January 17, 2019
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
This new year is filled with new and fresh opportunities to share the immeasurable and gratuitous love of God in a fractured, hurting Church and world. In this season of Epiphany, I am reminded of the biblical story of the three magi who sojourned together with humility and courage to an unknown place in search for Christ, so they could worship him. They came bringing their best gifts as an offering to honor Christ – and an unwavering trust in the promise that Jesus Christ is God’s gift of love, light, hope and salvation for the world.
As the people called United Methodist, like the magi, we have been sojourning together, engaging in prayer, going deeper in dialogue, and exploring new possibilities of how to strengthen and maintain the unity and mission of the Church and maximize our witness in the world. We have dared to go into unfamiliar places and consider unknown paths, with humility and courage, in search of God’s wisdom and revelation in fulfilling God’s mission … our mission, To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.
And like the magi, as we prepare for the Special Session of General Conference and the days after, may we be committed to bring our best gifts … a praying spirit, a humble spirit, and a steadfast spirit … as an offering to honor Christ and the Church. May we have an unwavering trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to help us discover the gift of God’s grace to help us do what we are incapable of doing, to see what we cannot see, to hope where there is no hope, and to honor the Christ in each other!
Our journey continues after the February 23-26 Special Session of General Conference as we move forward with the mission of making disciples!
My office will provide a prayer that I am asking to be shared in every congregation during worship on Sunday, March 3. This prayer will be available the week of February 25.
I am calling all lay and clergy of East Ohio to attend one of the following informational gatherings led by me and members of the General Conference delegation. Specific locations will be announced soon.
|• Saturday, March 9||10:00 – 11:30 a.m.||Southern Region of the Conference|
|• Saturday, March 9||2:00 – 3:30 p.m.||Central Region of the Conference|
|• Sunday, March 10||4:00 – 5:30 p.m||Northern Region of the Conference|
We will present the facts of what happened at the Special Session (what decisions were made) and I will share how we move forward – what comes next – as we live into the mission of the Church which is, and will be, still yet alive!
I ask you to join me in prayer for the mission of our beloved Church and our way forward together. We know that through Christ all things are possible! I offer this prayer of Jesus as a word of hope and blessing!
“I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one. I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.” John 17:21-23
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Executive Secretary to the Bishop
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Local: (330) 499-3972
Toll Free: (800) 831-3972
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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