As the 2019 General Conference convenes next week, Bishop Ward is asking us to pray for a strong and faithful outcome to the deliberations and for us to love each other well.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
In this moment, I give thanks to God for the life we share through The United Methodist Church. Very soon, the special session of the General Conference will convene in St. Louis. It will be focused upon one matter, our shared ministry with LGBTQI persons who are in our churches, our families, our neighborhoods, and our wider world.
For over 40 years, there has been contention around this mission and our faithfulness. Together, we pray for a strong and faithful outcome to the deliberations of the General Conference. We all are invited into this time together. Thank you for your prayers and your attentiveness. Thank you for going online and watching the sessions of the General Conference.
You are invited to district gatherings on Mar. 3, the first Sunday after the adjournment of General Conference. Lay and clergy delegates from North Carolina will be present to receive your questions, to share their experience and to articulate next steps forward in our life together. The role of the bishops will be simply to preside and to lead worship.
As we move into these weeks, thank you for your good spirit, your patience, your perseverance, your love for one another and your prayers. The text recently appointed for worship was 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Paul writes instructing us to love one another well, to not insist upon our own way, to be patient and forbearing, and Paul reminds us that though we speak with the tongues of people and of angels, but have not love, we are nothing.
May our love be made manifest in the days to come.