Bishop Ward highlights the ways the North Carolina Conference is in partnership with other faiths in the process of peace-making.
The peace of Christ to you this day.
Christ’s peace. Paz, peace, shalom, salaam, so many ways to express this inexpressible gift of God to us. We are grateful together that our ministry extends out into the world. We join hands with other like-minded persons to be engaged in ministry in the world. We celebrate mission partners, people who are like-minded in their desire to heal this broken world.
We have a magnificent partnership with Islamic Relief USA. This organization of the Muslim faith extends help in the wake of disasters around the world. They have designated eastern North Carolina for a particular partnership and we are deeply grateful. In Tarboro, teams of young people have come over and over again to work with families to get back home. Islamic Relief honored our Annual Conference by highlighting this ministry in their annual gala last fall in Washington D.C.
We have partnerships with other Christian denominations. Just recently, I had the opportunity to meet and visit with the new Roman Catholic bishop in the dioceses of Raleigh. Together, Catholics and United Methodists have been in dialogue for 50 years. Two clergy members of our Annual Conference, Edgardo Colon-Emeric and Steve Hickle were a part of the World Council delegation of United Methodists visiting with the Pope last month. They presented to Pope Francis a copy of The United Methodist-Roman Catholic dialogue which Dr. Colon-Emeric had published into Spanish in the hope of usefulness in Latin America. As a result of this dialogue, materials are being developed for use in our congregations with families who are Methodist and Catholic, who bear both traditions and who long to keep both traditions alive in their family life.
We connect with our friends in other communions. We reach across and join hands with persons of other faiths. Together as people of faith, we live forward toward God, whose heart overflows with mercy and grace for all people.