I have been working with a friend on the covenant below. This is Annual Conference Week, and I enter into it with a bit of anxiety about the future of the United Methodist Church. I remain confident and hopeful because of Embry Hills UMC and wanted to share this with all of you. Thank you so much for trusting me to be your pastor. The link is a way to sign the covenant and aggregate emails for a devotional written by various United Methodists in our conference.
“As a member of the United Methodist Church, a child of God, a Disciple of Jesus Christ, and a recipient of the Holy Spirit, I promise and vow to not speak negatively or bear false witness against anyone in our connection (Ex 20:16, Dt 5:20). I repent for the times I have done so (Lk 18:13, Jm 5:16). I covenant to be an instrument of peace (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi). I affirm my faith in God through the United Methodist Church (UMC Membership vows). I will resist the urge to live in the crisis of the urgent (Mt 6:34). I will resist the temptation to use the language of victimization when others talk about me (Mt 5:11-12, Rm 12:21). I will welcome the stranger, who visits in many forms, and in doing so may end up entertaining angels (Mt 25:35, Hb 13:12). I will leave room for the power of God to work in me and through me (Jn 3:30). I will leave myself open to the possibility that I may be wrong (Jm 4:10, Rm 12:3). I will strive and commit to doing good, do no harm, and stay in love with God at this session of Annual Conference and beyond (John Wesley’s Three General Rules).”