It feels like Good Friday.
We have all experienced moments where we stand at the threshold of leaving behind what once was, grieving the loss of what is familiar. The disciples of Christ were at that place as they looked upon the cross of Jesus. I am sure none of them wanted to be in that place of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.
Sisters and brothers who have shared the sorrows and joys of ministry and mission have made decisions to separate using disciplinary paragraph 2553. It is painful to be here. However, I give thanks to God that God does not leave us in the darkness of Good Friday.
We cannot and must not stay here wallowing in pain, hurt, anger, disappointment, and, as experienced by some, betrayal. If we stay here in our frustration, we will miss the truth that Easter is just beyond this cross of disaffiliation and separation.
We are Easter people. We are called to new life. And our new life lies in the care of God, who empowers us to continue making disciples, welcoming all people, and transforming the world God loves enough to give us the gift of Jesus.
Easter people are blessed by Pentecost. As we ask for the Holy Spirit again and move from Easter to Pentecost—where God will truly add passionate spiritual disciples to the number of water-washed Spirit-born children of God—I pray we do so with the courage to bless one another. We go forward not in bitterness but with a renewed sense of our calling to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Today is not an ending but a beginning. I cannot wait to see what God births. I know it will be beautiful despite our painful journey. I pray God will continue to sustain each of us as we move into God’s preferred future.
For more information on the special session, visit the Special Called Annual Conference page.