Statement by Bishop Gary Mueller on today’s legislative committee votes

A statement from Bishop Gary Mueller on the legislative committee’s votes can be read below.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Legislative Committee for General Conference has ended its work and is passing along several items to General Conference for its consideration tomorrow. The Traditional Plan is being forwarded by a 56-44% vote; the One Church Plan is not. General Conference will consider all the forwarded legislation tomorrow. There also are likely to be constitutional challenges.

Some of you are glad, and some devastated by today’s events. Even more importantly, the fact of the matter is that the United Methodist Church is deeply wounded because of the significant theological and ethical divisions that exist in our church. This is also the case in Arkansas.

I will be honest. My soul is weary, and I am saddened by the deep division that is so evident in the Body of Christ. While there will be time for important conversation in the future about what all of this means, today I am aware of the pain and hurt many of you are feeling, and my heart hurts with you.

So tonight I will be praying. For those hurting by the actions taken. For those who for reasons of faithful conscience support what has occurred. And for members of the LGBTQIA community who are struggling with the committee’s decision.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.

A New Christmas Greeting – Merry ChristBirth

You’re probably annoyed by the Christmas Culture Wars and all the chatter about which cup Starbucks is using, whether you should say, “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”, and the way it’s all become political fodder for both the right and the left. But there is something you can do to keep the main thing the main thing about Christmas – which is how God takes the unlikely initiative to come to us in the birth of a child to share the fullness of God’s love that changes everything about everything. Just start sharing a new Christmas greeting – “Merry ChristBirth.” Do it with incredible awe, deep humility, respect for others and because you know in the depth of your soul that it is indeed good news about a great joy that is God’s gift to us. It won’t change the world. But it just may transform how you experience Christmas.


Source: Bishop’s Blog

A Sunday Prayer – December 6, 2015

Lord,

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Terrorist attacks have occurred with increased frequency. No place is safe. And we are trying to make sense of this ‘new normal’.   

In Your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.

We are confused. Struggling with problems that are bigger than us. And uncertain what to do.

In Your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.

This is not just an issue about politics, religion or national security. It is our issue because we are Your children. And have a holy obligation to address real life because You really have come to us. 

In Your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.

Prepare our hearts, minds and lives in a special way during this Advent Season for the coming of Your Son into the midst of our broken world. Let His light shine so that those who hurt find healing. Those who hate are transformed. And those who are filled with anger find true hope.

In Your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.

Enable us to trust You enough to continue to hope for that day when we’ll share in Your joy bursting forth because all Your children finally live freely, safely and abundantly.

In Your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.

Amen.

 


Source: Bishop’s Blog

It’s A Spiritual Crisis

The crises in our world are real. You know this whether you’re liberal, conservative or somewhere in the middle. The reasons are many: technology that enables humanity to do more harm than ever before, increasing rigidity of belief and instantaneous communication that magnifies everything. But there is another reason we often ignore. We are relying less on God and more on ourselves. And this has landed us in the worst possible crisis – a spiritual crisis. So what do we do? Humble ourselves before God. Engage in deep prayer. Let God spiritually revive us from the inside-out. Trust God fully. And courageously engage the world with God’s hope. It’s a long process to be sure. There will be skeptics who scoff. And you’ll sometimes wonder whether anything will really change. But it will. Because people who are filled with God’s love are people who actually change lives, communities and the world.  


Source: Bishop’s Blog

Life is Hard But God is God

One of the most painful lessons you learn is that life is hard. It is filled with tragedy, heartache and evil. No one is left untouched – including you. Which means you’re going to experience some incredibly difficult seasons in your life. In fact, you may be going through one right now. So what do you do when life is so hard you don’t know how you’re going to make it? Hang onto God with everything you’ve got and discover how God’s grace really is sufficient to get you through the worst days. Trust God to never waste a crisis so that you end up growing in ways you otherwise never would. And ask God to enable your struggles to become a crucible of compassion that compels you to be far less judgmental and much more graceful. Sure, life is always hard. But God is always God. And that’s always a life-changer.  


Source: Bishop’s Blog