District Committee on Clergy/Laity Support & Development
Traverse City: Central UMC
District Committee on Ministry
Traverse Bay UMC
Grand Traverse District Leadership Council
Traverse City: Central UMC
District Superintendency Committee
Traverse City: Christ UMC
|NEWS YOU CAN USE|
|Journey to Life starts in Lent 2014: MOLLY TURNER|
Field Coordinator, Imagine No Malaria
Are you planning ahead for 2014 Season of Lent? We would like you to know what is coming!
Bishop Deborah Kiesey is offering a Lenten series to all of the Michigan Area churches. The theme is: Journey to Life.
She says about this study:
"As Christ journeyed to Jerusalem - as he taught his followers on the journey - as he met one last time in the upper room - as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane - and as he faced a cruel and difficult death, he was also journeying toward Life.
"That is what we are doing through Imagine No Malaria. We are journeying with people across the globe to bring hope of new life. We are journeying with those in malaria-infested areas to offer a new future.
"I invite you into this Lenten devotion series to deepen the faith of our Michigan Area United Methodists. During the 40 days of Lent we will offer, via email and through our two conference websites, a daily devotion on how we are journeying with those in Sub-Saharan Africa."
Plan now for Lent with this spiritual deepening time as we Journey to Life.
|Lenten Revelations: I can hardly believe it, but saw my first robins last week! I hadn't even begun to think about them yet, but driving on South Hannah Street on the campus of Albion College, I looked out my car window - and there they were! In the midst of snow and sleet and howling wind, a group of robins sat huddled together on top of a snowdrift! Six, fluffed up symbols of spring!|
Now - even though meteorologists say we are only about three weeks away from the official start of Spring, it certainly doesn't feel or look like it! I think we can all agree ... it has been a long, cold, snowy winter.
And - even though I'm always disappointed in the month of March (because no, it's not spring, yet!) ... And - even though I know we'll still see more snow ... Even with all these things in mind - I know spring is near.
Faith is a strange thing:
It sometimes stands in direct opposition to what seems realistic.
It shouts "YES!" in the face of a host of "NOs!".
It believes in goodness when all around is wickedness.
It sings of life in the midst of death.
So, yes, even in the midst of what still feels like the depths of winter, I believe Spring is about to be revealed. I believe in spring. Just as I believe in new life, new hope, new dreams.
That's what faith is all about.
Let me share with you one of my favorite scripture passages: Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. I John 3:2a
One of the reasons I like this passage so well is that I find it incredibly hopeful. Our lives are journeys - of faith, of wisdom, of experience. And along that journey we are constantly learning - and re-learning - what it is God is calling us to do and be. It's a journey of revelation.
We want to do the right thing, but we still make mistakes. We try, but we still fall short. We listen, but we still misunderstand.
And then we read these words: Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.
Rather than getting discouraged, the author of I John is reminding us that we are still in the process of becoming the kind of people God wants us to be. With each new day we discover more about God, more about ourselves, and more about our relationship with God.
What we will be has not yet been revealed.
And thank goodness.
Friends, we are just beginning the Holy Season of Lent. For many, this is a time when they consider "giving up something" for Lent. For others, it is the reminder that winter is losing its grip and spring is just over the horizon. For others Lent has little meaning until Easter itself, with its Easter baskets and new clothes for church.
But this season ought to be a time of revealing - of revelation.
A time of walking alongside Christ through the final Holy days of his life;
A time in which we experience what he experienced - hatred, misunderstanding, betrayal, and death;
A time that ends on a cross in Jerusalem.
It's a difficult journey, and yet one we walk in complete faith ... because it is through this journey that we find revealed all the goodness, all the hope, all the possibilities of what God sees - within us, for us, and for our world.
So yes, it may still feel like winter - both in our world and within our hearts. But we know that if we open ourselves to message revealed in this season of Lent, God can reveal the hope that lies before us - and within us, and we can move ever closer to becoming the people God calls us to be.
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.
With you in the work of Christ,