by Pastor Dan Bryant, Lakewood United Methodist Church in Lakewood, Ohio
Sitting on the other side of the GC 2019 actions that clearly have “untied” The United Methodist Church, I am reminded that God is with us. Standing in prayer as the vote for the One Church Plan failed and seeing the loving witness of hundreds of people who yearn for a more inclusive church, I felt God’s embrace. As the TP was passed, with constitutional issues, I stood in solidarity with my LGBTQIA+ sisters and brothers who reminded us that they are God’s children and will not stand silent amidst injustice and bigotry. Seeing the sea of tears reminded me that “God weeps” as God’s children are pushed aside and told you are not fully welcome. God is going to do a new thing in our midst, though we may not see it just yet!
With that reminder in my spirit, tonight, I go back to my words written earlier in the day and I still feel they speak:
God is able to bring us a light where we only see darkness. As we face the challenges of each day and the action that can seem to be full of harm, know that God’s grace and love break through the pain and can surround us with love. God loves us and we, like the Apostle Paul, can say, “When I am weak, God’s power is made strong…. therefore I will rejoice in the midst of trials and suffering…. because God’s grace IS sufficient.” We are a people of hope and we will continue to help people come to know God, love God, and serve God! That is the good news! We are not alone … we have each other and we have the gift of God who will never abandon us.