Monthly Archives: June 2019

Year of Gratitude: June

We begin a new month in our year of gratitude. This month our focus is:

June 2019

Sabbath: This month begins summer break for people in school. Vacations, camps and all kinds of outdoor activities abound. Summer vacation has often been a time to relax, enjoy outdoor activities and time away. This month we give thanks for Sabbath and time off.

I always loved summer, either as a kid or when I had children at home. It was an easier time, with trips to the pool and the park and grilling out and time away. I still love summer for riding my bike, walking, hiking, eating every meal I can outside, listening to the birds a different rhythm.

In this weeks blog, I don’t want to focus on sabbath so much, as the historical events remembered this week. I don’t know about your news feed, but mine been filled with the honoring Women’s Sufferage and the 75th anniversary of D-Day. There are precious few that are still alive that participated D-Day and none that were part of passing the Woman’s Suffrage bill in U.S. Senate.

Both of these events were historic for the lives of many. On June 4, 1919 the Women’s Suffrage bill passed to allow women the right to vote. It would not be until August 20, 1920 that the ninteenth amendment would be ratified by a majority of the states. It wasn’t perfect, women color still to this day continue to struggle to exercise their right to vote. But Methodist women, both Anglo and women of color, have been on the forefront of this important step toward equality.

D-Day was a changing point in World War II. The sacrafice made by the soldiers and the medics in life and limb and sanity of mind and spirit was great. This was the event that began to turn the tide against the ugliness and the hatred and the bigotry of nazism. We must never forget the horrors inflicted upon our Jewish brothers and sisters, the Roma, homosexuals, dissendents against the Nazi regime, athletes, theologians, artists and others who were systematically murdered. Fascism in whatever form it rears its ugly head must be called out and named so this can not happen again. I am forever grateful for all those who stood up and fought against this perverse political understanding.

So while this is not a post on Sabbath, it is a post to encourage us to think about those who have gone before us. This is an invitation to thank someone today who has made a real difference,  has made stand for equality and against the powers of bigotry and hate. Perhaps you know someone who is serving in the military, as an Americorp or Vista or in the Peace Corp. Could you write them a note and say thank you? Maybe you know someone doing an internship in the church, in the schools, at a medical facility and is working to make the world a better place, a place where all are welcome. Today, write a note, pick up the phone or find a way to say thank you to those who continue the work of those who have given of themselves to make the world more peaceful and more just for every one.

 

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Jesus on the Move: Witnesses

What a week it has been filled with experiences and joy! It feels like a long time since I have come to blog. I tried to blog toward the end of the week, but the internet at the hotel was intermittent and I couldn’t pull up my site. Soooo, I waited to share all the wonderful joys of the week.

This week was the Great Plains Annual Conference. For United Methodists, this annual meeting is part business and part family reunion. Both the business and the family part is filled with smiles and snark, laughter and tears, anxiety and contentment and the push and pull of different understandings. This was the year we elected General and Jurisdiction delegates for 2020. Elections add a layer of tensions because these are the persons that will help make decisions about the future of our denomination.

Annual Conference is also a time of worship. This year, Rebecca Goltry Mohr was approved as a full member and ordained as an elder. On Thursday, she was introduced to both clergy session and the full annual conference.

 

On Friday was her ordination! What a joy it was to have 50 people from First UMC there to celebrate with her as well as family, friends and the whole of the Great Plains Conference.

Saturday began with a 5K

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Then, after difficult conversations and debates, the annual conference voted to stand opposed to the traditional plan passed at General Conference. I do not know what that means in the long run, but I am hopeful for the work of being an open and inclusive church has truly begun.

The bishop “fixed” our appointments so Pastor Rebecca and I will return for another year of ministry.

Which brings us to worship today. This is the last Sunday in Easter and we remembered the Ascension of Jesus. This moment of Jesus’ departure reminds us we are called to continue to be on the move with Jesus and to be witness to all! In the service we celebrated Pastor Rebecca’s ordination and commissioned a mission as well has celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Communion. You can find the worship service in its entirety here.

I am grateful to continue to serve and to share God’s love with all.

 

 

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