Testify to Love

Christmas offers us the gift of entering into this New Year with the fresh reminder of God’s presence with us and a renewed awareness of our call to be shaped by that awareness. It takes intentional choices—the choice to pause, the choice to pray, the choice to worship, the choice to serve others—for us to allow ourselves to be shaped by Emmanuel, God-with-us. This New Year, our Bishop Minerva Carcaño invites us to make the choice to join her and our conference in prayer. For the first week of this year, from December 31, 2017 to January 6, 2018, our conference will be in intentional prayer seeking God’s guidance for the year ahead. This week of prayer is part of an initiative the Council of Bishops has organized called Praying Our Way Forward. All the Methodist conferences around the world will take part in intentional prayer together. The aim of Praying Our Way Forward is “to ask and listen for God’s leadership at this critical time in the life of our church” and to encourage “individuals to join the initiative by praying daily and fasting weekly for our church, mission, and future.”

As our denomination continues to disagree on human sexuality and especially the role of LGBTQA persons in the church, this prayer week invites us to recognize God’s presence with us all—even in the midst of disagreement—and to listen for God’s guidance on how to move forward with love. We ask you to carve out time to be in prayer for our church from December 31 to January 6 (and beyond), praying for guidance and for hearts to be led by God’s love. You can find morning, afternoon, and evening devotions or virtual prayer rooms for each day by going to https://www.cnumc.org/prayourwayforward . You can sign up to pray by going to https://www.cnumc.org/signuptopray , and you can write a prayer on our conference’s prayer wall by going to https://www.cnumc.org/prayerwall .

We have the opportunity to live with the awareness of God with us; we have the opportunity to testify to love. Join us for a week of prayer as we do just that, opening ourselves and our denomination up to be shaped and reshaped by God’s love that is real and alive for all people. We trust that God is with us as we walk the path ahead.

-Pastor Chelsea

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