When I went to put yesterday’s announcement about General Conference being postponed until 2024 into the bulletin for Sunday, I added a few thoughts of my own about how this will affect Abilene First. You can find them below:
This will not be an easy time for our denomination, but my hope is that since Abilene First has always been staunchly United Methodist it will not negatively affect us on the local church level. The UMC is not perfect, but no church is (and, until Jesus returns, no church will be). We do a great deal of good together. (For example, today we’re supporting relief in Ukraine through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.)
I love the United Methodist Church because of our Wesleyan focus on God’s love and God’s grace. These two themes run throughout scripture and were fully embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. When we talk about inclusion and belonging for all people, we are not being hopelessly optimistic or politically correct. Instead, we tapping into the New Testament’s vision of the church. I love being part of a denomination that advocates for Spirit empowered holiness on both the personal and social level. I’ve spoken to many of you who feel the same way. We’re not going anywhere and God has promised to be with us through every storm.