From the Pastor's Desk 5.26.2022
The Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church convened in St. Cloud this week, for the first time in person since 2019. It was a joyous and gracious time to connect with others across the Connection, and to do the business of the church. There were some bittersweet moments, as we acknowledged the closing of five congregations over the past two years, and voted to accept the disaffiliation of three churches. Even as we grieved, we recognized God at work in these changes, and the votes were taken with grace. There were "joy breaks" as well, and glimmers of hope for the future of the church.
Then, in the midst of it all, we learned about the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and as the details of that horrific event trickled in, we took pauses in the proceedings to pray. But prayers are not the only way we work to stem the tide of violence. Jesus doesn't call us to passively wring our hands or type "thoughts and prayers" on our social media pages. Jesus calls us to be salt and light - and sometimes that means causing discomfort. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to confront evil the same way Jesus did - not be avoiding uncomfortable issues, but by addressing them head on, in love. As we grieve with the families in Uvalde, and other places where violence has taken lives, let us do everything in our power to prevent another tragedy.
Bishop David Bard's message is worth your time to read.
Please join us in worship this Sunday, as we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and come together as the Body of Christ to be the change the world needs so desperately right now.
See you in church, Church!
Pastor Jo Anne