Dear United Methodist friends,
May you hear and receive the powerful, ancient greeting of the universal church: grace and peace of Christ to you.
The Traditional Plan, approved by the General Conference and now before the Judicial Council in April, continues and strengthens the language of the Book of Discipline relative to homosexuality.
We lament the harm and hurt that is keenly felt across our church, particularly by LGBTQI persons and their families and friends in our midst and around the world.
As those called to justice and the healing ministry of Christ, let us be attentive in our pastoral care, our tone and use of language as we seek to offer space for lament, questioning and discernment.
I offer this prayer for your use in worship as you find it helpful.
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
God of us all,
We give you thanks that you have placed us in community with one another. We confess our failure to receive this gift and live well within it. We are grateful for our local church, for our annual conference, and for the global connection of our expansive church.
As we anticipate Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent, we pray with humility to repent of hardness of heart and to receive forgiveness, mercy and love.
We deeply believe that Christ came among us as Savior of the World. Help us to live this good news with all people in all places, particularly in our community with LGBTQI persons who are our neighbors, friends and family members.
On this day of Transfiguration, may we glimpse your glory.
In the words of Howard Thurman, we pray earnestly: “Yield to us what we need in order that we might be that which is your dream for us.”
In the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.