When the disciple Philip invited Nathanael to meet Jesus, his response was “Can anything from Nazareth be good?” (John 1: 46) When God sent Peter to meet Cornelius, the Italian soldier, God had to visit Peter with a vision and tell him three times to open his mind and heart to someone he considered an abomination, a non-Jewish person. (Acts 10:1-48) Prejudging people is not new.
ike many Americans, I have been shocked and deeply disturbed by the videos showing the mistreatment and ultimately the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans. While I knew that racism still exists in our society, the depth and breadth of it was a surprise. Like a fish in water, I assumed that everyone is treated the way I am. The cell phone videos and stories from one black person after another show that assumption is just not true. It became clear to me that part of Jesus’ call to love my neighbor included doing some hard self-reflection, learning, and action related to racial equality and justice.
From the very beginning of creation, God built in time to rest and renew. In the creation story in Genesis, God rested on the seventh day and blessed it as a day of rest. (Genesis 2:2-3) Later in the book of Exodus, God provided bread and meat for the people of God wandering in the desert and God made provisions to give them enough for 2 days on the sixth day so that they didn’t need to gather and cook on the day of rest. (Exodus 16:5)
The West District welcomes Betty Stewart, as the new Lay Servant Ministry Director for the district. An active member of Lakeview United Methodist Church in Sun City, Betty serves as a Stephen Minister. She is a Certifies Lay Speaker with a passion for working with Adult Education opportunities.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the hate crime causing George Floyd’s horrific death have brought our nation and our church to a tipping place. The Appointive Cabinet denounces the sin of systemic racism and commits to taking action to end a culture of white privilege in our society and in our church.