Special General Conference, 2019
The Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church was called on Feb 23-26 this year, to act on the proposal on Human Sexuality and Marriage expressed in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2016. And the Conference passed The Traditional Plan as it is in the current BOD, adding Clergy and Bishop’s accountability to uphold it, along with other amendments that are waiting to be evaluated by Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, which will be held this April.
Since the General Conference ended, there have been lots of diverse voices individually, communally and nationally on the decision of the General Conference. Some are pleased with the decision and some are not pleased with it. Even some raise their voices with emotional feeling. There still appears confusion, divisiveness among the people called the United Methodists.
What do we do?
“Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10). It is the time for us to calm down, and lay down all our agenda and issues before God. We are still waiting for the final picture of the Traditional Plan before the Judicial Council evaluates in April some amendments adopted by the General Conference. We continue to praying, “Lord, where are you leading us? Show us your way.” Peace and hope comes from the God who knows deep things of our hearts, and continue to lead us.
“Put on love,” (Colossians 3: 14). Love is the way what we say and how we say as well, and all that we do. When we share our individual opinion on this matter, let us do it in love. Let us remember that there are people who are saddened, who mourn or hurt because of this result. We are called to holy living with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiveness, and above all, with love. When you express your personal opinion regarding this matter on Facebook, please use your personal Facebook not St Paul’s, or you may mislead the character of the mission and ministry of The St Paul United Methodist Church.
“Unity in Christ,” (1 Corinthians 12-27). As our body is one unit with different parts, so is the church. We cannot say each other, “I don’t need you.” We are called to have equal concern for each other, and rejoice with who rejoice, and we weep with those who weep. Let us remember that we welcome all people in love, in compassion of Jesus Christ. St Paul church is the house of prayer for all, called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. St Paul church is called to growing into a most vibrant, joyful Christian community, unified in loving service to our neighbors, for the glory of God. This mission and vision unites us.
Finally, practice your spiritual disciple of Lectio Divina (spiritual reading) during Lent with the passage in Colossians 3:12-17, and listen to what God may speak to you.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Peace and Hope in Christ, who is risen today.