A Moment for Mission
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22b-23a, NRSV
The words of the Apostle's Creed are familiar to most of us. This creed is not exclusive to United Methodists; in fact, it points us to be more inclusive of our fellow Christian believers. "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints …." The word "catholic" in this creed also means "universal" or "general." When we consider that the universal church stretches beyond the boundaries of nation and denomination, the body of Christ becomes much larger than we might usually imagine.
Whether this large body with many members is united is another matter entirely when we consider the many divisions between Christians within individual churches, along denominational lines, and even in the different practice and expression of our faith from nation to nation or across continents. In The United Methodist Church, we do the holy work of fostering unity within this grand universal church through the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund.
This fund supports the relationships between the United Methodist Church and other churches so that in the face of global or local crisis or conflict, we can act as a unified body in our common witness, service and efforts towards peace and justice in the world. Our apportionments make this important work possible.
Because of your support, we continue to stand besides Christians around the globe as a witness to the unity of Christ's church.
God, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. May the fruits of love and peace grow in our hearts that we allow the Spirit to unite us to do your holy work. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday After Pentecost - Gracious God, in great wisdom, you have devised plans for each of us. Thank you for giving us gifts, abilities, and resources to contribute to the flourishing of the church of Jesus Christ. Strengthen our faith, so that we will be will be more like your servant Elisha. When you call us to a new mission or ministry, help us to respond with joy and perseverance. As we dedicate our monetary gifts to your service, we recommit ourselves to the work you call us to do for the sake of Christ, our Lord. Amen. (1 Kings 19:15-21)
Charles Henry Brent, an Episcopalian bishop wrote, "The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go limping until Christ's prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks."
The Interdenominational Cooperative Fund of The United Methodist Church supports this important endeavor of unity in Christ across denominational lines and around the world. This fund enables United Methodists to have a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical and interreligious organizations.
One is the Pan-Methodist Commission. Founded in 1985, it includes African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Union Methodist Protestant, Christian Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist and Union American Methodist Episcopal churches.
Whether we stand together for peace and justice in the world or the global well-being of children or among our brother and sisters with our shared Wesleyan heritage, unity among Christians is the visible work of Christ to the world around us. Please give generously!