From the Editor (July/August 2017)

I was baptized United Methodist and baptized my son United Methodist. I was married in a United Methodist church and went to a college with United Methodist ties. From Sunday school to youth group to youth leader to annual conference delegate to volunteer camp counselor to member of my conference’s young adult ministry, communications commission and board of ordained ministry—The United Methodist Church has been a big part of my life. Now I am blessed to work for one of its agencies and to share the work of its women organized for mission, a job opening I was alerted to by a new friend in—you guessed it—a United Methodist church I’d begun attending after moving to New York City. I love this Church. I care deeply about its future.

I have a feeling this church is important to many of you, too. Keep the church in your heart and prayers by joining the church in Praying Our Way Forward, offering prayers for guidance as a bishops’ commission comes up with some ideas for how our church can avoid schism in the face of seemingly insurmountable differences. I’m not asking you to pray for the discontented to remain silent. I am asking you to pray for us to follow Christ’s model of love and bravery as we come together, united, to be the Church for the transformation of the world.

I am white, married, college-educated, a U.S. citizen, earn a living wage and live in a state that believes in funding social programs and supporting women’s health. I live with privilege others don’t. But even I still need this church. And the world needs us to be God’s church.

One of our denomination’s greatest strengths is its worldwide connection and even its diversity of opinion (when shared out of love). These are things worth praying and fighting for. Learn more at UMC.org/who-we-are/commission-on-a-way-forward and UMCPrays.org. The church needs your faith, hope and love in action.

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About Tara Barnes

editor of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women.
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