At the heart of Methodism is the uniting of vital piety and social holiness. We accomplish this by practicing the Rule of Discipleship with personal acts of compassion and devotion; and communal acts of justice and worship. With these acts, we grow in our ability to love God with all our heart, soul and mind; and our neighbors as ourselves. As a vital part of our spiritual journey, we practice the means of grace, which include Bible study, prayer, fasting, healthy living, celebrating Communion, visiting the sick and those in prison, feeding the hungry, seeking justice, working to end oppression, and more. In these practices, God works in and through us.
Eternal Word whose love never fails: thank You for the gift of Your Presence and for allowing Your breath to flow through Your creation. In this moment, inspire our ways of learning through earnest fervent prayer and let our daily living reveal You everywhere. Transform the yearnings of Your people through the power of Your Holy Spirit and grant us the strength and wisdom needed to enact the changes You will for each one of us this day. Let Your will be ours. We ask it all in the Name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
VIDEO CONTENT - Video will be available on 5/30
Video with Rev. Jessica Hayden and Rev. Travis Knoll.
Rev. Hayden is pastor of Old Otterbein UMC in Baltimore, Md., and chairperson of the Conference Discipleship Council. Rev. Knoll is pastor of Hunt’s Memorial UMC in Riderwood, Md.
HEAD & HEART DISCUSSION
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us —
yes, establish the work of our hands. So be it, Amen. – Psalm 90:17
PRAYER AND PATHWAY TO JOURNALING
In your journal this week, we invite you to answer the traditional questions below. We also invite you to dig more deeply into discipleship.
“By ‘means of grace,’ I understand outward signs, words, or actions, ordained of God, and appointed for this end, to be the ordinary channels whereby God might convey… preventing, justifying, or sanctifying grace.
“I use this expression, ‘means of grace,’ because I know none better; and because it has been generally used in the Christian church for many ages; -- in particular by our own Church, which directs us to bless God both for the means of grace, and hope of glory; and teaches us, that a sacrament is ‘an outward sign of inward grace, and a means whereby we receive the same.’
“The chief of these means are prayer, whether in secret or with the great congregation; searching the Scriptures; (which implies reading, hearing, and meditating thereon;) and receiving the Lord's Supper, eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Him: And these we believe to be ordained of God, as the ordinary channels of conveying his grace to the souls of all.”