From the Conference Minister’s Heart

     by Heidi Regier Kreider, Conference Minister

Recently my attention has been drawn to stories in the news about various kinds of assemblies:

o   Black Lives Matter rallies in communities across the U.S.

o   A community cook-out hosted by the Wichita (KS) police to promote dialogue with Black Lives Matter leaders.

o   Funerals for victims of mass gun shootings and other forms of violence

o   Sing-along musical events – DALLAS SINGS / DALLAS STRONG and A BRIDGE OF SONG in Minneapolis, MN – planned to occur simultaneously in response to racially motivated violence

o   Political conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties

These gatherings reflect the turmoil and conflict of our world, struggles for power and justice, lament, anger and resistance.  They are also accompanied by hope, persistence, creativity and a pervasive longing for a better world.

As we anticipate our own upcoming gathering – WDC Annual Assembly, July 29-30 at Bethel College in Kansas – we are mindful of this wider context.  How is God calling us to be followers of Jesus in the midst of the complex struggles and currents of hope that surround us?

Our church assemblies may seem small and insignificant in comparison to events that make the national news and feature famous celebrities. We may wonder how we can make an impact in the face of the world’s problems.  So, as we gather for Assembly, let us hear the words of Jesus that shape our theme, Held Together in Mission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

Let us remember that Jesus is with us as we gather!  We assemble – and go forth into the world – not in our own power, but in the love, justice and strength of Christ.

God bless WDC, and God bless the whole world!