To my beloved community of faith, Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church,
When I arrived at Glenn in June of 2013, I found a community of faith dedicated to following the Great Commandment as taught by Jesus: to love God and love neighbor. This commitment was not just a slogan; it was not just a tag line to the church logo. I found in the people of this church a genuine desire to follow Jesus whom Scripture reveals shared the love of God with lepers, women, children, the lame, the poor, the rich, the empty, the full, the despised, the outcast, the Pharisee, the Samaritan, sinners, the righteous . . . the whole world.
This commitment to love God and neighbor has been evident in both word and deed. I have witnessed this church craft a statement and take an intentional stand for inclusivity of all who want to worship God; I have witnessed deep commitment to the care and protection of children in a world that seeks to ignore, exploit and abuse them; I have seen members stand up and stand in the rain to express deep belief in the sixth commandment; I have witnessed members wrapping their hearts and their arms around those grieving deep loss. This list of evidence could go on and on of the ways this community of faith has expressed its love of God and neighbor in a world that desperately needs to know and receive that love.
Regardless of how anyone voted yesterday, we woke up this morning in a world that still desperately needs to know and receive the love of God. There are those who will continue to be pushed to the margins; there are those who will continue to be singled out for their difference; there are those who will continue to face deep discrimination because of their skin color, their disability, their sexual orientation; there are those who will continue to need food, clothing, water, medical care; there are those who will still need words of hope and encouragement; there are those who will still need to know that they are not alone in this world; there are those who will still need the witness of God’s love.
I know that we will continue to be a community of faith loving God and loving neighbor. We need the church and the church needs us to do what we have been called to do—intentionally follow Jesus whom Scripture reveals shared the love of God with lepers, women, children, the lame, the poor, the rich, the empty, the full, the despised, the outcast, the Pharisee, the Samaritan, sinners, the righteous . . . the whole world.
Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.” Matthew 5: 14-16
How grateful I am to know that today and tomorrow and the day after, I serve with a community of faith who has such deep commitments.
Peace and grace,