Day 1 – Day of Prayer

Today was a beautiful day of prayer, the culmination of a multi-year process of Praying our Way Forward. In order to prepare ourselves for the legislative process that will begin tomorrow, we needed to pause in order to thank God for the many ways in which we are making a difference in our world through the ministries of The United Methodist Church.

The day was divided into four sections, as we celebrated the ministries and missional challenges of four different parts of our United Methodist connection: Europe and Eurasia, Africa, the United States, and the Philippines. What a wonderful time of praying and singing in different ways and languages, moving to various prayer stations, and witnessing God at work in other parts of the world.

Two parts of the day were particularly meaningful. When our Filipino bishops spoke of their country’s missional needs, including increasing poverty, climate change, human rights, violence against children, migration, overseas Filipino workers, and extra judicial killings, they also cited our United Methodist Social Principles, “We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world. We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world.” 

The other moment came after lunch, when we took time to recognize and support the LGBTQ community, whose lives and ministries will be affected by the decisions that are made at General Conference. It was a powerful moment when our LGBTQ delegates stood in the center of the plenary hall and were surrounded by those who sang, 

I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Stand with me, agree with me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is God’s will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
I pray for you, You pray for me.
I love you, I need you to survive.
I won’t harm you with words from my mouth.
I love you, I need you to survive.
It is God’s will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.

Tomorrow we begin the legislative process and accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. As a reminder, please check out the Iowa Conference news website about the 2019 General Conference, gc2019.iaumc.org. You can not only read updates but can also find a link to the livestream.