If we are to reclaim, revive and renew who we are as United Methodist, as our Bishops have invited us to, then we must renew our commitment to our Wesleyan theology. We practice living into our values by knowing who we are and who we aren't.
Several of you have mentioned the ways you're practicing this with yourselves and others based on my Pentecost sermon. Here's an excerpt:
And when you hear those repeated partisan talking points based on fear of others, you can say, "That's not us!"
When we are tempted to bury our head in the sand over climate change, be paralyzed by shame or apathy or helplessness and leave a warming mess of a planet to the next generation to deal with, we can say. . . . "That's not us!"
When some well-meaning friend suggests that someone from a minority group is "one of the good ones" or "the exception to the rule," we can proclaim, "That's not us!"
When you're taken aback by a fellow parishioner whose sideways comment about celebrating gay pride, or whose demeaning comment about trans people betrays a discomfort with Jesus' gospel good news for all, you can kindly reply, "That's not us!"
When we believe we can't escape our upbringing or our culture, when we say we're old dogs who can't learn new tricks, who have internalized those prejudices, we can declare to ourselves "That's not us!"
When friend or foe makes some passive-aggressive remark, or some back-handed comment about being "politically correct" and our spirit is bruised but we don't know how to respond. We can simply say, "That's not us!"
We are followers of Christ – the liberating teacher and healer. The one who showed us what love with skin on looks like. We are part of a gloriously-diverse creation. We are Bible-believing, worshipping students of the word. We are responsible stewards of creation! We are beloved of God recognizing the belovedness of others. We are compassionate followers of Christ who calls us to serve one another, to care for the least, the lost, and the left out. We are a reconciling congregation committed to full inclusion of LGBTQ persons. We are a resurrection people who believe in the power of transformation. We are Christians who rely on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We are people thinking critically and living faithfully, who are committed to the Wesleyan way of personal piety and social holiness, who welcome, nurture, disciple and serve. We are the church with a heart in the heart of Nashua.
We find ourselves as a denomination at this moment of crossroads, and transformation. Conferences who had so many dis-affiliations are experiencing a renewed commitment to Christ's liberating love and Wesleyan grace. The Council of Bishops president, Thomas Bickerton, invites us into a new conversation to reclaim, revive, renew our United Methodist connection.
There's a new energy and excitement to be part of building the next expression of United Methodism. Here's his video for congregations inviting us to offer radical love, genuine hospitality and sincere engagement as we embrace this new vision--
this transformation we are offered in this moment in our history.
For those who have sent in your RSVP, tickets will be at Will Call. Gates open at 4:30 PM, game is at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $8/per person, children under 3 are free. Payment should be made to the church via check or cash (note Baseball in memo line). Do not pay at the game. When you arrive at Will Call, say you are from United Methodist Church and tickets will be there for you.
Each year, United Women in Faith members prepare for faithful living and action by engaging in transformative educational experiences at Mission u events. Mission U is a cooperative program of the Annual Conference and the United Women in Faith for the spiritual growth for all ages; school children, youth, men, women, laity and clergy.
This year it will be held from Fri 7/21 to Sun 7/23 at the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
The following is the link with more information and registration form can be downloaded. Registration deadline is June 30th.
We are in need of a few more volunteers to help us blast off at Vacation Bible School. This includes a Bible story leader and other opportunities. Please let Pastor Kelly or Andrea Weir know if you can help out. Volunteer form is also linked below!
"THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONLISM: A CALL TO ACTION"
Summer keynote event: The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism: A Call to Action.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, Concord, NH
We are SO excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Carter Hayward to New Hampshire on August 29th. In a time of rising hate activity across our state, Rev. Dr. Heyward is going to talk with us about her book, the Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism. Together, we will learn about action steps we can take in our own churches and communities as we grow our muscles in this work together.
There will be opportunity to spend time together in both small and large groups, and to connect with other voices of faith from across the state who are also interested in doing this work. Registration, and more details about our book group accompanying this event coming next week!
Thanks to our partners at the NH Conference of the UCC, and Episcopal Diocese of NH who are working with us. We hope you will save-the-date, and join us.
This summer, we're BLASTING OFF! To Mars and Beyond... we'll learn how God can empower us to GO BEYOND with faith, boldness, kindness, thankfulness, and hope. We're on a mission, and we'd love to have you voyage with us!