Where is God?

From the devotional archives – March 17, 2018

“Where is God?” That’s one of the most natural questions to ask when life just doesn’t seem fair. But it’s also one of the trickiest questions, because it’s often built on the assumption that God ought to act exactly the way you think God should act. And that’s exactly why it’s better to ask another question, “How is God at work in this situation – regardless of what’s going on?” When you ask this question seriously – and listen seriously for God’s answer – you’ll be amazed at just what you discover God already is doing.

God’s Love Changes Everything

From the devotional archives – November 3, 2017

You may awake feeling rested, excited about the upcoming day and grateful for every one of your blessings. But one phone call, text or experience can change all of that in a heartbeat and suddenly shatter your world. You may start the day depressed, angry or wondering how things can ever improve. But one act of kindness, hug from someone special or much-needed conversation can improve it immensely. That’s because everything in life always changes. Except for one thing of course – God’s love unchanging love. And it changes everything!

Today’s God Moment

From the devotional archives – October 9, 2017

It’s not if, but when your God moment will occur today. It may happen early in the morning as you drink your coffee, as you’re taking your child to school, while you’re dealing with a tough problem at work, as you stop to give a homeless person some help or, even, when you’re struggling with something you regret doing. So be on the lookout everywhere you go and everything you do today – because you never know when today’s God moment is going to happen!

Commission on a Way Forward releases final videos for 2019 General Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Commission on a Way Forward has released the final two videos of a series that the Commission hopes will inform The United Methodist Church on its processes and work done during the 18-month period of its meetings and deliberations. The Commission has released a total of ten videos in this series in the last three weeks. The videos can be viewed on Facebook or YouTube and can be downloaded for viewing offline.
The videos released today are:

  • Patricia Miller, Executive Director of the Confessing Movement, and Matt Berryman, former Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network, talk about their friendship and their experiences serving together on the Commission. (Length 7:55)

  • Commission members Mazvita Machinga (laity, Zimbabwe East Conference), David Field (laity, Swiss Conference), and Myungrae Kim Lee (laity, New York Conference), share their thoughts about the work of the Commission. (Length 10:56)

In the last two weeks, the Commission released the following videos:

  • Gil Rendle: A Parable for Today is a video featuring Commission consultant, Gil Rendle. Gil shares a story that illustrates the difference between positions and interests. When we are able to move from holding onto our positions to seeking to understand each other’s underlying interests, we are better able to move forward together. (Length 5:14).

  • Gil Rendle gives an overview of the Purpose, Principles and Importance of the work of the Commission. This video was recorded during the final Commission meeting in May 2018. The video gives an in-depth theological and technical overview of the work done by the Commission that helps to frame the task given to the delegates to the February 2019 General Conference. (Length 54:18).

  • Bishop Grant Hagiya, a member of the Commission, shares reflections on the book Anatomy of Peace. Bishop Hagiya explains why the principles of this book can help us make a fundamental shift to allowing spaces where people can have open and honest dialogue with one another. (Length 5:44)

  • Commission members Donna Pritchard (clergy, Oregon-Idaho Conference), Tom Salsgiver (clergy, Susquehanna Conference) and Leah Taylor (laity, Texas Conference) share reflections on their work, the value of connection, and the relationships they formed during their time together as members on the Commission. (Length 7:02)

  • Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball, David Yemba and Ken Carter share an overview of their role as moderators for the Commission and how service was one of their primary focuses. (Length 5:35).

  • Jasmine Smothers, Julie Hager Love and Tom Berlin are Commission members who are also clergy serving in the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ). In this interview, they reflect on their experience and their hopes for the future of the United Methodist Church. (Length 5:46).

  • Dave Nuckols (laity, Minnesota Conference) and Helen Cunanan (clergy, Pampango Philippines Conference) have a conversation about the Commission, sharing their experiences from different places in the world. (Length 7:50).

  • Bishops Gregory Palmer and Robert Schnase, who are members of the Commission, talk about how the work of the Commission points to the larger mission of The United Methodist Church. (Length 5:35).

About the Commission: The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
mmulenga@umc-cob.org
202-748-5172

God’s Plan

From the devotional archives – September 9, 2017

Bad, painful or tragic things happen, and it’s horrible beyond words. That’s the worst time of all for well-intentioned people to say, “It’s okay because it’s all part of God’s plan.” It’s not. But what is part of God’s plan is the resurrection reality of Jesus that is unleashed right in the midst of lives, relationships and the world to bring healing, transformation and new life. This means you have a choice. You can see only the reality of the pain and try to explain it away. Or you can see through the pain to what God is doing right now.