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Traveling with God: Week of February 24, 2019

Do to others as you would have them do to you. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 


Traveling with God Week of: February 24, 2019

Today is an especially poignant day for those within the United Methodist Church. Yesterday was the start of our 2019 Special Called General Conference, and by Tuesday, this group of 864 delegates from around the world will have determined what the future of our church looks like. 

Will the church be more inclusive? Will the church follow the words of scripture we are given for today - to do good and love our enemies? What about Wesley's imperative to first do no harm? Will the church remain a place in which I find my spiritual home, or become a place where even I no longer feel welcome? There is so much that is unknown right now, and all I can do about it is watch the live stream of the conference and pray. 

Through an unforeseen circumstance, I ended up missing worship in my local church here in Street this morning. So instead, I spent time on a prayer walk, talking to God about everything on my heart and mind regarding this conference and the future of God's people called Methodist. I know I am just one of the thousands, hundreds of thousands of prayers, rising to God on this very matter. 

I am hoping for a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit in St. Louis this weekend. Let us pray together the following prayer, written and distributed by Bishop Laurie Haller of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. 


Gracious and loving God, who leads, teaches and guides,
You who offer compassion, grace, and mercy, be with us now.
We passionately seek Your presence during challenging times and circumstances and we trust that you are moving in and around our lives.
We, as one part of your Body, the Church, go into the days and weeks ahead seeking to discern Your deep desire for us as The United Methodist Church.
Give us courage as we continue to live and respond to Your invitation to be Your hands, feet, and voice.
We ask for a fresh wind of Your Spirit and guidance for each of us as individuals, for the faithful congregations, and for this global community of United Methodists.
We ask for Your wisdom and presence for those among us who have been called to serve as delegates at the Special Session of General Conference gathers today.
Grant them clarity and a discerning spirit as they seek to listen for You in their midst.
Reveal to them Your deep desire for our future as a church.
Give them and us the faith to lay aside our personal wants and needs so that we can be truly present to You, sit with You in reverence and awe, and listen deeply for the still small voice that woos us, comforts us, and invites us to that place where we can live fully and wholly into the Kingdom life that You desire for us.
We lay all this before You as the deep desire of our hearts and minds in the name of Jesus, the Christ.