Jan. 9, 2020
Beloved in Christ,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I am writing from India where I have been traveling with young people, including two youth from New England, on the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s 2020 Mission of Peace. The MOP was created to build bridges between Christians around the world. I am so grateful for your support of MOP and for your prayers as we journey.
Even on this pilgrimage we can’t help but aware of the political unrest happening in the world; we know that conflict and turmoil are daily life for many … violent military actions, natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Australia, a plane crash that killed nearly two hundred people, and countless other incidents. In the midst of all of this, the division in our beloved United Methodist Church became front page news.
Even here in India, people are asking “What does this news about The UMC mean for us?”
What it means for them – and for all of us – is, of course, unknown.
Media reports made the Protocol on Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation sound like a conclusion or a “done deal,” but it is not. It is just one possible path forward for our denomination.
It was formed by a small but diverse group of UMC leaders. Just as with other plans that have emerged since February 2019, it will have to be submitted as legislation to the 2020 General Conference in May, where it will be up to the delegates to discern if this is the direction we should take.
There is much work ahead in these next few months for the 862 delegates (six from New England) to discern all the legislation and prayerfully consider what God is calling us to do and be as United Methodists. Let us offer them our prayerful support as we undertake our own discernment about how to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to read the Protocol and submit questions you have to the mediation team. You can also watch the livestream discussion at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, on the United Methodist News website and Facebook page. Find all the details here.
These seem like extraordinary times. But even in these anxious days, our faith guides us. May we hold one another in prayer and Christian love.
In Christ's love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar