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July 28 – Seventh Sunday After Pentecost - WSF (Church and Society and Commission on Religion and Race)


"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus …, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught." —Colossians 2:6-7a, NRSV

United Methodism's North Georgia Annual Conference recently held two weekends of Lay Servant training delivered by the Rev. Neal Christie, assistant general secretary for education and leadership formation for the General Board of Church and Society. Lay Servants support the activities of local churches and the duties of the clergy and function as a resource for congregations.

Christie taught an advanced Lay Servants class on the United Methodist Social Principles. He focused on what United Methodists believe, why they believe it and how they put it into action based on their social teachings and social principles.

Participant Jeffrey Fuller said, "Social Principles are an active manner of calling people to discipleship. If Social Principles were practiced and upheld in every United Methodist church, this may eliminate many problems … and bring us together as a denomination. The United Methodist Church speaks firmly in favor of human rights, civil rights and sacred worth of all persons. How can we speak firmly in favor of these things and yet allow illegal discrimination within our denomination?

"In my walk as a disciple within The United Methodist Church, I can see God working through Social Principles in our daily interactions with each other, alongside the Bible as our compass. It is through Lay Servant ministry that I found my call for ministry."

Thanks to United Methodist support of the World Service Fund, the Board of Church and Society strengthens lay ministries across the connection.

—Adapted from article by Steven Orlowski, General Board of Church and Society website

Loving God, help us to live in Christ Jesus, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as we were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost Heavenly Giver of All Good Gifts, we ask you this morning to bless these tithes and offerings, which we give in humble gratitude. You have listened to us when we've prayed, and often we have been far more ready to ask than to listen for your answer. You know every need and every want. Loving God, like a parent, you love us enough to not answer every request, but to give instead that which will lead us to those choices that bring lasting joy. So, help us to fill every breath with gratitude! We pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Luke 11:1-13)

During the February 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, delegates struggled with the issues of ordaining individuals who are LGBTQIA and same-gender marriage. After the conference's decision, many in the church expressed a need for further, deeper conversation about the future of The United Methodist Church.

In response, the General Commission on Religion and Race created a study guide, along with a companion video series, to lead members and clergy into compassionate discussions, discernment and thoughtful planning so next steps toward action and healing can begin. The complete study guide for "Vital Conversations 4: Race, Culture, the Church and Human Sexuality" video series, 1–11, is now available as a downloadable pdf:

The video series and the study guide are timely resources for laity and clergy during the challenging months and days ahead for the church. Your congregation's support of the World Service Fund enables the General Commission on Religion and Race to nurture the church through helpful materials like these. Thank you!

— Adapted from General Commission on Religion and Race website