In this video, Bishop Ward invites us to pray and to participate in Circles of Abundant Grace, beginning the second week of January.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. After the birth of Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph waited the proper number of days. Then they took Jesus to the temple to present Him.
In the temple were two people of advanced age. We do not know the exact age of Simeon. We only know he’d waited many years for this moment. Luke tells us that Anna was eighty-four.
They greeted the child, giving thanks that they had lived to see this wonderful, wonderful moment. Simeon sang “Now let me depart in peace for I have seen the salvation of God: a light to the Gentiles.”
Next week, “Circles of Abundant Grace” will be convened across our annual conference. I invite you to pray and to participate as every pastor, and one lay person from every church participate in these conversations facilitated by Conflict Transformation ministers trained in our annual conference. We will speak together about our longings, our hopes for our United Methodist family particularly as it relates to matters of human sexuality.
We, in having these conversations are in partnership with all United Methodist people as similar conversations are convened in other parts of the country and the world.
Long ago, Simeon and Anna greeted the Christ child. We greet Jesus Christ in one another as we gather for these conversations. We offer a great gift to the Christ child when we offer ourselves, our personal stories, and our highest hopes.
Thank you for the gift that you are to the United Methodist connection in ministry throughout the world.