Bishop Ward reminds us of our gift of diversity, but also the ways in which we often fall short in our lives to embrace that diversity.
We are God’s servants working together. The apostle Paul calls the Corinthians, and calls us, to dramatic and remarkable unity, as we seek to be God’s people in the world.
In this month of February, as we observe the history of African-American people in our country, we give thanks for the opportunity to again remember the ways in which the diversities of God’s creation are a gift to us. We also remember, in humility, the ways in which we have not lived well together.
Across our church in this quadrennium, we are engaging in our collective memory of injustice done to Native American communities. The Sand Creek massacre, in Colorado, was led by a United Methodist pastor who was also a military leader.
When the Council of Bishops met in November, we gathered at Cherokee, North Carolina, at the very beginning of the Trail of Tears. When we meet later this fall in Oklahoma, we will gather at the end of that same trail of grief and hardship and tears and death.
We, as United Methodist people, are courageous to name the ways in which our lives have fallen short. In our corporate life, we have not always been what God has called us to be. However, naming these truths and remembering our shared history is an important step toward a brighter and more brilliant future for our ministry.
In this month of February, we give thanks for our baptismal experience in which we were called forth from darkness into light. In our baptism we made a promise to serve God, who has opened the church to people of all ages, nations, and races.
The light of God shines upon us and through us out into the world. May our witness in every place in the North Carolina Conference be a witness of welcome to all God’s people, and may our ministry reach out to embrace every soul in every place.