Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Personal Reflection...

I had the opportunity last week to see a different kind a race. It was a whole series of boat races among rowers. Some just involve single rowers, some a pair of rowers, others a whole team. What really impressed me was to see the teams all working in synchronized movement. Perfectly timed, it produced powerful force to move the boats forward. Most of the rowers had their backs toward the finish line, but one member of the team had to stay focused on where they were going.

This experience happened right after General Conference in Ft. Worth, TX. While the people of The United Methodist Church are not in total agreement on every issue that confronts the church, four areas of focus were lifted before us where it is believe the whole church can pull together. Developing leaders, new churches for new people, Global Health and Ministry in partnership with the poor. Despite late evenings of wrangling with amendments to the substitute motion and all that, it seemed as we left that everyone is willing to pick up their oar and pull in this new direction.

The quadrennial budget for the church, presented on the last day of General Conference, was passed with an affirmative vote of 96%. Another strong indication that we’re focused and all ready to pull on the oars and move ahead. It’s what we hope for when we talk about the connectional giving that will make the shared ministry of this denomination possible. Great things are accomplished by the people of The United Methodists Church when we know where we are going and can clearly articulate how our pulling together can make a difference.

When we are pulling together, we can bring new, young leaders into the church. When we are pulling together, we can start new churches to reach new people. When we are pulling together we can reach out to those who live in the grip of poverty. When we pull together, we can bring an end to diseases like malaria.

--Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Communications Ministry, United Methodist Communications

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