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Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities

by | Oct 5, 2015 | Gun Violence Awareness

Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

Grace and peace to you in the name of the One who proclaims the advent of peace!

GBCS imageRecently, I sent a message to you in response to the shooting of innocent persons that took place in Roseburg, Oregon. Included in my message was a call to action which among other things, asked for commitments from congregations of our Desert Southwest Conference to engage in a Bible study. The study I am recommending is an excellent resource offered by the General Board of Church and Society, written by Bill Mefford, Director of Civil & Human Rights. This resource is entitled, “Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities.” I recommend the Bible study as a means to begin conversations about a very difficult issue to help us gain a better perspective of the complexity of the questions that emerge following violence in our communities. “Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities” is available free and downloadable along with my message which calls us to action at http://desertconnection.org/call-to-action-against-gun-violence/ .

As of this writing, I am pleased that there are already 12 congregations that have covenanted with me to engage in this study. If you are ready and willing to make this commitment and join the 12 congregations and me, please write to me at bishop@dscumc.org and let me know of your pledge to lead in this way.

I also want to share with you that the staff of the Conference Center is being invited to participate in the Bible study. Co-leading this study with me will be Christina Dillabough and Anthony Tang. We are inviting all staff members and others who work at the Conference Center to join us for this important conversation.

As you engage in this Bible study, you will want to include important additional information, available through a variety of sources. We have compiled a short list of some of the articles and informational pieces that may contribute to your conversation as you contemplate what God’s Word says about the violence and the senseless loss of life that we are experiencing almost daily. Additionally, some among the participants in the Bible study may have personal experiences that they may be willing to share.

My hope is that by engaging in conversation and prayer about the disparity between the Kingdom of God, as Jesus proclaimed it, and the reality of death and injury as we experience it, we might be proponents of meaningful change toward a better world. Conversations begun as a result of a Bible study may lead to the change we yearn for. Consider the dialogue around “Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities” as a beginning which may well lead to more thoughts, discussion, prayer, and action.

Let’s be a part of the change; and let it be in the name of Christ!  Please let me know your thoughts and your actions and how I can be of support in your ministries of peace!

Blessings,

Bishop Bob Hoshibata

 

 

 

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