In spite of widespread rumblings to the contrary, I do believe that these are very good times to be a United Methodist. God is on the move through this denomination and I get to see evidence of that every single day. Lives are being transformed and blessed through the ministries of our congregations. People are growing in their love of God and service to others. We offer something so distinctive that is not found in any other denomination, this Wesleyan movement driven by grace. The world urgently needs our unique combination of personal piety and social justice, a theology that engages head and heart, a spirituality that is demanding and grace filled. Said Baptist Tony Compolo: “I love the United Methodist Church because you care about people who will never set foot in your churches and you aggravate the ones who do.”
John Wesley had a burning passion for those alienated from church of his day—the poor, marginalized and oppressed. He knew that nobody could ever be excluded from the operation of God’s powerful grace, a grace that goes before us and lures us toward perfect love. If only we could reignite that passion to bless and help those whom God loves so much. Of course we do not think alike, and we never will. But if only we could love alike and model such love to a deeply fractured culture! Truly we could change the world. May God help us grow into the courageous and expansive love we find in Jesus Christ.