For those that have arrived recently to United Methodism, the current state of conflict in the United Methodist Church may only be of peripheral concern. I can certainly understand that. Much like our federal government, what we see before us in social media and television can be uncomfortable and painful. It can seem to take place a world away from our reality. It’s easy to not engage.
It’s more of a challenge for me. Except for a one-year period in seminary where I worked at a Presbyterian church, I have spent my entire life and career learning and living grace through the eyes of John Wesley’s United Methodist Church. My friends, family, and colleagues have all come from this amazing denomination. I learned how to make music at a Methodist university. I’ve served the Annual Conference. Now I stand on the sidelines with no voice or vote. Issues and debate aside, how can I stand as a casual observer and wait for things to happen? What can I do as the church seemingly shakes itself apart?
We (Deandre Johnson, Brett Luginbill, Laura Bush, me) first began to consider preparing a worship service in January to acknowledge our brokenness. But where to start? With our variety of worship styles, we began to ponder the one significant action that all of our churches practice each week — prayer. Perhaps, it’s the most powerful one. How about a service of prayer? How about a service with no agenda except to pray? After all, it’s modeled completely by Jesus, who went off to pray in the midst of great internal conflict. Even though he ended up alone, he wanted his friends to pause and to pray with him.
Likewise, friends, come to pause and to pray with us for the United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 PM. The choirs of First United Methodist Church Sugar Land, Christ Church United Methodist, and our choir will combine to sing, pray, praise, and share in Holy Communion. This service isn’t a rallying cry for one side or the other in this conflict. Rather, it is a reminder. Quoting a prayer from the service, “forgive our tendency toward separation and division, and remind us that we are your Easter People.”
To view an outline of the worship service, click HERE.
Grace and Peace to You,
Director of Fine Arts and Communication
Looking for another opportunity to pray for the church? During General Conference, you are invited to to join other United Methodists and pray each day for three minutes. Set a reminder on your phone to pray for the church.