Last week, I was part of a District clergy gathering where we were invited to reflect on the past two years. One of the questions we were asked to discuss at our tables was, “What has been the hardest part of the last two years?”
Everyone agreed that this was an impossible question to answer, as there have been lots of hard things. I did venture one answer, though, to which everyone at the table agreed: “It’s been really hard being the constant voice of hope.”
Hope is a necessary part of human existence. Hope gives us a reason to get up in the mornings, a motive for working hard during the day, and an assurance when we lie down in the evenings. Hope is the unrelenting belief that all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well… even if they aren’t well right now.
As Christians, we are called to be voices of hope in this world. But it isn’t because we are confident in ourselves to make all things well. Rather, we know that God can and will make all things well.
Psalm 33 serves as a great reminder to us:
“Our soul waits for the Lord;Psalm 33:20-22 (NRSV)
he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.”
On April 23, 2022 the NC Conference will once again host the Redeeming Creation conference. This year’s theme is, “Hope and Healing,” two things that are needed at this time in history. There are a lot of voices calling for hopelessness and despair, but as surely as God’s mercies are new every morning, so is our hope renewed, and healing begun.
We are delighted to have Rev. Dr. Michelle Lewis as our keynote speaker. Dr. Lewis will be sharing from her experiences of working at the intersection of environmental, racial and community justice, and will share where she sees hope and healing in her work, as well as where hope and healing are continuously needed.
In addition to Dr. Lewis, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward will speak to the witness of scriptures in our responsibility and hope for this creation. Rev. Jenny Phillips (UM Global Ministries) will share where and how the United Methodist Church is working for justice, mercy and healing in the environment, and Dr. Dan Joranko (Vanderbilt Divinity School) will help us explore our calling to the work of creation care.
Please join us for Redeeming Creation 2022. If you haven’t already, fill out the registration form below, so you can be a part of this great event.
Redeeming Creation 2022
April 23, 2022