Events Current and upcoming events for training and fellowship in the district.
I was privileged to attend three conversations on the Way Forward by Bishop Farr this month in the Southwest District. I was impressed by the Bishop’s clarity, frankness and ability to communicate the essence of the issue with church members. He was clear, “I have to be a bishop to all, not just to some. I see people of all theological persuasions who are bringing people to Christ.”
As I circulated among the table discussions and heard people passionately talking with each other, I was convinced of three foundational precepts of these Methodists:
First, people love their church. The universal desire was to see the UMC thrive, overcome obstacles and live as salt and light in the world. When faced with tough choices, Methodists stand up.
Second, Christians with differences are willing to talk. The conversation was lively and intense but respectful. An occasional outburst was met with grace.
Third, people are grappling with complex issues outside their familiar church lives. Simple solutions do not exist. Some questions just cannot be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. But people are willing to commit to continual prayer for God’s guidance for our denomination and the future of the Church.
I believe our conversations are strengthen if we can answer these two questions: Are we willing to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance rather than our own voices? Will the church embrace the Methodist tradition that people can love Jesus, love their neighbors, and sometimes disagree?
To learn more about the Way Forward, click the links and videos below:
The Missouri Conference: www.moumethodist.org/prayingourwayforward
The Upper Room Prayer Community: umcprays.org