Today was a long, hard day. The church is hurting, friends. I hope you are continuing to hold us in prayer.
I have lots to update on, but it is very late. We had many long hours of legislation today; we returned to our hotel broken hearted and in need of the hope we have spoken of so much this week. After a night of prayer and strategizing for how we as seminarians- future (and present!) leaders of the church- could be a witness to the power of God that is working among us, we have decided to do what we do best. Pray.
After only about 3 hours of sleep, we'll be rising early tomorrow to head to the convention center before most others arrive. We want to be there to pray together early, and as guests arrive to make sure they are welcomed by genuine hospitality and love in a spirit of prayer. We are going to offer ourselves before the body of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church as persons available to offer pastoral care to anyone who wants or needs it. It will be a bi-partisan act... there are big issues that divide us, but there are bigger things that bring us together. Our group is divided. In many of our lives, we have found ourselves or our families divided, taking much time to grow into the places we are today. We vouch, then, to listen to, pray with, and be present for anyone on either side- or on the fence- about these issues that have come before the Conference. In light of today's events, the petitions that are scheduled to come up tomorrow, and the messy (though important) witness that I understand is happening in the morning, there is going to be a great need of this kind of support. We are not sure if folks will come out... there might be one or two, or there might be hundreds...
I hope and pray we remain centered as we seek to be a witness of the peace, love, and power of reconciliation in Jesus Christ. As we returned to our rooms tonight, my friend Karl stated, "this is what I thought seminary would be like." It is. And it hasn't always been - but tonight, I am thankful for this community.