Bishop Ward introduces opportunities for conversation about ways United Methodist churches can engage in ministry with veterans and military families dealing with physical and moral injury.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
In these last days of Lent, we move toward Calvary. There we see Jesus, beaten and crucified, and there he dies. On Sunday, very early, we discover with the women, a tomb, empty. Christ is risen indeed. Between Calvary and the empty tomb is the long long day of Saturday. The day of waiting, the day of remaining, the day of hoping and watching, a day of grief.
Today, about 80 laity and clergy are gathered to think together deeply about traumatic realities in our world, the theology of remaining after traumatic or moral injury. We are feeling led toward new ministries with veterans and their families, realizing that a theology of Holy Saturday is necessary if we are to experience the healing which God gives.
Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, there will be two gatherings, one at Camp Ground United Methodist Church on Wednesday and at Northwoods United Methodist Church in Jacksonville on Thursday. These gatherings will be an opportunity to think concretely about ways to be in ministry with veterans and their families. You’re invited to come tomorrow or Thursday if you feel led to engage in these very significant times of training and planning forward.
We give thanks that Christ is with us at all times, and in all places. There are many places in our world where trauma has impacted the lives of people. We want to be engaged in good ways, redemptive ways, and healing ways with all God’s children. We know that in eastern North Carolina, we have one of the largest populations of military families in the United States. We want to engage well, to both learn and teach, so that together we may be faithful to all that God has called us to be.
I invite your prayers for these days of new beginning, in ministry together, here in the North Carolina annual conference.