Colleagues in Christ

Having recently returned from visiting family, I was re-introduced to the “dry heat” we all enjoy in parts of our conference. We experienced a phenomenon called “rain,” and seeing the weather fronts move through proved to be a tourist attraction for us.

While away, our thoughts were with all of those affected by the Goodwin fires, and thoughts continue to be with those affected by the fires throughout our conference and connection.

It is powerful to witness the response of congregations and colleagues in times of great need, and to witness this response again and again throughout our covenant connection.

We gain perspective out of such times of trial, and the truth that we are all children of God resonates in our hearts and minds

As we seek to be one, please be encouraged by the following:

“We live in a sharply divided world and there are those who seem to feed on and delight in driving wedges of division wherever they can. We see it in communities and we see it in congregations and denominations. One thing is obvious, and that is that those who seek to drive these wedges of division don’t hang around Jesus much. Jesus was not afraid to speak the truth no matter where that truth touched his listeners. But his life was given to heal the wounds of division, and his prayer recorded in John 17 is an emphatic reminder of his determination to see divisions healed and unity restored: ‘Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’ (John 17:11b). What would our world be like if this prayer of Jesus was answered today? What changes would we see in our communities and our congregations? We do not know all that would happen but we do know that the changes would be dramatic, life-giving, and liberating. Let us pray that the prayer of Jesus will be answered in our time and where we live. And then let us promise God and one another every day that each of us will become a living answer to this fervent prayer of Jesus. It will change our world!” – Rueben P. Job from When You Pray: Daily Practices for Prayerful Living

As our namesake, Jesus the Christ, prays for us, we follow this example and pray for one another, and this helps us recall our connection with one another as the Body of Christ.

Thank you for your selflessness in following the movement of the Holy Spirit on our journey together.

Thank you for “hanging around Jesus” and in so doing serving as a reminder of the depth of our connection as friends in Christ.

And thank you for your vulnerability in sharing from the depth of your souls with one another. That is the place where God speaks and creates and churns and moves us that, truly, “we may be one.”

Your good, faithful, faith-filled, and diligent work in the name of Jesus is appreciated more than you can imagine. Please never forget that truth.

We are in this together.
Neil Leftwich Signature

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