The election results on a national and a local level have been in for a week. Some very faithful folks feel the results are the righting of the ship in terms of grievances felt for a long time. Some very faithful folks feel this is a turn toward injustice and despair. A clergy colleague of mine asked upon the announcement of the results, “What is just as true now as before?” The divide in our government and in our country is just as real... just now more exposed. It would have existed regardless of who won the election, and it will be with us for a very long time. The divide concerns education, income, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ideology, and so much more. The post-election expression of this divide, on both sides, has lacked empathy, understanding and graciousness both of and towards those on the other side. This, even in Indiana, has escalated to hatred, bullying, vandalism, and the like.
As people of Christ, we can voice our opinions. We can disagree. But the call on our lives is quite clear. Some of those Biblical calls are expressed in the United Methodist Social Creed:
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world..
This call is not about political party. It is a call to stand in care and compassion for all people. It is the call of Christ throughout the scriptures. Let us be peace builders. Let us be people of hope and healing. Let us be people compassionate to the needs and experiences of others. Let us be people who stand against hate, and for justice for all. Let us remember who Jesus is and who we are called to be. Let us pray the calls of scripture on our lives:
Almighty God, you are at work throughout the world.
Inspire the minds of all women and men to whom has been committed the responsibility of government and leadership in the nations of the world.
Give to them the vision of truth and justice, that by their counsel all nations and peoples may work together.
Give to the people of our country zeal for justice and strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will to welcome the foreigner, stand with the oppressed, bind up the brokenhearted, feed the hungry, and care for the sick.
Forgive our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love your truth.
We pray all these things through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read a post-election poem by Bishop J. Trimble, the Bishop of our United Methodist Conference. http://www.inumc.org/newsdetail/a-poem-from-bishop-trimble-when-tomorrow-comes-6615761
Update on the Spiritual Practice of Giving
Wow, is God at work in our lives in this practice! Many church members are taking their next step with God in faith in this practice. We know that giving is a matter of heart and faith. God uses giving to create generous hearts and align us with His priorities in the world.
Some clear signs of growth:
Almost $51,000 has been pledged by new givers.
More than $274,000 has been given in increased pledges.
We are at 89% of the ministry goals we have for reaching others in hope and love for Jesus Christ.
If you have not taken part in this spiritual practice in furthering God’s plan to reach others through the church, you can take part online at www.oldbethel.org (give) or by filling out a pledge card. Take a step. Give what you can. Take part in God’s great work! Reflect on this practice with this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40_X9CgJkxE&feature=em-upload_owner
You are invited to Breakfast with Santa this Saturday, November 19, 7:30-10:30am. Enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, and more! Adults & Teens: $6; Children 6-12: $3. The morning will also include free activities for children.
You are invited to take part in an intentional Advent journey. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays, take time to re-set your life and focus on the joy of Christ who is born new to us all the time. We will be walking through Advent with the series A Time of Wonder: Questions of Faith.
Congregation and staff members have written daily devotions which offer questions of faith, scriptures, reflections, and prayers. You may pick up a booklet November 20, or receive daily devotions by email. The devotions will also be available on the website at www.oldbethel.org.
Faith GROWING Resources:
A couple of great ones…
Book: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Online Devotion: d365.org
Serving together in Christ,