Dear Hopewell UMC Community,
Please find a letter that was written by the College of Bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction, of which our church is a part. I have been asked to share this with the congregation in the midst of these challenging times in our country.
In lieu of reading it in Sunday worship, I have decided to email this letter out for you to read on your own time. In addition, we will have hard copies available for anyone who does not use email. On Sunday, we will dedicate a moment in our service to pray especially for the human beings affected by the Executive order on immigration. We will also pray for the leaders of our country, as they seek to make the best possible decisions for the health, safety, and well-being of this country and those around the world. It is our duty and responsibility as Christ’s followers to pray for all human beings in their suffering and struggle.
As your pastor, it is important to me that you all understand that in sending this email, I am not making a statement against a particular political party, voting decision, or leadership position. Neither is the conference making such a statement. This has been emailed to each of you for two reasons:
1. I was asked to communicate this to our congregation by Bishop John Schol, the bishop of the Greater NJ Annual Conference, as the official stance of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
2. As a reminder that our allegiance is not to a specific political agenda or party line. As the Church, our allegiance has always been and will always reside with Jesus Christ who reminds us, “That what you do not do for the least of these, you do not do for me.” (Matt. 25:45) This is a theme that threads Scripture from beginning to end, and it is this thread that unites us as one creation under God. As Christians, we are called to make decisions about everything that happens in this life through this worldview and we each must decide how best to live out Christ’s command to love thy neighbor. It is possible to do that as either political party. And it is imperative that we do this together in the community with one another.
I am happy to answer any questions or have conversation with those who would like to discuss this letter. Please email me or see me Sunday to set up a time to meet in person.
Thank you for your time. Many blessings to you all.
Read here: Bishops Letter