Oh, We of Little Faith...
Dear St. Barnabas,
Thank you for your words of encouragement and support these past few days. You are a rich blessing to God, to The Church, and to me. For those of you who witnessed my tears on Sunday, please know they were not tears of fear about St. Barnabas, or even about anxiety of this coming week. My tears were all about grief. My church membership does not reside with the local congregation – as does yours. As an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, my church membership resides with the Central Texas Annual Conference. The grief I feel is overwhelming at times because the church where my membership is held cannot help but change. I have observed some very good people behave very badly over this issue.
Once again, I encourage you as I did on Sunday to not rejoice regardless of the outcome of General Conference 2019. For every person who is pleased at the outcome, there will be a person for whom the outcome is profoundly grievous. Let us honor and respect one another now more than ever, that our words of kindness and mercy will glorify God.
There is an additional piece of information I need you to have. However the vote comes down at GC2019, it will not be a simple “for” or “against.” We Methodists are far more complex than that! This complexity is specifically the reason I am blogging from St. Louis. If you would like to read my perspective of what is going on there, please sign up for my blog at www.gingerbassford.com.
My blog will more than likely be posted on my FaceBook page – but I do not guarantee that. I have LOTS of family and friends who are far away from God because of the rejection they feel by the church. I will think about Wesley’s three admonitions “Do no harm. Do Good. Stay in love with God,” before I share things on FB. If I believe what I have written or observed might cause harm, especially to someone who has a fragile faith, I will not post it.
Finally, I ask once more for your continued prayers. Please pray fervently that God be glorified in whatever the outcome of GC2019. I believe this is the best opportunity The Church (that is the WHOLE Universal Church) has ever had to witness to the love of God in Christ to the whole of the WORLD. Wouldn’t it be something if we came out of this thing loving God, each other, and the world more because of it?! I believe that outcome is possible. I truly believe it is….
May the Peace of Christ be with You,