Edevotional February 20
From our Pastor
You may have questions about General Conference 2019 where the worldwide legislative body of the United Methodist Church is gathering in St. Louis to determine if we can hold together as a denomination with such differing views within the Church about the ordination and marriage of people who are LGBTQ. Below is a link to our Northern Illinois Conference with prayer resources, legislative updates, and informative videos.
Regardless of the action or inaction of the General Conference, our congregation will continue in the ministry God has called us to right here in this place, loving all people and doing the work of Christ in our community. It is possible that legislation may compel us in the future to make a decision of how we align ourselves with emerging expressions of Methodism. We have no fear of this prospect for we believe God will guide us in the path of Christ’s love expressed with unity in the Wesleyan spirit.
As we walk through these days, we are engaging in worship, prayer, scripture study, and conversation. We continue to grow and become a more Christ-like congregation. We invite you to join us in our journey with Christ and in ministry to all people.
Northern Illinois Conference link: https://www.umcnic.org/
Northbrook United Methodist Church
PS I will address the outcome of General Conference 2019 in our Sunday worship service, March 3, 2019.
The mission of the United Methodist Church: Making Disciples for the Transformation of the World continues past the weekend of February 23 – February 27, or any other date in time you may choose. If you and I take seriously the way of Jesus of Nazareth whose making of disciples was always of people on the margins, religiously, economically, politically, psychologically, and in all ways marginalized, then we would not be having a global meeting of United Methodists to determine whether we continue to discriminate against the rights of LGBTQI people to marry and be ordained. The “issue” of human sexuality and gender identity is a cover-up for the issues of fear, power and preservation of the institution. It is a betrayal of our calling as disciples to live out God’s faithful way of love.
“Happy is the one who stands not in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. Her delight is in the law of God, and on that law, she meditates day and night. She shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth her fruit in its season; her leaf also shall not wither; and whatever she does will prosper.” Psalm 1:1 – 3
What the Bible calls God’s “law” is not essentially a question of rules and regulations; rather, it is God’s whole aim for human life, a project of love, joy, trust and peace, where we and all of creation are able to be and live out fully who we are without fear, trusting deeply in the water of our baptism, that refreshes, renews, and sustains us.
How do we move forward in hope? We gather as a community of faith, like trees planted by water, holding the riverbanks of God’s love from caving in, rather than the riverbanks of the institutional church, or the riverbanks of our power or our privilege.