• TopekaFirstUMC

Weekly Worship Highlights - 02/25/2019

On Sunday, we reflected on the conversations currently taking place in St. Louis regarding human sexuality and the United Methodist Church. These are not new conversations. In fact, as a denomination we have been debating these concepts and the inclusion of LGBT persons as clergy and marital partners for over a decade. In 2016, a United Methodist General Conference once again found itself unable to make a decision regarding human sexuality and turned to the Council of Bishops for guidance. Out of that request the Commission on the Way Forward was created. That body, made up of clergy and laity from around the world, developed the One Church Plan which, along with several other plans including the traditional and connectional plans, was sent to the 2019 Special Conference that is currently gathered in St. Louis.

As the conversations continue we still do not know what will happen in St. Louis or what the future of the United Methodist Church will look like. What we do know is that over the weeks and months to come people will be hurt, confused, and concerned. Different people will feel different emotions for very different reasons but the pain that exists in our world is real. In that pain and through this conversation we are invited to live differently. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, calls us to show love to our brothers and sisters. This love, like the love of Christ, is not conditional. It is constant. We pray that you might join us in living as a body of love throughout this process. We are allowed to disagree, we are allowed to have different opinions, and we are allowed to host a variety of beliefs. But, in that disagreement we are also called to love each other and offer to our brothers and sisters in Christ the grace and compassion that God offers to us.

John Wesley built the United Methodist Church on the concept of God's never ending grace which is offered to us all. In this time, we pray that this very grace might flow in us, through us, and around us.

Weekly Devotional

Most weeks, we share a devotional that includes scripture and prayer prompts for every day of the week. This week we encourage you to do the same thing each day. Read Ephesians 4:1-16 and pray for the Special General Conference. Pray for the delegates who continue their work. Pray for guidance, wisdom, and hope. Pray for today and pray for tomorrow. Pray for each other and all of those caught in the lurch during this process. Pray for love.

Next Week in Worship

Next week we will continue a two-week sermon series on the United Methodist Church. We will explore the church's past, present, and future together. If you ever miss a part of a sermon series you can join us on the live stream or catch up on our sermon archive page.

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