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Leading the Laity: No Room for distractions

Posted: January 2 2024 at 11:48 AM
Author: Eugene Williams, NIC Conference Co-Lay Leader


Sisters and brothers, what a privilege it was to experience anew another season of Advent. We celebrated the coming of the Christ Child and enjoyed all the gifts, presents and love that were shared.  

And now we embark upon a brand-new year; one that we never saw before and did nothing to merit. But God! Indeed, but God; whose grace and mercy endureth forever. But despite these blessings, we enter 2024 with all of its challenges and uncertainty. We continue with our efforts to recover from the grief of disaffiliation and to plan for the yoking of conferences and assignment of a shared bishop. Add to that the General Conference delegates’ consideration of a proposal for regionalizing The United Methodist Church and the Council of Bishops’ recommendation for a special session of General Conference in 2026. 

Stay focused 

There is a lot coming our way in 2024. But we can make no room for distractions. Above all, we must stay true to the mission before us. We are to follow Jesus and love each other as we endeavor to add daily to His church by making disciples for Christ.  

There is no room for the distractions of the ongoing trials and prosecutions or the upcoming elections. We can’t be distracted by wars and rumor of wars, nor the proliferation of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. No room for distractions of hate, racism, and disrespect or anything that separates us from the love of God.  

Let us embrace the Rule of Christ and take everything to the Lord in prayer. (For a description of the Rule of Christ, developed by United Methodist Deacon Terry Gladstone, click here.) 

The Board of Laity will be hosting Laity Convocation on Feb. 10 at First United Methodist Church in Belvidere. The theme is “Growing Together in Love: Learning to Have Courageous/Respectful Conversations.”  

This will be an in-person event only. Please join us as we embrace the intentionality of unity through prayer, communication, and interactions with each other. 

Let us lean into 2024 with the Light of the World, that we might illuminate the darkness of divisiveness, despair, and uncertainty. Jesus is the light of the world and there is no room for distractions. The Board of Laity continues to pray for a year filled with good health and prosperity of Christ for all. Blessings. 

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