Embrace the Mystery of God

Of course you want to figure out God, especially when it comes to life’s most difficult questions. But the fact of the matter is that you can’t capture God with your thoughts, words and constructs. That’s why the point of faith is not to figure out God, but to spend a lifetime – and ultimately eternity – experiencing God’s unconditional love, being transformed by God’s power and living that love with others in ways that change their lives. So embrace the mystery of God today. Not as a puzzle to solve. But as a gift to discover.

Praying Our Way Forward team unveils details of February 23 Day of Prayer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Praying Our Way Forward team of the Council of Bishops has released details of the Day of Prayer, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST in the St. Louis America’s Center Convention Complex on Saturday, February 23, the first day of the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. The event will be live-streamed at www.umc.org/live.

In releasing the details, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett and Bishop Al Gwinn of the Praying Forward team thanked the representatives from the Host Committee of General Conference and leadership from The Upper Room for working together to plan the Day of Prayer.

The two-fold purpose of the day is to pray for:
1) the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference and
2) increased effectiveness in fulfilling the Church’s mission.

During the Day of Prayer, all bishops, delegates and staff will gather on the floor and observers will be in the seating and outer concourse areas of The Dome at the America’s Center.

The day will start with plenary prayer, continues from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with prayer for missional needs for each of four regions of the world, includes consecration of the General Conference’s prayer space and concludes with another plenary prayer segment from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. There will be a break for lunch/conversation or fasting/ self-directed prayer from 11:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Click here to find the schedule for the Day of Prayer.

“This will be a wonderful act, signifying and recognizing our dependence on God to lead us forward as a United Methodist Church,” the statement from the bishops said.

This Prayer Initiative began in the fall of 2016 within our Council of Bishops, expanded in January 2017 to include Annual Conference Days of Prayer, has continued in recent months with a call to daily prayer and weekly fasting and will culminate with February 23’s Day of Prayer immediately prior to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.

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Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
mmulenga@umc-cob.org
202-748-5172

Pain Can Become a Means of Grace

You’ll do almost anything to avoid pain. Yet pain often is a sign runners are ready to break through to the next level of endurance, plays an essential role in medical diagnoses, and serves as an incubator for deep and needed emotional growth. While it’s wrong to believe God causes pain, it’s right to understand God uses pain to share unconditional love, enable you to grow and bring healing. May you discover how how the excruciatingly difficult pain you may be experiencing right now actually can become a mysterious means of grace.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The reason God’s grace is as essential to your life as breathing is that you’re hardwired for it. That’s right. God has created you to thrive on the power of grace. But you also know how easy it is to take your eyes off that grace when life gets demanding, busy or sideways. So what can you do? Keep keeping your eyes on the fullness of God’s grace – as well as your hands, feet, mind, ears, heart and soul. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Especially when you need it most.

It’s Ultimately Enough

Tragedy strikes. And try as you might, there’s nothing you can do to fix it. So you do the only thing you can do when it’s clear there’s nothing you can do. You run to God who’s already waiting with open arms. You experienced be showered with amazing grace, heard as you speak about your broken heart and held while you struggle with the unfairness of it all. And you discover the paradoxical mystery that is at the heart of life – it’s ultimately enough to be held in the palm of God’s hand.