“…as welcome as flowers in May” the old Irish song goes. Clearly a song for the northern climes. We in beautiful Southern California have been enjoying Spring flowers for many weeks already. And in the church, we’re living in the season of Eastertide, a 50-day celebration and the church’s most ancient and most joyful time. 50 days to sing alleluia, 50 days to take in the power of the Resurrection, 50 days to live as if God’s reign of justice and peace were fully with us.
As you’ve read in these pages, there’s a lot fermenting in the United Methodist Church these days as well. It’s the “United” part of our name that’s being tested, examined and explored. Sometimes if you type too fast, “united” comes out as “untied” which is a bit how many of us are feeling.
Our Lay Leadership Team and I will be hosting on-going opportunities to gather for discussion of these developments. It’s still too early to tell what a new iteration of the UMC is going to look like. It’s more a season of seeds germinating in the soil, not quite yet ready to burst forth in full and glorious bloom.
But burst forth they will in due season! I’m working with several groups in our annual conference, the Western Jurisdiction and across the larger church. And I can testify, as did those women who first discovered the empty tomb, that God is doing a new thing within and among us. A beautiful, diverse, inclusive church of love and grace will blossom.
One group I’m working with puts it this way: “We…commit ourselves to participate in the coming of God’s dream as we work for a transformed world and a more gracious expression of United Methodism where both fully reflect God’s love and calling in the lives of all people.”
Stay tuned. Pray fervently. Water the seeds. Be the Hope!