Great Plains Daily Devotional for 6/1/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Craig Hauschild
Salina Trinity UMC
Salina District
Lori Persigehl
Salina Trinity UMC
Salina District
Nick Talbott
Salina University UMC
Salina District
Julie Truhlar
Bethany UMC
Talmage UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

JOHN 3:5-8

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit[a] blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Today's Devotional

Every year as Annual Conference rolls around I find myself thinking about how my own life has changed – over and over again – since the first Annual Conference I attended. Back then, I attended as the Lay Member from my home church. It was an exciting experience for me that marked a turning point in my journey as I began to understand the “mechanics” of the denomination and move toward answering the call from which I’d been running for many years.
Fast forward five years and I was attending Annual Conference in another conference, this time as the Student Local Pastor of a charge. That Annual Conference was a rude awakening as I went from having voting privileges on nearly anything on the agenda to having NO voting privileges at all. I remember literally sitting on my hands to keep from automatically lifting a hand on a vote.
Twenty-three Annual Conferences have come and gone since then. Each has marked changes as my journey continued through commissioning, ordination, new appointments, and eventually retirement. And, as we moved from Kansas East, Kansas West, and Nebraska, to Great Plains. I could feel God’s Spirit blowing through my life throughout all those years – and still do.
As I participated in this year’s Clergy Session last Tuesday, I was reminded yet again, that Annual Conference always brings changes to the lives of clergy and laity, alike. We elect new provisional and full deacons and elders. We recognize Local Pastors completing Course of Study. We honor the retiring class. We remember those faithful servants who have died since the previous Annual Conference session. Churches are discontinued. Appointments are fixed.
Jesus told Nicodemus that only God’s Spirit could change him into a child of God and give him new life. That same Spirit moves through us as we gather each year to do the business of the church – even when we are gathered loosely via webinar rather than in one place. That’s not to say that the Spirit always makes us comfortable. Sometimes we are blown in directions we don’t really want to go. But I do trust that God’s Spirit blows us in the direction that God wants us to go. Change happens – and change can be a good thing when we let the Spirit move us.
--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Send you Holy Spirit over and around us, O God. Move us in directions that are pleasing to you – even when that means the familiar changes. Amen.


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