Many thanks to all of you who attended this year’s session of Annual Conference. I missed seeing our Rio Texas Conference family altogether in Corpus, but I am grateful for another year with the wonderful people of The Capital District.
At Annual Conference, a few different people were invited to share with us as they reflected on two questions: What is it right now that is breaking your heart? What is giving you hope? These are good questions for all of us to consider from time to time.
There is no end to the things that break my heart right now. As November 3rd approaches in our country, I know I am not alone in saying I have never seen an election season quite like this one. I also hear people saying things like, “I come to church to escape politics. We shouldn’t be mixing politics and religion.” But in a recent article, Christian writer Diana Butler Bass spoke of her childhood experience. It sounded a lot like my own experience with Sunday school teachers referencing Bible stories as evidence that how we live together matters. Further, I am reminded of the passage from Jeremiah that calls us to seek the welfare of the city. The Greek word for city is “polis” which is the root word for politics. Diana Butler Bass goes on to lament, “I suspect we can’t talk about religion and politics because we equate ‘faith’ and ‘public life’ with triumphal partisanship, with yelling more than reason and prayer, and, of course, with winning and losing”(from The Cottage, Sept 29, 2020). As Christians, we are called to cultivate virtues such as compassion, hospitality, justice, peace and humility both in our own interior lives as well as for the welfare of others. Let us join together in prayer – that we might have the courage to enter into difficult conversations in ways that draw people in and strengthen relationships. Check out this article entitled “The Church and Election Day” from The Lewis Center for Church Leadership.
In the midst of all that is hard and challenging about this season, there is much that renews my hope. My hope is renewed as I see Christ working in and through you. May we continue to encourage one another and ground ourselves in the hope that only Christ can give us. I recently adopted the practice of tweeting a prayer blessing in the morning and evening each day. I have no grand illusions of gaining a large network of followers!; rather, I began the practice of writing a simple morning blessing and nighttime benediction for my own benefit. The daily discipline is one way I stay connected to God.
May our hearts be broken by the things that break God’s heart. And let us remember the words of the prophet, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”(Isaiah 40:31).
I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
― Abraham Lincoln
Blessings on Teresa’s twitter feed: @teresagaylew
Morning Prayer from 10/2
In Your abundance You give us another day –
May I savor each moment.
the gentle pull as I stretch my limbs
the flour sifted for muffins
the light entering through the blinds
I want to pay attention, but I’m about to open email and look at to-do lists, so I’m going to
need Your help. And just now I saw a dust bunny under the bed.
On this his Feast Day, may we learn from Francis:
to find the holy in walking the earth,
to know that receiving begins with giving.
And as Sister Moon sets in the sky, may we rest in the heart of the Creator.