Story lies central in the heart of community — our personal stories are woven into our communal story. These stories form and shape our communal identity and sustain us in our life together. We share and live out our story through the gift of conversation, relating (relationship); “talking story” about the joys, celebrations, and blessings that enrich our lives. We also relate and share conversation about difficult concerns, issues and obstacles that challenge us. Conversation is key, especially in times of uncertainty and struggle, as we strive to live through the mire of fear and differences that threaten to divide and undo us. Community is an organism of living relationships that values and depends on all its parts to live.
As the community of the United Methodist Church we are presently facing a challenging issue that speaks to the heart of who we truly as the Beloved Community, the body of Christ, in the world. We are in the midst of conversation, “talking story” as to what our faith community is called to be as a welcoming and inclusive community of all people.
The General Conference, the legislative body of our United Methodist Church, has been in conversation through the “Commission on a Way Forward,” to examine thoroughly the issue of human sexuality, and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality. The Commission is also tasked with exploring options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.
We at Wesley seek to engage and share in this conversation as we discern what it means to be a truly Welcoming and Reconciling Congregation that embraces all people, each and everyone as God’s sacred creation. What is the definition of a Reconciling Congregation? In what ways are we presently modeling a Reconciling church? What does it mean for us to fully become a Reconciling Congregation — and what are we, individually and as a congregation, willing to sacrifice and commit to, in being and doing, as the beloved, welcoming and reconciling body of Christ? We invite you, members and friends of Wesley, to come and join in “talking story” together, as we discern these questions through “holy conferencing” conversations in the context of worship and prayer. God is present and longs to be in conversation with us. Please join us in worship on Sunday, October 1, at 9:30 a.m. Worship will conclude with our celebration of Holy Communion — on this World Communion Sunday, in Kimata Hall.
Please make every effort to attend.
Blessings always, Pastor Piula Alailima