Monday, June 3, 2013

A Risk of Faith

And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. For she thought to herself, "If I can just tough his clothing, I will be healed." Mark 5: 25-28, New Living Translation

I was reminded of this scripture as I prepared to make a journey to Africa. The trip itself was a blessing. I was able to attend and participate in the African United Methodist Clergywomen's Consultation at Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. I saw firsthand the powerful Christian witness the University itself represents, and met young people from across the continent, across language groups and across cultural groups. All were brought together to be educated and to be ambassadors of mutual respect, peace and excellence in leadership. The clergywomen who participated in the consultation represented some of the finest leadership in our connection. And they were led with gentle but undeniable power by Bishop Joaquina Nhanala – the first African woman elected as a Bishop in the continent of Africa.

Women of the world face special risks
But my trip also reminded me of something very sad. In preparation for this event, I researched issues facing women in Africa, and it became clear that the same challenges faced by other women around the globe do indeed continue to affect and impact women everywhere who serve God in the Church.  Although men experience some of the same difficulties – there are some crimes which particularly devastate women and children.

Take the risk to reach out and help heal others
We celebrate the places God has made it possible for the gifts of women to be shared with our nations and our world. But we have a long way to go to end domestic violence, human trafficking, sexism, and poverty in our state and nation, as well as around the globe. It is our faith that empowers us to take the risk to reach out for healing, wholeness, and shalom for ourselves and all persons.

As we continue to try to help others, let us look in the places we have not yet gone – finding ways to participate in creating safe environments where those who are vulnerable can find God’s love through our care.

Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague." (Mark 5: 34, The Message)

Where can we create safe environments for the vulnerable right here in Wisconsin?

--Bishop Linda Lee, former Bishop of the Wisconsin Episcopal Area

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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