When I am stressed, disappointed, or discouraged about anticipated change that does not happen, I am tempted to rush to judgment and make decisions that do not honor God or my best self.
In light of the recent General Conference postponement, we are left with questions yet to be answered. Breathe. Yes, breathe and remember that the Church is of God, and Jesus Christ is the same today as He was yesterday.
This is the Lenten season, during which we are invited to draw closer to the One who did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Breathe and pray and fall on your knees in intercession for the people of Ukraine and Russia and the whole world.
May we know Shalom not as the absence of problems but as the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us to the pathway of reconciliation.
As a Christian in The United Methodist Church, I pose the question: How is it with your soul? As a member of a congregation, as a servant leader, clergy or laity, are you weary with the weight of the pandemic and the challenge to remain missionally vibrant?
“Surely there is a future. And your hope will not be cut off” -Proverbs 23:18
Some are experiencing these as challenging times because the anticipated Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation has been postponed with the postponement of General Conference, some are ready to join an announced Global Methodist Church. Breathe. Pray. Don’t rush to any conclusions.
A note of caution to our churches: Beware of law firms that promise to help your church leave The United Methodist Church. If your church is considering disaffiliation, contact your Conference Superintendent before you unnecessarily pay thousands of dollars, in addition to expenses associated with disaffiliation as provided by action in accordance with our Book of Discipline and our Conference process.
In this time of waiting for the 2024 global gathering of The United Methodist Church, there is no appetite to persecute or prosecute any who are proclaiming the Gospel and engaged in being the Church. No one is a target for retribution, and no roadblocks are being erected for those who discern they must leave.
As a pastor and your bishop, I pray for your health and holiness as we seek to be pleasing to the One who has claimed us as children of God.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church