Bishop David A. Bard comments on the recommendation made May 4th by the Council of Bishops.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ in the Michigan United Methodist Church,
Earlier today, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church adjourned their spring meeting. Since then, the Council has released a statement of its actions regarding a Way Forward for The United Methodist Church, and the statement has been reported upon by the United Methodist News Service.
As these statements go out, I imagine a broad spectrum of reactions that might include joy, disappointment, anger, confusion, hope, or fear. I encourage us all to acknowledge what we are thinking and feeling and wondering, and to not let our reactions morph into runaway reactivity. I assure you there will be plenty of such reactivity available.
I invite us at this time to slow down. I plan to share a longer pastoral letter early next week reflecting some of my experience at this intense and historic Council of Bishop meeting. I want to remind us that this past week was but one significant part of the longer process that began with General Conference 2016 and will continue through the called session of General Conference in 2019, a process that has been focused on helping The United Methodist Church find a way forward in the midst of some serious disagreements within our church.
Breathe. Pray. Listen well. Speak gently. Sunday worship is just around the corner, our weekly celebration that Jesus is risen, that Christ is alive. Worship continues. The work of Jesus in the world continues, the work of sharing good news, of inviting people to know God’s love, of doing justice, of seeking peace and reconciliation, of breaking down dividing walls between people, of feeding the hungry and working with those in poverty.
Grace and Peace,
Bishop David Bard