Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

This morning I sat with the Tuesday morning Bible study class and watched the live feed of General Conference as the president of the Council of Bishops for the United Methodist Church addressed the church on behalf of our bishops. Bishop Bruce Ough explained that his heart was broken for our church over what has been happening over the last week during General Conference. He spoke about the varying views of the bishops on the state of the church and on the possibility of splitting the United Methodist Church due to an inability to agree on the controversial topic of homosexuality. Bishop Ough expressed the Council’s desire for healing and a true unity in the church.

The United Methodist Church is in a time of disagreement and division, but we are still the United Methodist Church. We are still reaching millions of people a day in the name of Jesus Christ. We are still feeding millions of people a year through our churches and ministries. We are still on the front lines of disaster relief and social action. WE ARE STILL THE CHURCH!

No matter what legislation passes over these next few days, we will still be the church. As we celebrated Pentecost we sang, “the church is not the steeple (and the church is not the system), the church is the people,” and we are the people of the United Methodist Church. Through US the church will continue to be a beacon of hope to those who walk through our doors in need of our love and our witness. Through US the church will continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus because of the way we choose to see people as our neighbor. Through US the church will continue to be just that, the church.

I am proud to be United Methodist and I will continue to hold hope in the work of the Holy Spirit to heal our denomination and to guide us to the work we are called to do here and around the world.

Blessings, Pastor Stacy