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What That Bishop Said Yesterday

May 12, 2016

May 10 was the start of the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church.

An early part of this event is called The Episcopal Address, preached this time by Bishop Gregory V. Palmer of the United Methodist Church in Ohio. He was our bishop here in Illinois for a while.

Great guy, and here’s an example of why I say this (highlights are mine) —

The bishop shared a piece of Jewish mysticism that says each of us has an angel going ahead of us. As we move toward others, the angels announce, “Behold, the image and likeness of God!”

Palmer asked, “Can we use that to shape our lives?”

He called for a movement toward redemption and reconciliation as we say to one another, “Come close to me.”

As his message drew to a close, Palmer landed squarely in the Book of Discipline and the mission of the United Methodist Church: to make disciples for the transformation of the world.

He outlined and reinforced Paragraph 122, which provides the nuts and bolts of how we make disciples for the transformation of the world: we proclaim, lead, nurture, and send.

“This is a holistic mission–not one part can be left out,” he said.

Palmer termed it a “holy, urgent and crucial calling” and exhorted the delegates not to demur, disobey or resist this holy calling.

He asked: “Will we go?”

The bishop pressed on, insisting that the church has everything we need.

“We don’t need more information, more slogans,” he said. “We do need trust and obedience.”



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