Praying our way forward

As many of you are aware, our United Methodist Church stands in a place where there are complex questions begging for answers. The Council of Bishop’s Commission on the Way Forward seeks to explore the potential future of our denomination in light of General Conference and subsequent annual, jurisdictional and central conference actions.

Although we may differ in our opinions on a variety of social, political and theological concerns, the people of the United Methodist Church have also agreed in the power of prayer. We want our Church, and the Commission on the Way Forward, to be grounded in prayer. The Praying our Way Forward initiative invites the whole Church in the work of immersing the Commission’s efforts in prayer.

The Missouri Annual Conference has identified the week of September 17-23 to come together in prayer. A number of resources for this initiative have been developed and can be found at In particular, we are invited to identify an hour (or two) during this week to set aside in dedicated prayer for this purpose.

I have requested the 9-10 a.m. slot on Sunday, Sept. 17. During our worship that morning at Amazonia, we will offer special prayer on this important work. Our prayer focus will be two-fold: We are praying that God will help us to fulfill the mission of the church, and we are praying to be one in Christ.

The challenges ahead for us are considerable, yet in love and in prayer together we stay the course set by God to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”