Bishop Ward asks three things of us while United Methodist delegates from around the world meet at the Special Called General Conference beginning Feb. 23 in St. Louis.
Eternal and loving God, we pray for the United Methodist Church and for the Special Session of the General Conference.
Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for your humility, strength and compassion in our lives and witness.
Holy Spirit, we seek your presence in the worship and presiding leadership of Bishops and in the discernment and decisions of Delegates from around the world.
May your Church be strengthened as our hearts are humbled to serve you with faithfulness, joy, unity and love into the years to come. Amen.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
I give thanks today for our global family of The United Methodist Church. As the Special Session of General Conference convenes this weekend in St. Louis, I ask you to join with me in doing three things.
Let us pray. Let us pray privately and corporately for the life and mission of our church. As you gather on Sunday, pray realizing that the General Conference session is unfolding. A prayer is provided (above for your use) or pray as the Spirit leads.
I invite you to be confident in the extending of your ministry out into the community. Effective leadership, faithful and healthy congregations, engaging with children in our public schools, pushing back racism and division, living beautifully together in unity. In these and many other ways, we are doing God’s will and work in North Carolina and the world and this will continue past the General Conference session into the weeks, months, and years ahead. Confidence in God’s presence and power among us is just as contagious as anxiety.
I invite you to envision a person with whom you disagree on matters related to LGBTQI inclusion in the ministry of our church. Hold that person in your mind’s eye and in the light of God’s love, pray for that person. In this way, we will reach across divisions and seek to be God’s faithful unified people.
May the spirit of Christ abide in all of us in this week to come.