As you are probably aware, this Saturday, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church will begin meeting in special session to hear a report from The Commission on the Way Forward as authorized by the Council of Bishops. The report deals with matters of human sexuality and more specifically with matters of homosexuality.
At this point, there is great diversity of opinion as to the direction the Church should take going forward, so even though there is a lot of speculation, no one really knows for sure what decision will be reached.
As you have may have also heard, I will be in St. Louis as an observer for the General Conference. I want to be able to come back and give you a firsthand account of what took place, the decision(s) reached, and some possible implications for our Church. I plan to give that report to you Sunday afternoon, March 3rd, beginning at 3:00 p.m.
In the meantime, churches all across our denomination have been asked to pray the following prayer. As a congregation we plan to pray it on Sunday morning, but I hope you will join me in praying it each day from now until Wednesday as well.
Gracious and loving God, who leads, teaches and guides,
You who offer compassion, grace and mercy, be with us now.
We passionately seek Your presence during challenging times and circumstances and we trust that you are moving in and around our lives.
We, as one part of your Body, the Church, go into the days and weeks ahead seeking to discern Your deep desire for us as The United Methodist Church.
Give us courage as we continue to live and respond to Your invitation to be Your hands, feet and voice.
We ask for a fresh wind of Your Spirit and guidance for each of us as individuals, for the faithful congregations, and for this global community of United Methodists.
We ask for Your wisdom and presence for those among us who have been called to serve as delegates as the Special Session of General Conference gathers today.
Grant them clarity and a discerning spirit as they seek to listen for You in their midst.
Reveal to them Your deep desire for our future as a church.
Give them and us the faith to lay aside our personal wants and needs so that we can be truly present to You, sit with You in reverence and awe, and listen deeply for the still small voice that woos us, comforts us, and invites us to that place where we can live fully and wholly into the Kingdom life that You desire for us.
We lay all this before You as the deep desire of our hearts and minds in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
O God, let it be so!
If you would like to livestream General Conference, you can go to umcom.org and follow the links.