response: March/April 2020 Issue

Responsively Yours: A Call to Prayer

Responsively Yours: A Call to Prayer
Beaded pins created by Native American women artists to be given to General Conference 2020 delegates.

Prayer has always been a hallmark of United Methodist Women—for missionaries, for those who are suffering, for one other. We publish a Prayer Calendar—not only to share information about the mission work of United Methodist Women and the church but to invite one another to prayer. We send birthday cards to missionaries and deaconesses and home missioners not just so that those investing their lives in mission work are connected but to remind them that they are prayed for. I encourage you to lift up names of people and projects featured in the Prayer Calendar as you meet and to pray for them, privately and collectively. I find rest and strength in the confidence that you pray for me and the staff on a regular basis.

I have asked you to pray for the church before, and we have participated with others in prayer leading up to other General Conferences. I write this column asking again that we join our prayers together leading up to General Conference 2020. We will also prepare and work and participate, but we must not neglect to pray.

We do not pray thinking that it lies on us to remind God that the church is struggling to live out its commitments and will be addressing an assortment of plans and proposals in May. God knows this perfectly well, and I am confident that God is at work—in the world and in the church. We pray asking for wisdom, energy, conviction, discernment, compassion and clarity for each person participating in the General Conference and for the deliberations and decisions of the Conference. May we reflect the love and justice and faithfulness in which we are being shaped into the image of God.

I invite you to create a reminder to pray for The United Methodist Church each day between now and May 15 when the meeting of the General Conference will conclude and to continue praying each day after that as we live into the decisions and plans that are adopted. You might set an alarm on your phone, or pray for the spirit to flow when you drink the recommended glasses of water, or incorporate the word “pray” or the initials “GC” into your computer password so that logging in is a reminder to pray.

Another one of our hallmarks is to lift up the realities and the giftedness of marginalized persons and call the church to action and appreciation. This year we will be presenting the delegates with pins handmade by a variety of Native American beaders from all over the country, reminding the church of the presence of native people in our midst and continuing to live out the Act of Repentance that was part of the 2012 General Conference. We are very grateful to all the beaders who are participating, and we invite you to lift up the strengths as well as the needs of persons who are marginalized.

United Methodist Women with all its hallmarks— service, prayer, study, action, advocacy, leadership development and spiritual growth—is needed in the world and in the church. Let us stay grounded and true to our Purpose, following God’s call through times of uncertainty.

HARRIETT JANE OLSON
General Secretary
United Methodist Women
holson@unitedmethodistwomen.org

Posted or updated: 3/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
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