By Gil Hanke
Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face to face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
One of the joys and challenges of serving in my position with the commission is experiencing the UMC outside the U.S.
In May, both Bishop Swanson and I attended the Connectional Table meeting in Oslo, Norway, the furthest north I have ever been.
I arrived late in the evening, and it was raining and overcast.
I could tell from the road that the meeting location was on a mountain, but when I got my weary self to there, the only thing I wanted to do was get some much needed sleep.
In the morning, the view was nothing but fog.
We engaged in some activities in town, but when we returned to the lodge, we could still only see fog.
We were told by our hosts that the view was spectacular––the city below, and fjord that reached to the North Sea. After one of our meetings I went for a walk and discovered that immediately behind our location was a huge ski jump used in several Olympics dating back to 1954. I had not seen it because I was looking in the wrong direction and because it too had been obscured by the fog.
Finally, several days later as we were in the final stages of our meetings, the fog lifted and the promised blue sky and view appeared. The view was indeed spectacular.
We deal with a lot of stuff in our lives.
There are annoyances we can’t shake, worries about the world, our church, our families, our country. We are promised––and even offered––direction, but sometimes all we get is fog.
What keeps me going, is finding those rare places and people who help me see things clearly.
The commission, with help from men’s ministry and scouting ministry leaders from across our connection, have planned a place where you and I can see things clearly.
The 12th National Gathering features proven voices on topics that clear the fog, and that will bring you hope and wholeness. Workshops, sermons, and mission projects will provide you with tools to help you grow in Christ and bring others in your local church and community into that glorious light.
The sight and sound of hundreds of men of all ages, standing together, singing together, praying together, learning together, being in mission together, connecting together will be life giving and life changing.
Join us in the bright light of Christ, July 7-8, in Indianapolis.
Gil Hanke, general secretary
General Commission on United Methodist Men