Bishop Michael Curry
Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 9:30am - Livestream Service
“Eternal God, out of whose mind this great cosmic universe, we bless you. Help us to seek that which is high, noble and good. Help us in the moment of difficult decision. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a brother/sisterhood that transcends race or color.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear SDUMC Family,
As your pastor, I have had numerous times of prayer and discussions with colleagues, friends, and some of you as we witness the horrors of racism plaguing our country and world. We begin of course in grief, in prayer, listening for God’s voice, and straining to hear the pain in the hearts of all God's people. It is time, as on that first Pentecost, for the Church to be the Church and to share God’s unconditional love with all people.
The Church has always been looked to in times of crisis for moral leadership. To truly open our Bibles and share the great commandment found in John 13:34-35 and not just read it but live it. In Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, some religious people walked on by; but one stopped to help (Luke 10:29). When something is not of God, we speak up; we do something. We do so peacefully, and full of love. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'”
I know many are asking, “What can we do?” It is not like making a donation or saying a prayer or any one thing is going to bring the needed change overnight. I pray we can begin by listening. Listen to someone who may have a different story than your path of life. Let us begin to dialogue with others, stay together sharing for more than one study, listen some more, learn, and share life together. I invite you to take a first step with me. This week I have been working with SDIMA (San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association) to plan a vigil for Monday (more information on the side of this note) as a first step. Rosa Parks shared, “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.” SDIMA will be planning other events in the coming days.
What can we do? My answer at the moment would be Everything We Can Possibly Do. Where do you walk, have coffee, relax? Whom do your children and grandchildren play with? Where do you shop? How do you read or watch? How do you engage in conversations about the complexities of life with your friends? Or at home? The United Methodist Church has put together a resource to help discover ways that you can stand against racism at http://UMC.org/EndRacism. Ask questions. Rev. Chelsea and I have been talking about some studies, books, and other opportunities that we will share this summer and, in the days, to come.
God asks us to be responsible, to act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, love others, let our lights shine, and never give up. Pondering this, I’m reminded of Dr. King's wisdom: "Cowardice asks 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks, 'Is it right?' There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but because one's conscience tells one that it is right.”
I hope you will join us on our Livestream at 9:30 a.m. or later in the day through the link that is emailed out each Sunday. We will continue to share a message of Unity through God’s love and hope this Sunday. We have a special guest speaker and musician that will join me on Sunday morning. This Sunday we will also share in Communion – the meal that Jesus gave us to bring all people together – during our Livestream Worship and at the Drive-In Service at 5:30 p.m. (read more about Communion below this message).
Please know during all the turmoil in our communities, country, and the world I pray for each of you daily!
Grace, Peace, and Prayers, John