at good painters and see why they are good. From them you can learn the essentials.
Gary’s work often features a solitary figure in the landscape frequently accompanied by a dog. The inspiration comes from his childhood, from village life, family outings as well as his experience of God and scripture. The solitary figures come from the difficulties he has had in life. For most every canvas, Gary writes a short poem. In addition to “By the Grace of God,” published this year, Gary also wrote and illustrated “The Long Way Around” in 2010.
His canvases may be small, 10 in. x 12 in., but recent exhibitions have featured 6 ft. x 5 ft. works. You can see more of his works on the Portland Gallery website (www.portlandgallery.com).
Georgia Pastor's School, Copyright © 2017 United Methodist Church. Image courtesy of Portland Gallery, London. Copyright, Gary Bunt 2017.