Radical Hospitality – Life in Community – The Loving Community

Holy Week – 2 Weeks before CT Meeting: 

“A key New Testament metaphor for the church is as the body of Christ.  Thus, if God is love, and Christ is God, then the church is the love of Christ embodied in the world.  At its best, the church is a place where the Holy Spirit is both present and seen to be present.  It shows God’s love in its daily life through its words and actions.  It is a loving community.” – The Wesleyan Way: A Faith that Matters (p. 34)

Our prayer is that all Connectional Table Members, Friends and Guests would do our best to be “the loving community” Christ has called us to be when we come together at the CT meeting in a few weeks.  The reality is that loving communities sometimes have disagreements, and love doesn’t mean that we ignore pain, frustration, and anger in our connection.  Acknowledging the rising discussions that are happening across official and unofficial channels on human sexuality and the diversity of perspectives in our Church, we are entering into a dialogue that is wrought with a multitude of perspectives from across our connection that has been the source of this pain, frustration, and anger in our denomination.  Many have felt loved and many have felt unloved by actions and inactions of members of the body of Christ.  And so, we approach this meeting with hope and prayer that the Holy Spirit might be present and be seen as present in the midst of our meeting together and in our conversations.

How do we “love one another?”  How will we offer radical hospitality as Christian United Methodist to one another?  We would ask that all CT members, staff, official guests, unofficial guests and all those who call themselves Christian United Methodists be those offering radical hospitality by sharing God’s love in our intentional and unintentional actions.  As we live-stream a panel discussion on human sexuality as a portion of our CT Meeting on Tuesday morning, our hope is that CT participants both online and offline could show one another and others who might be observing our actions what “the gracious love of Christ” looks like.  May the Holy Spirit bring out the best of the best actions and attitudes in the church as we seek to be together in Chicago on April 28-29th.  Let us be sure to prepare our hearts and our souls for this time by committing to prayer, searching the scriptures and fasting.

With God’s Grace and Love,

Bishop Bruce Ough, Chairperson of the CT

Rev. Amy Valdez Barker, Exec. Secretary of the CT

Monday – Pray for all CT Members
Tuesday – Search the Scriptures: Read Matthew 28
Wednesday – Pray for the Bishops and General Secretaries of The UMC
Thursday – Participate in a Maundy Thursday Service in a UMC (If able, go to a different church than your home church to experience a different tradition.)
Friday – Participate in a Good Friday Service in a UMC (FAST for 24 Hours)
Saturday – Serve God by serving others (Volunteer in a food bank or mission ministry in your local church * and beyond.)

Monday – Pray for all guests joining the CT Meeting
Tuesday – Search the Scriptures: Read 1 Corinthians 13
Wednesday – Pray for the clergy and laity of The UMC
Thursday – Pray for the UMW World Assembly in Kentucky and the nearly 6,000 participants.
Friday – Search the Scriptures: Read John 17
Saturday – FAST and PRAY (For 24 Hours – or as your body will allow.)
Sunday – CT Meetings Begin (with committee pre-meetings)

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