Headlines vs. reality
The headlines scream, “The United Methodist Church is going to split!” These words that bring joy to some and strike terror in the hearts of others increasingly seem to be the reality we face in our beloved denomination. But what hurts my heart so deeply is how quickly this assumption sucks the energy out of local congregations and leaves those who love Jesus feeling powerless and hopeless.
This is why I want you to understand something. Regardless of the chaos and uncertainty, the reality is that your church will still be part of the Body of Christ; your church will still make disciples of Jesus Christ; your church will still form deeper disciples; and your church will still equip and send disciples to transform lives, communities and the world. This is not an aspiration. It is a fact.
This reality frees you to boldly embrace your identity as the Body of Christ, live your purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ who make disciples, and show the rest of the UMC and the world that differences of perspective are never the defining final word––even when it is assumed that they are.
I give thanks to God that so many UM congregations have figured out how to thrive with a diverse group of people who have perspectives that are diametrically opposed. But it’s not happenstance; Jesus gathers people who normally wouldn’t give each other the time of day to worship together on the same pew, pray together, study together, serve together and care for each other. And when they do, things miraculously change!
So, remember this when things may appear unsettling, bleak and even hopeless: God is still God, Jesus is still Lord, and the Holy Spirit is still at work.
Praise be to God.
Bishop Gary Mueller, vice president
General Commission on UM Men