Monday Musings – November 14, 2016

Dear Friends,

What a day it was yesterday!  Great worship, great preaching (it wasn’t me), great attendance, great food, and wonderful fellowship as we celebrated together the love of Christ that binds us together as a church.  The initial tally of the cards you turned in shows a significant increase over last year (which was a significant increase over the year before). Thank you.  And special thanks to Jim Killett, Joanne Blanton, Margie Frasier, Brenda Miller, Rosalina Richmond, Darlene Cornilles, Jerry Cornilles, Rochelle Killett, Luke Iliff, Jackie Iliff, Richard Pimentel, Debbie Pimentel, Merritt Guggenbuehl, Paul Guggenbuehl, Joel Willis, Carolyn Curtis, and Carol Ogren who all worked extra hard to make Consecration Sunday the great day it was.  (I apologize to anyone I left out.  It was definitely a team effort!)

It was ironic that the wonderful unity we experienced as a church yesterday came the very week of a presidential election result that confirmed how divided our nation is.  Don’t know how many conversations at our celebration meals drifted into politics.  That’s a risky topic to broach in polite company these days.

I thought you’d like to know about a wonderful tradition in our church that goes clear back to 1789.  That’s the year George Washington was elected our first president and Methodist bishop Francis Asbury presented him with a Bible.  Ever since, a Bible signed by the bishops of our church has been presented to each newly elected president.

That tradition continued last week.  Our Council of Bishops didn’t all vote for Donald Trump. That’s a very safe assumption.  But many of them did.  That too is a very safe assumption.  And yet, as they were meeting at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, they all signed a Bible that will be presented to our new president following his inauguration.

They also all signed a letter that has been sent to President-elect Trump.

The link to the full letter is below.  Here is an excerpt:

We are a deeply divided nation in a world marred by division, war, and unprecedented forced migration.  This is a time for all Americans, particularly our political leaders, to put aside divisiveness and rancor and come together for the common good of this nation and the world . . . The Council of Bishops pledges to contribute to all efforts to build bridges to understanding that will lead to overcoming the gulfs that divide [us].  I call to mind the best that is in us: we live under God; we are indivisible; and liberty and justice extend to all.

I called my mom last night as I do each Sunday night.  She asked how my church is taking the election result.  I told her a riot broke out during worship yesterday morning.  She doesn’t always know when I’m kidding, but she did this time. What a blessing it is to have a church where we can hold very differing views about an election and still feel the wonderful unity that makes us one in Christ!

I hope our church can continue to model that this is still possible.  It was under President Obama.  It will be under President Trump.  We love our country a lot, but we love God more.

In Christ, John

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/council-president-offers-post-election-congratulations-and-prayers