A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens … my ear to listen as those who are taught."
– Isaiah 50:4, NRSV
In our sacred texts, we read of prophets, priests, apostles and disciples who called believers together. These servant leaders acted in obedience by speaking on behalf of the one true God, carrying the word of Jesus Christ and testifying to the work of the Holy Spirit. Their words continue to call us together to action and to holy living.
In the early church, apostles like Paul maintained relationships by traveling and corresponding with the congregations under his care. Within those relationships, Paul encouraged churches to carry on the work of the gospel and reminded congregations when they failed to live out that gospel.
As with the early church, our United Methodist Church continues the call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This requires effective leaders who keep us united on the task at hand, as we navigate the world as the body of Christ.
Our United Methodist bishops have a special role of guiding our districts and congregations. This involves equipping them with leaders who help them to carry the unique call of each congregation in its diverse context of ministry. It is important that we continue to choose leaders who hold our churches accountable to the work of the gospel.
When we give to the Episcopal Fund though our congregation's apportioned giving, we support our bishops and their vital work.
Gracious God, we pray for those who serve you in leading the leaders of our churches. Grant them wisdom in word and action. May your spirit be their counselor as they oversee the work of the gospel. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Passion / Palm Sunday – Sixth Sunday in Lent - Faithful God, your Son Jesus reveals what it means to be a servant leader who trusts you fully. His steadfast obedience to your will cost him dearly. Yet through his amazing self-sacrifice, you bring healing, hope, and peace. During this week, help us to reflect your great love in Christ. Let our words and actions point to your grace. We present our tithes and offerings through the Prince of Peace. Amen. (Psalm 31:9-16 and Luke 19:28-40)
A sea captain must manage a ship's equipment and personnel and account for the wind and the waves that will affect the journey of the vessel, all while also setting the ship's course. In the same manner, our United Methodist bishops oversee the work of the gospel carried out by our churches. It is not the work of one person or even one congregation; it is the work of the entire body of Christ in action together. American author and sailor John Rousmaniere wrote, "The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself."
God calls our bishops to this work of setting the course and smoothing the path for our congregations to making disciples. Our bishops help us navigate the rough waters that come with the true work toward unity. We support our bishops when our congregation meets its Episcopal Fund apportionment at 100 percent. This fund pays our bishop's salaries, covers their office and travel expenses and provides pension and health-benefit coverage.