Bishop Hope Morgan Ward describes a writing project you can be a part of this Lenten season and invites you to share a personal story about when race began to matter. If you’d like to be a part of this writing project, please submit your lenten reflection at nccumc.org/news/2015/01/lenten-reflections/. Read the reflections each day on our website during the 40 days of Lent.
Oh come, let us return to the Lord.
This is the invitation of the Lenten season. We’re on the cusp of it. Next week, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, will give way to Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of our Lenten journey – a time, in which we humble ourselves, pray, serve, listen and grow in our capacity to follow Jesus to the cross, and beyond the cross to resurrection life.
Last month on January 28, 450 people from across our annual conference gathered at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church. We gathered for “Sacred Conversation: Because Black Lives Matter.” We Methodists believe that every life matters, that all people are beloved by God. We also, in gathering together, confessing, giving witness to our realization that we have yet to be the people forming the community that God has intended. We still long for beloved community. We still long for the fullness of God’s love, God’s justice, and God’s reign.
And so, we are embarking as a next step into a wholly experimental writing project. You’re invited to write about your own experience of race, an early memory, when you discovered that race matters in this world. The first story submitted was sent by Carolyn Sims. She tells her story, her memory in such a clear, simple, and compelling way that I read it three times. There are many other stories that you have to tell. So, I invite you to tell your story, to send it, so that we might share in one another’s lives in rich and wonderful ways during this season of Lent. Let us hear God’s call to return to God and to offer our gifts, so that we might return to God together.
May Christ be with you as we begin our Lenten journey.