“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:7-12 NIV
To all of my Edgemont Family,
Many of you have been like me these last several days; you have watched the recent general conference, through livestream, social media, or news releases and wondered what the future of the United Methodist Church would be. I know I watched as our people tore each other apart in the name of unity and moving forward. I am heartbroken that some feel excluded, that others feel patronized, and that this happened while the world watched. I truly do not know what to say other than I lament.
Yet, I have hope. I have hope because of passages like the one above. That before we loved God, God loved us enough to send us Jesus so that we might live and live out this love to others. My dear sisters and brothers at Edgemont, we have been given God’s love and have been called to share it. Not that it’s easy. Loving people is long, hard work. Love involves listening when we don’t want to, sticking around when it’s easier to go, bearing one another’s burdens. I believe we owe it to God who loves us to show this love to one another, especially those who are hurting and those we may disagree with. Whoever you are; LGBTQ people, conservative and liberal people, United Methodists both near and far, we love you and you are welcome here.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the uncertain future; I know I have. Yet, because of God’s love, we don’t have to be afraid. As this image of a verse from Lamentations reminds us, God’s love continues no matter what we face. We have been shown how we go forward. We love God and we love our neighbors. We look for ways to widen the circle of who our neighbor is. We listen to others. We have difficult, uncomfortable conversations. We share meals together. I pray that we as Edgemont can continue to grow as a place where all people can belong.
I am grateful to be your pastor and to get to serve with each of you; I love you all.