Bishop Ward continues the conversation about our neighbors by sharing the story of the Good Samaritan and urging us to think of the word “neighbor” as a verb.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Who is my neighbor? This question was posed to Jesus and he told a story in response. There was a person traveling. The person was beaten up by robbers and left in a ditch. Religious people passed on the far side but an unexpected friend, a neighbor, stopped and helped the one who was injured, carrying that one to a place of rest and leaving provisions so that that one might be cared for. We know who the neighbor is in this parable: the one who extends herself, the one who extends himself, to engage with the one nearby.
On Wednesday, September 19, the clergy of the Annual Conference will gather at Nashville United Methodist Church in Nashville from 9:30 to noon. The theme of our morning will be “Let Us Be Neighbors.” In this 50th anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ children’s television show, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” we’re reminded of the simplicity that we find in the scriptures, in the complexities of our life, in the theological conversations that we might have, in our wonderments about many things, the Gospel call is very clear. Let us love one another. Let us find simple and profound ways of being helpful to one another. Let us listen to one another.
In our gathering, we will focus on the creativity that exists in our clergy community. A number of our clergy will give witness to the ways in which they have discovered the joy of being a neighbor.
We need to turn the word “neighbor” into a verb. Let us neighbor one another, extending compassion, welcome and love to all.