A Word from DS Teresa Welborn – 5/2/19

 

District Conference is this coming Sunday and I’m looking forward to seeing several of you there. While important business is conducted such as approving the district budget and committee membership for the upcoming year, it is also a valuable time for connecting with laity and clergy across the district. Prior to the District Conference our Missions Board will have met to approve grant funding for varies ministries throughout the area. There is much good news to share about how God is at work through our churches! We will receive a report from District Committee on Ordained Ministry about candidates in the district and also recognize pastors who will be commissioned and ordained at Annual Conference this year. As well, we will recognize pastors who will be retiring and moving to new appointments outside of the Capital District.

As I consider new appointments and committee membership and budgets, I’m aware that such work is important. At the same time, I hold in my mind the stark reality that significant changes are afoot for us in the church. Business as usual seems anything but ‘usual.’ Whether it’s the results of General Conference or the latest news from Judicial Council, the anxiety in our local churches or the change in our relationships with colleagues, any number of reports and experiences remind us that business as usual has ceased to exist.

There are significant unknowns about the future of The UMC and a great deal that seems beyond our control. And yet, there is a great deal that is in our control. For starters, we have a choice about how we will relate to one another. While many people from a number of perspectives believe the church is headed towards some sort of split, how we navigate the days and weeks and years ahead is up to us. Who will we choose to be?

I pray we seek to be people of the resurrection. Easter people whose hope is based not in human institutions and human solutions, but people who are grounded in the promises of a God who makes a way where there is no way. People who trust God’s ability to bring life out of seemingly hopeless situations. People who expect the Living Christ to meet them in the gathered body of believers.

I recently read an article in The Christian Century where a writer reminded me, “The resurrection is more than a proposition we believe. It’s something we ‘prove’ by the way we live it out”( Jim Friedrich, April 10, 2019). May we be Easter people – not simply by stating what we believe, but by taking the steps to intentionally live out what we say we believe.

Be encouraged!,
teresa

“Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry; because I never undertake any more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of spirit.” 1777 letter from John Wesley