The future story of the United Methodist movement is not a fact. It is a decision. To claim our participation in the story of God’s redemption for our time and place we will do well to release ourselves to the custody of the Spirit. The Spirit will undoubtedly invite us to review our belief and action in both constructive and critical ways. The Spirit will speak the story of our future through those with hearts turned to prayer. With minds attuned to the wisdom of Scripture. With tradition, reason, and experience. With voices employed in holy dialogue. And with hands at the ready to do the work of love.
The Divine imagination is redemptive. With God, the United Methodist covenant community can move into the future guided by the following values:
Our hopes for the United Methodist Church are not for the sake of the Church but for the sake of the world. We will, by grace, make our way to the alley and the prairie, the far shores and rowdy bars, the dark corners and church altars. This future will take shape messily and in imperfect measure.
But Christ does not wait until we do things right to call us to take action. We are called to go in His name to offer the stuff of heaven to transform the world even when we are yet sinners. In doing so, we each will also be transformed. May it be so.