Greater NW Outlook: Lenten Listening, Table Talks, and A Way Forward
Friends in the Greater Northwest,
Yesterday Bishop Bruce Ough led us back to a principle that has guided Methodism throughout our history: God always leads Christians into ministry on the margins with the poor and outcast.
As the Council of Bishops meets to receive and consider the report of the Commission on the Way Forward, receive Bishop Ough’s sermon as a message of courage and hope for the whole Church. Please hold us in prayer, as we seek to lead the church on a path of faithfulness and obedience to God.
Friday, nearly 50 leaders from the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences will gather to be equipped to lead “Table Talks” across the area where United Methodists can seek unity in the church that is deeper than our different understandings and attitudes about human sexuality. The differences are undeniable. They have strained the Church for more than 40 years. In these conversations we hope to understand what informs our differences from one another, so that we can respect one another, learn from one another, and continue to be members of one, undivided Church as we continue to listen to God’s leading through these differences.
The Table Talks will occur throughout the spring. I hope to see you there, to hear your voice, and to prayerfully, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, see the ways to live together in peace.
This is powerful, difficult spiritual work — worthy of the sober self-reflection of Lent. Any time we pause, turn to one another and God, and pray, we live in the promise of new life, revealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I pray that as we gather, humbly and prayerfully, there will be enough light to show us the way.
With hope in the resurrection,
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky | Greater NW Area