As our education programs wind down for the summer, we all should thank the teachers who have engaged our children, youth and adults to build relationships with us and deepen our faith. God has worked through many in our ministry to grow our faith, challenge our living, broaden our awareness, build our character, and call us into action. So, thank you, teachers, for letting God work through you this year.
Our denomination’s General Assembly theme this year encourages all of us to “Abound in Hope”. Here are some thoughts in the material Tami is reviewing before she leaves for General Assembly:
“What happens at General Assembly and what happens at home are related because the same people who sit in the plenary hall also sit in church pews. The same people who debate issues around justice build Habitat houses. The same people who wrestle with how to help people in conflict in another part of the world also wrestle with how to stop violence in their own communities. It is the same people with the same faith who pray, study the Bible, and sing hymns of faith.
“That faith is lived out in individual lives and in the community we know as church. It is in the living out that we find the courage, the love, and the faith to abound in hope.”
Commissioners and advisory delegates are invited to reflect on some questions as they prepare for the assembly. Let’s join those at General Assembly in reflecting on these questions as well:
1. We all have a story of faith. Where does your story encounter hope?
2. The story of the church is following the Lord who journeys before us. What does it mean to follow the Lord?
3. How does your church community make room for people to share their stories of faith? How can we listen to the stories of people who are not in the church?
I know without a shadow of a doubt that we all have answers to these questions, and it is always a joy to hear the story of faith of people in the church and outside of it as well. I’m thankful for the ways our teachers have helped us discover and live those answers and the many ways our ministry as a whole continues to encourage people to answer those questions in their lives. I look forward to hearing your story sometime and hope you will join me in praying for the people at General Assembly as they seek God’s will for our life and ministry together.