Today's Lectionary Text
Micah 6:8And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.
In November 2007 while serving as Hutchinson District Superintendent I had a once in a lifetime privilege. A global convocation was called for all Bishops, District Superintendents and Conference Council Directors in the United Methodist Church. A gathering of worldwide leadership executives, if you will, of our UMC was never conducted in recent times. So, we gathered from around the globe at Lake Junaluska North Carolina and spent time in worship, sharing best practices, learning, discerning and strategizing. It energized me to be in conversation with other leaders from around the world as we spoke of our responsibilities, current realities, the future and common strategies to promote a vital, mission-based church.
An initiative that came out of that meeting created an easily understood and common strategy for all United Methodist congregations around the world to promote in each of our leadership ministry locations. And so, we returned to our respective conferences, districts and mission fields and shard with pastors and churches under our responsibilities “The Three Simple Rules of Being a United Methodist” (developed by the late Bishop Reuben Job). Remember them: 1) Do No Harm, 2) Do Good, 3) Stay in Love with God. (I believe these rules can flow from our Micah 6:8 scripture) In the months that followed it was energizing for me to share “The Three Simple Rules” with each congregation and pastor I visited in the Hutchinson District. It gave us all a common goal, language and practice based on relationships that would be a focus around our global UMC. That was 13 years ago. And much has changed and transpired in our church, society and world.
This month we are living in the tension of these pandemic times, filled with choices, both individually and in our congregations, regarding reopening while maintaining safety for all. We also are regularly reminded of the divisions in our nation politically, economically and socially and even our churches. And the tragic event in Minneapolis and its consequences reminds us of our wounded nation. Add to this the ongoing violence and dis-respect toward people who we may fear as “the other” -- and we are crying out “God help us.”
I believe this month more than ever we need to recommit to making known and practicing “The Three Simple Rules” of our UMC tradition. There is purpose, power and transformation when we follow them and base our faith first on relationships. Together let’s be instruments promoting faith communities and a world committed to a path (rules) purposing to: Do No Harm, Do Good, and Staying in Love with God. Let it be a spiritual tattoo on our hearts and minds.
-Rev. Rick Saylor
Clergy and Congregational Coach
Prayer for Reflection
Eternal God, God of this month of June, feel our troubledness and hear our frustrations as we live into this month and all that weighs upon us. We know it also weighs upon You. In this Pentecost season give us a double portion of Your Spirit so we may act with compassion, courage and faith in every relationship and in all we do. Amen.
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