I love my District Superintendent. Sure, he does all the D.S.-type things (“pay your apportionments”, “sign up for _______ “, “will you serve on X committee?”). But he’s also very wise and a contemplative. The Monday after General Conference, his weekly email to the district said the following:
General Conference is over, but the work is just beginning. The work to implement the rules and laws that will guide us over the next four years begins now, as information is disseminated to each of the Annual Conferences. But, before we begin or before we receive the work of our leaders, may I ask for us to do something? This may or may not seem radical to some of you; this may be a no-brainer to others, but, please, as your District Superintendent, allow me this request.
I am asking that we have the next two weeks in the Atlanta Emory District as a season of silence and prayer. Please do not “share” your feelings concerning the General Conference and the actions or non-actions taken. Please do not let social media become our “Bible” to get our thoughts out there before the world. Let us spend these next two weeks in silence, allowing the Holy Spirit to move through all we have seen, heard, and learned. Let God have the first voice in our lives and in our ministries over the next two weeks. At the same time, I call each of you pastors (or laity reading this) to a serious time of prayer. Pray for those who attended General Conference; pray for our Bishops – our spiritual leaders. Pray for those rejoicing, and pray for those hurting. Spend time in prayer that God, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, will reveal to us in Atlanta Emory, in North Georgia, in the United Methodist Church the best next steps. Pray for understanding and for the ability to respond in the power of this scripture to guide you:
30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength.[a] 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself.[b] No other commandment is greater than these.”
So thank you, Boss. I have received this invitation as a gift.
Do I have thoughts swirling? Yes.
Will I publish them? Quite Possibly!
Every single one of them? We hope not!
Enjoy the silence, friends. I encourage all my colleagues who wrote extensively at General Conference to the same practice.