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Lenten Book Study - Part 2: Multiplying Love A Vision of United Methodist Life Together By Dr. Paul W. Chilcote
Episode 9611th March 2024 • Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble • Bishop Julius C. Trimble
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Bishop Julius C. Trimble is the Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Trimble has the personal mission to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential. It is his commitment to his personal mission that led Bishop Trimble to create the “To Be Encouraged” Podcast along with co-host Rev.Dr. Brad Miller.

Bishop Trimble says, “I am compelled by Jesus to share with you an encouraging word or two about Jesus, theology, the Bible, the pandemic, the environment, racism, voting rights, human sexuality, and the state of the United Methodist Church.”

To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble is to be published weekly and is available at www.tobeencouraged.com and all the podcast directories.

https://www.inumc.org/bishop/office-of-the-bishop/

Episode 097 is the recording of Bishop Trimble live teaching on the book "Multiplying Love A Vision of United Methodist Life Together" By Dr. Paul W. Chilcote. This podcast was recorded live on March 10, 2024 and is the first of four part Lenten Book study.

https://www.cokesbury.com/Multiplying-Love

Register for Upcoming Live Teaching by Bishop Trimble on the book "Mutiplying Love" over Zoom

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Transcripts

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So United Methodist and and around the Indiana conference,

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you're able to offer your insights to this conversation. We're going to

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be faithful to the time. We're going to start, and we're going to end on

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the times for which we have shared. I'll invite you to

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remain muted until Bishop invites us to unmute and

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share. To unmute, please raise your digital hand

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or wave your hand, and we will invite you to unmute. You

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are also able to utilize the chat feature. If you have

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a question or a comment that you would like for the collective to be

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aware of, please do not hesitate to utilize the

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we say we are listening, Bishop.

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Greetings. Greetings. Good afternoon, early evening to

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everyone, beautiful people of Indiana, and

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we, give thanks for this time together. We are we are in the

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2nd week of of our Lenten study of Multiplying Love,

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a Bishop of United Methodist Life Together. I wanna

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emphasize the the book itself. It's Multiplying

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Love, and the subtitle is A Vision of United

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Methodist Life Together. And we reflect that

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even as we pray our way towards the Holy Week,

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What does life together as United Methodist mean in this

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particular period of time? The character of a Methodist

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1742 from John Wesley. And in just a minute, I'll begin with

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prayer, and we'll look into chapter

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3 and 4. But in the character of a Methodist, which he

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says, Methodists are those who have the love of God shared abroad in

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their hearts by the Holy Ghost. What

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is the essence of our life in God? First

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John 4 19, we love because God

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first loved us. Now over the course of

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4 weeks, we're gonna hear the word love quite a bit and re

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repeat it in ourselves quite a bit because that is the essence

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of our life together and God according to the Trimble and

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according to Paul Chilcot's book. It was the

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favorite text of both John and Charles Wesley, 1st John

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4 19. We love because God first loved us.

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And here's the prevailing question I raised it last

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week. I think I will be raising it, doctor Fulbright, every week.

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What if the United Methodist Church were to establish

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a reputation as the most loving community

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in the United States, in the world?

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What if the United Methodist Church were to establish a reputation that we

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would be known for the most loving community in the United States

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or even across the globe. Let us pray.

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Loving god, for the gift of time and the gift of

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community and the gift of trust in you and trust

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in each other that we can journey together during this season of

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Lent, Help us to grow closer to you, oh god.

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Help us to find quiet moments and moments when we connect

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both with nature and with silence.

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Help us, oh god, not to just focus on things that we might have

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chosen to give up for the season of Lent, but

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our commitment to take on this

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book study during these 4 weeks together.

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Bless us as we journey deeper deeper into multiplying

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love. And help us, oh god, to participate in the

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future vision of The United Methodist Church, that

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indeed we might be known by our love and our commitment

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to the communities where we have been placed to serve. In Jesus'

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name, for all of God's beautiful people, those who are sharing

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tonight and those who could not participate, and for the places

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where we find ourselves in ministry. Amen.

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So good afternoon again, friends.

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Chapter 3, the title is why we need to

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embrace unity. Why we need to embrace

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United? Obviously, there is a a thesis

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that Paul Chilcot has that we do need to embrace unity.

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And even though this book was in response to another book several

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years ago written on why people should choose to

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leave the United Methodist Church, Chilcote and your bishop

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and most, if not all of us, we have already made a clear

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decision that the United Methodist Church is where we have cast our

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lot. They this is where we are living out our faith with Jesus

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Christ. So we are expressing and

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committing ourselves to a certain embracing of

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unity in Jesus Christ. So the so the,

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centering scripture is from Ephesians 4 1 through 6 on page

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33. I will read it, make several

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other comments, and then allow us to

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to feed it to be be to comment in the chat or

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either to make some commentary based upon your own reading. My

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hope is that by now, most of us have started reading the book

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or had got a hold of it in in digital form

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or the actual physical book. And so we are

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now journeying together reading the same

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material. Ephesians 4 1 through 6 for the

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common English Trimble. Therefore, as a

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prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as

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people worthy of the call you have received from God.

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Conduct yourselves with all humility,

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gentleness, patience. Accept each

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other with love. Make every effort to preserve

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the unity of the spirit with the peace that ties you together.

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Here's the the good stuff. You are one

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body and one spirit, just

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as god also called you in one hope.

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There is 1 lord, 1 faith, 1

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baptism, and one god and father of all who

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is overall through all and in

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in all. Love is the essence of our

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unity. So how do we make space

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for our diversity? Paul says Paul

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says, god is over all, through all, and

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in all. Chilcot, the author, says how we use

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doctrine is as important as the doctrine that we use.

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So his his contention, it is not so

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much what we memorize as as right

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doctrine, but how we live out the things that we declare

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that we believe. Jesus does not give I've said this, and I I

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preached this morning in Southern Indiana.

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And John god does not give us a confusing or a

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conflicting message. In John 17, we know this,

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friends. Jesus prays for the unity of the church,

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and he prays for us today. He prays for the present, prays for

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his disciples, prays for the church, and he prays for those who will follow,

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meaning the church today, which would include the United Methodist

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Church. So we've talked about this at the first

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lesson as well, that when Jesus brought his disciples

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up close, he shared the vision the

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vision for his disciples and the vision for us. And that vision was

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that we would indeed be we would manifest love in our relationships

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and that the unity of the church, according to the

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gospel of John, is rooted in god's

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unity. And what is the essence of that unity?

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Chilcot and would argue that Jesus is clear

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that the essence of that unity is love that we have one for

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another. So as you have been able to embrace

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the chapter 3, why we need to embrace

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unity, What questions do you have or comments do you

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have? Because I I've had conversations with some who have said,

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maybe we have spent too much time trying to foster

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and force unity. And maybe what we should do is

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allow people to go their own way and

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not really create or what would argue about what some

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would argue is artificial unity.

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So I'd like to hear what you think about this and what maybe what you've

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already what you've already what you've read.

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The unity of the church, according to John, is rooted in god's

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unity. Why you think you go ahead and weigh in. What do you think about

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United, and what does it mean? Why are you thinking about that? Because I can

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I can I can feel the I can feel the brain cells beginning

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to generate? John Wesley is quoted to say

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this. I really like this. And and this is as you've read

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the book, you may have already. Though we may though we cannot think

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alike, may we not love alike? May we

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not be one of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?

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Without all doubt, we may, herein, all the children of God may

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unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.

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It's almost as if John Wesley C the and the early Methodist

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movement anticipated that Methodist would be a

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body of followers of Christ who would not necessarily agree

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on all things. But he said, let me repeat that. Though we cannot

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all think alike, may we love alike. So

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it is not true that we are unclear about our mission. Our mission is to

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make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of

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the world. And, you know, the commandment,

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the great commandment is that we would love one another.

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The great commission is that we would go forth, Matthew 28, go forth

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and make disciples and remember the g to to teach and

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baptize. And remember the promise that Jesus made is that he would

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be with us always. So we've got a mission.

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We've got a mandate, and and some would

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say one of our man our mandate is from Micah, the

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6th chapter, the Old Testament, verse 8, to do justice,

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love mercy, and walk humbly with God. May

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we not may we not be of one heart, though we are

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not of one opinion? With all doubt, we may,

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herein, the children of God may United, not with man

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withstanding these smaller differences.

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It's just there's a couple of comments in the chat when I invite,

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Jan and Diane in that order. If you

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All things or many things, whether it's sports or politics

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or or or calendars or when we when we should all meet

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to have have a family gathering. But

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but we love that there's a love that doesn't that make that doesn't go

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away even though we may not be able to agree on on on

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all things. Other comments.

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Steve, are you waving your hand, or do you do you need to unmute?

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I can't hear you. Thank you, fella. I know I'm there. Alright. There

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we go. Yeah. Well, I'm, dating myself a little bit, Bishop.

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But, back in the seventies, there was a secular

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book that came out called I'm Okay. You're Okay. I

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remember that. And, updated Yeah. And the the point

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was that it's not about uniformity. It's about

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United. That you accept people for who they

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are, where they are. And it just it

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it reminded me of what we're going through with the with the church

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now, and, you know, I appreciated Chilcot's reference to,

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Luther and Zwingli when they just instead of

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meeting each other in the spirit of Christ, they decided they could

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not be together. And that's

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that is anything but love. And I think Shellcutter's done an excellent job at

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bringing out the difference between Methodism

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and more docturnal groups

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of people. So but I think I'm okay, Eladio.

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You're okay. Thank you. Thank you.

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Darren? Yes. I I'd like to piggyback on what

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Steve just said about something Chilcote brought out on page

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34 that kinda opened up a new way of thinking about

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this for me. In the middle of the page, he talks about

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only reconciliation can restore peace and unity

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in our lives. And that led me to believe that without peace and

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unity, we can't fully be justified. We can't fully be

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aligned with God's will. We separate ourself, if you

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will, from God if we're not embracing the

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spirit of unity. And, that

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helped me read the rest of the chapter a lot different. Yes. Thank you so

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very much. That was highlighted several places,

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and I really, really appreciate really

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appreciate your comments there. What about

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question for discussion for part 1?

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The the scripture we read at the beginning was Ephesians 41

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through 6. Accept each other with love, make

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an effort to preserve the unity of the spirit with the peace

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that ties you together. You are 1

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body, 1 spirit, just as god also called

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you in one whole. There was 1 lord. You've heard this

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before in liturgy and other times. There's 1 lord, 1 faith, 1

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baptism, one god and father of all who

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is overall to all and in all. The apostle

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Paul really, like, wanted to emphasize this in the churches,

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bring about some sense of unity. So on the point

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of unity, what do each of these ones mean

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to you? One body, one spirit,

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one hope, one lord, one faith, one baptism, one god,

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our father. How can we live into this Bishop? How can you live

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into this vision? What what when you think about these ones, what

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do they mean to you? When you hear that you are one body

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and one spirit just as God called you in

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one hope? Is it even possible for us to live into to

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this vision? I like I like to say it's all with god, all

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things are possible. I really believe that. Go ahead. I can

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see some feel free to put in a chat

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or take a think out loud or question out loud.

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I appreciate Karen lifting up that that phrase

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there and and and how peace and United go handed

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him. Because I think another big piece of this is

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is fear. When we fear those who think

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differently, who have different interpretations,

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it creates this fear that disrupts

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peace, which then destroys

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unity. It it just has a ripple effect

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that starts in that place where difference doesn't

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provoke curiosity, but rather provokes

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fear. And I think, you know, you had spoken

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about diversity and and how important it is for us in

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all situations to to approach diversity

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from a place first of curiosity rather than

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fear. Because maybe we won't understand.

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We might never reach a place where we can fully intellectually

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comprehend. Mhmm. But if we're curious rather than fearful,

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at least then we can maintain that unity. Thank

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you. Thank you. Other comments or questions? Have there been

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part if there's been a part of the book that maybe you've already read that

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you wanna reflect on or comment on, feel free to do that even though we

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may have already passed that. Or any and if anything,

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I'm I'm a person. I'm on the line, and I I put a yellow

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line through things, and I said, well, I can't share all of this. We that

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would take up all the time. But I have different things that I've kinda pointed

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out and said, I wanna make sure I bring this one up. You may have

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some as well that you that you may want to repeat

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or or share. So feel free in our time to do that.

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We are each other member of the ones, each with an important,

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unique, and neat role to play. I guess,

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I wonder if we could if we could take doctor Fulbright at some point,

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this would be a different time. You know, to compare, like, this Ephesian

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text and that text is is it 1st Corinthians 12th

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chapter where it talks about, you know, we're all part of the

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body, the hand cannot say to the to the foot?

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And in this text, it says, you know, we are 1

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in the following, in the declaration that there's one

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lord, one faith, one baptism. We are

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a a a denomination that believes

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in the triune god. So we are we do

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have a sense that, you know, that there are things that we

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declare along with other Christian

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Christian communities that are that are in common.

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We celebrate 2 sacraments. If we were Roman

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Catholic, I think we would have 7

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sacraments, but ours are the 2 that Jesus

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participated in in holy baptism,

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Eucharist and Eucharist, the holy holy

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communion and and holy baptism. We kinda hit the halfway

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mark, are we not? So we're gonna make a transition to

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chapter 4. And I wanna begin chapter

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4 with a prayer that is on

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page 42, and I also would like

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to to make an invitation for

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us for the rest of our time together going

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forward. If we would commit ourselves to praying this

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prayer on a a daily basis for the remainder

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of our time in Lent. It's on page 42. New

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every morning to is your love, great god of lights.

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And all day long, you are working for good in the world.

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Stir up in us desire to serve you, to

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live peaceably with our neighbors, and to

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devote each day to your son, our savior,

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Jesus Christ, the lord. Amen.

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United Methodists have an opportunity to pray the following prayer

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from our hymnal at the beginning of each day, And I

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would invite us as we go forward for the remainder of

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Lent. If you would make a note to pray that prayer

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every morning when you get up at some point in the morning,

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anew every morning is your love, great god

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of light. So god invites us to live into

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a vision of unity. And I

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wanna make this comment about general conference. We have a general

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conference that's coming up in, it seems like in a few

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weeks, actually. And we will be meeting in

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Charlotte, North Carolina. It's a it's the 2020

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Postpone General Conference. Lord, have mercy. Here we are

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in 2024, and we're having a meeting that

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was scheduled for 2020 because of the pandemic.

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And here's what I said in a meeting I was in a couple of days

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ago. I said I said, while the general conference is

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important for the denomination, I do not believe it's the most

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important thing for the church. Because at the

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general conference, we have resolutions

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and legislation. We have worship.

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But one of the primary things that happened is all of these

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delegates come from around the world and vote

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on things, on whether or not they agree with this statement or that

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statement or this change to the book of discipline or this addition

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to the book of resolutions or this this

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way in which we will organize the church structure,

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local church and otherwise. We will vote on those things.

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I don't believe we can vote our way into unity or

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vote our way into faithfulness to to the gospel.

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I think we really have to live our way into that, learn our way into

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that, and really exercise the muscles, if you will,

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of loving our neighbor and loving each other. And most

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of that happens at the local church level, at the

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local it doesn't happen at a a even at an I love annual conference,

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and I think we do great things at annual conference. We baptize. We

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preach. We worship. We adopt a budget. We

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celebrate the ministries and the new fresh expressions of ministries.

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But I really believe that disciples discipleship

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growth and our growth in terms of

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love takes place in smaller community connections

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in our local churches, our local communities, and in

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our homes. God invites us to

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live into a vision of unity

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and to embody this vision. Page 43, we are

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god's ambassadors of peace and reconciliation.

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And we heard some there were some comment about that. But what

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does reconciliation what does that look like,

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and what does that mean for you? That's a that's a powerful

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word, reconciliation. And some says there is no there

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is no lifeblood in the church unless there's a commitment to

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reconciliation to be what does it mean to be reconciled or

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brought back in proper relationship with God and

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with others? You need to help your bishop with that one.

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Reconciliation is is a heavy lift. I think that is a strong

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commission that we have been tasked with to be ambassadors.

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That means you are representing being that representative,

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being that advocate for peace and reconciliation.

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And it's unfortunate that when we hear some of the anecdotal

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stories of those that are unchurched, de churched, they want nothing to do with

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the church, that is the very last thing they think about the

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church and the people of the church is of peace

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and reconciliation. Mhmm. In the chat, I think Tracy

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men mentioned the the possibility and the of

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regionalization as a key to potential unity.

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You wanna comment on that? Yeah. As I'm reading this

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Chilcote book, it it seems to me that although we

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may think like, oh, regionalization is just everybody wanting to do their

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own thing. But in fact, what it would allow for is

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diverse social cultural expression of our common

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faith, which seems to me like

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that would actually bring us to that place of unity that is

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proposing that's grounded not in

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interpretation and ideas, but rather in love of

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Christ and one another and the indwelling of the spirit.

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Amen. I I I I tend to to agree

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I tend to agree with that. Anything that I

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think anything that allows us to really free I

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say free up local churches and local communities

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to to to exercise, I I call, our love

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muscles and our our gifted our ability to

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really create welcoming

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communities is a good thing. Page 42, the

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Hebrew word shalom. You've you've heard that word

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shalom probably for many, many years.

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A vision of caring, sharing, rejoicing community

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with with none to make them afraid. Doctor Fulbright,

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you wanna comment on that? Yeah. What I appreciated with

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this definition that choke hold offers is so oftentimes when

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we think about or when we hear the word shalom, we automatically

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assume that it talks about just peace. Peace as if there's no

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conflict, peace as if there's nothing wrong. And I appreciate

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him elevating this understanding of shalom that means so much more

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than just a non conflicted situation or non

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conflicted environment, where he talks about, you know, a vision

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of a caring, sharing, rejoicing community with none to make them

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afraid. And it reminds me of, like, Acts 2.

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Everyone came together. They were in various

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languages, but yet they understood one another, praying,

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worshiping, sharing so that everyone had enough.

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Peace I've said this on a on numerous occasions.

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Peace and I got I think I've got this actually from my mother,

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in in a in a United Methodist Bishop study years

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ago when I first served this. But peace is not the

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absence of conflict, but the presence of Christ.

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So it's not that, you know, or it's no or it's not the it's not

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the exemption from problems, but, again, it's the presence of

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the love of God. So we really experience peace,

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not because the not because we don't there might not be a storm

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or or tornado or hurricane, and

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literally, but we can experience it when there's a presence

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of hope and the presence of of of community.

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We can experience that that peace. On 42, you

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make reference to Martin Luther King Julius, and and and

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I really love the this whole notion that

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the direction that the church should always be pointing in, and I think this is

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also very resonated, is towards beloved community,

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beloved community. And beloved community is where where

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it it it really is consistent with the general rules of the

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Methodist Church. Bishop, what are what are the general rules of the

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Methodist Church? Well, I'm glad you asked that question. Do no

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harm. Do good. And in the in the way

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the Bishop Reuben Joe put it, stay in love with God or or

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Wesley would have said, pay attention to all the ordinances of

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God, meaning prayer and bible study and fasting.

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And where Charles Russell would say singing and caring

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for the poor. So our general rules are that we should be doing no

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harm. We should be doing all the good that we can. I really I

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just preached today at one of our churches, and they're doing great work in

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the Jeffersonville, New Albany area. And I said, I

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I am inspired every time I go to a local church. I said,

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this church is doing what churches should be doing, making a difference

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in their community with the resources that they have

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before them. So doing all the good that we can in all the places

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that we can. And I think that is in pursuit of beloved

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community beloved community. Any other comments about

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shalom? There's some songs we used to sing. I know it camped too

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around shalom. I know there's Tracy probably could pull them

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up. But, so do all my friends. So

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the vision of caring, sharing, rejoicing.

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Page 45. Far from something to be celebrated,

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the church and heart of the vision

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should bring us to our knees. So the very the

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very notion and the very experience of the vision should drive

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us to drive us to prayer and repentance

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and confession. Lord, you know, the the the the most powerful

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prayer that many of us, maybe our grandparents taught us

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was, lord, have mercy. Three words. Lord, have

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mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

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And Lamont, the writer, I don't agree with everything she said, but I love

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some of the little books she's written. She said the 3 most important

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prayers she's prayed is, wow, thank you, and

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help. And and how many of us had not at some

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point prayed, lord, help. Lord, help me. And today, my sermon was

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on on on giving thanks, the importance of giving

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thanks. God calls us to love all

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our siblings in the in a united family of

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love from John Wesley's sermon, the Catholic

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spirit. What really matters is having a heart rooted in

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love, believing in Christ, and filled with the

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energy of love demonstrated through concrete actions.

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Someone's it has been said, love is not what we say,

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but what we do and how we

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express ourselves in relationship with others.

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Any comments or questions? Anne, are you still with

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us? Anne Dempsey? Tara, any comments

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or questions or any parts of the book that you've had a chance to embrace?

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Tim, is that, Tim and

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Tim's spouse? Alright. Tim

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Glinton in the East District. Woo hoo.

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Any any comments or questions? Bishop, we have about

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10 minutes remaining. I see pastor Ron Marcoux. He is waving

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his hand. Alrighty. Ron's a Ron's a great theologian. Let's

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hear from Ron. Yeah. I just keep hearing love and talk about

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unity. Somebody said it may have been my mother. I don't know. But somebody

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said our actions would be so loud that folks can't hear the words that

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come out of our mouths. My gosh. I think I think about that.

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Say say that again, Ron. Say that again. I did our actions rooted

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in love should be so loud that people can't hear the words that come out

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of our mouths. Wow. They will know we are

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Christian by our love, not by our not by our sermons.

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They will know we are Christian by our love. It's

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interesting because some people are are not in the church because they

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they experience hurt in institutions, including

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the church. But many people and I I

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would be in in that crowd, I can remember that when my father

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died, my mother raised he had 6 children raised,

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and the church came with so and we didn't have a big congregation,

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but the church was so alive. And I I'm a I'm a I'm an older

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guy now. I'm getting ready for the retirement journey, but I

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still remember how potent and

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palpable was the love of the church during

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that time of and, obviously, many people had many

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people had died before, and they died since then.

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And I don't think it was just I I think

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the church was literally just being the church.

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So there have been times when I've been disappointed in the church. This

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is before I was a pastor or before long

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before I was a Bishop, but I never never

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not had memories what I thought

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was love expressed. And and,

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you know, I I don't there are lots of sermons I don't remember, but I

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do remember, people coming alongside

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our family and and our and others coming alongside families

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and individuals who needed to experience

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Christian community. You you experience Christian community

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not by reading a book, but by

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being in close proximity with others who, as

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Rhonda's just saying, that that the love with in the heart is so loud

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that you don't hear what they're saying. You just experience it.

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Bishop, I appreciate what you just said, and I'll give a shameless plug

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here. Go ahead. But this is my passion around a

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place for you and Lifehouse churches, is making sure

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that that everyone knows that they're welcome.

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And and I find it ironic that sometimes those of us who have the

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most say about the work of the Holy Spirit are

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quickest to want to correct everyone else's

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wrong ideas or opinions or beliefs. And I think if we really

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believe that that firmly in the

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indwelling work of the spirit, of the power of the

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spirit, then shouldn't we be trusting the

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spirit? Simply praying for people and trusting that the

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spirit will do the spirit's work.

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Amen. Thank God for agape love

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as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. All we need to embody is

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the self sacrifice and love we see in Jesus. And we read

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about it. We preach about it. We we pray it, and we we proclaim it

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in our hymns. We really need to and that's, I

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think, what Wesley talked about through the power of the Holy Ghost. It's some of

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the things we we're talking about, we can't really make happen

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apart from God's from God's power. I said we can't do God's work

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without God's power and God's presence. We can't even love God's people

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without God's love, you know, pouring through

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us. We need to take what we believe about essential matters

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seriously, but never make our own opinions

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the rule for all. We must enlarge our hearts to

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all God's children despite our differences, Catholic spirit.

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The Catholic spirit, meaning the generous

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spirit, defends a generous orthodoxy in the service of

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unity and diversity. There have been others, bishop Ken Carter and others,

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mister Ken Carter in his book, unlevered unrelenting grace. There are others

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who've written on this whole notion of what is a generous

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orthodoxy meaning, meaning that, you know, what we define to be

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important for the church should be generous enough where it allows

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us to really experience unity and

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diversity. Bishop, I heard a quote the other day, and I I would like to

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offer it for the collective. The quote, I forgot where

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who I was speaking to, but I did write down because it came to my

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mind and said, could we agree on essentials,

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create space for non essentials, and offer

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grace in the difference. Can we have agreement on

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essentials, provide space on non

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essentials, and extend grace in the difference.

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I preach Christ crucified, grace from the dead

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on the third day. Amen.

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Separation hurts everyone. This is from page 50.

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Separation hurts everyone. Unity, on the other

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hand, bears testimony to the triumph of love and

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the possibility of beloved community, Coach Jean

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Hockhurst. Jean Hockhurst is one of the

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ex what we call ecumenical staff persons for the United

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Methodist Church out of the office of the Council of

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Bishops. The United Methodist Church has a powerful

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opportunity. This is a witness witness

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from page 50 from Gina Hawkins.

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The United Methodist Church has a powerful opportunity to

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witness to the world that the love of Jesus Christ is

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stronger than disagreements that threaten to divide

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us. Clearly, we are called to let our relationships

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be governed by Christ like love. Staying together is the

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only witness that lives up to that high calling.

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Now we need to put the context of the comments

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we make, in time.

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So this this book and some of these the research, obviously, for this

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book is the we're dealing with what I call the

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lag of of of book study in Lentils.

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So at the time the book was written, this affiliation

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hadn't come to the this current completed state that

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we're in now. But it had already started,

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and it still was the the the the call for the for

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for this for for unity. I still believe that the

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call that that doesn't change, you know, the the essential

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message of unity and love. In fact, doctor Fulbright, when you mentioned

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being at the funeral, to me, that's an expression of what

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what the goal is. It is not that we all would

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necessarily be in the same space and even stay in the same space,

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but that we would not stray from our love for Jesus Christ or our

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respect and love for each other. Because there there's always a possibility

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and a hope of reconciliation at some other point. And

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reconciliation may not necessarily mean we we decide to live

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on the same block, but that we we but we agree on

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the essentials, particularly on the love of Jesus Christ.

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Other comments you wanna put in the in the, chat

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for our our final minutes or questions or comments you may

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have or something you may wanna ask me

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and say, Bishop, I'm a I'll give you till next week to work on this,

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but this is what I like us to I'd like you to reflect

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on. Anything you in in light of this in light

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of what we're talking about, in light of our journey together, multiplying

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love. Anybody remember the assignment I gave you, the invitation?

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Someone remind me what it was. Please raise your hand. What was this

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invitation I asked? I made an ask today.

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Karen, you remember what it was? It's on page

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42 at the top of that's what it was. Yeah. It was to pray

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that prayer daily. Amen. I pray that prayer

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daily. Thank you, friends. Bishop, just a concluding

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thought. I remember my home church, Jubilee United Methodist Church in

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Duncanville, Texas, every Sunday, we would sing a song. It didn't matter

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what the, what the Sunday, every song, it was the invitation. It was a

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welcoming song, and it was the Jesus in me loves the

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Jesus in you. The Jesus in me loves the Jesus

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in you. So easy, easy to love.

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And I just remember some of the most conflicted meetings

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on Thursday at council meeting came on the heels

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as of Sunday that we knew we were gonna be singing that song. And I

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was, like, with the at a at a game with my popcorn ready

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just to see if people were gonna sing the song and hug each other, and

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it never failed. Every time we would sing that

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song, and the differences didn't matter because at the end of the

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day, it's the Jesus in me loves the Jesus in

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you, and it's so easy to love. Now you won't believe this,

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and we did not confer before this meeting. You're not

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gonna believe this, friends. You can't make this up. But the last church I

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served before I was elected to Bishop was Albertsgate United

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Methodist Church in Ohio, Warrensville Heights, Ohio. And that was the song

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that we sang every Sunday, the welcoming song that we

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sang these when we invited new people to come to the altar

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there. And I remember we had a church consultant come, and we're doing a

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workshop on on strengthening our congregations.

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And we sang that. We were hosting it at Augustgate. And we sang

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that song. And a church consultant, you know, it's there's always these

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professionals think they know church better than than He said, you

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know, that's kind of a corny song. He said, but you all sing it like

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you really mean it. And I said, yeah. We do. We really do. I said,

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say, it may be a little little hopey to you,

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but it works for us. And it and it's good theology too. It's good

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theology. I'm gonna invite someone to close this in prayer.

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I've been preaching today, so I lost I'm losing my voice. Bishop,

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I'm happy to delegate that to one who will be recommended for full

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membership and ordained as an elder here in June.

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You may be looking away, but he knows who I'm talking about.

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I'm happy to lead us, friends. That means I get to lay hands on

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him. And you can't believe how happy that I am that it'll be

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you, Bishop. Mhmm. That is you. That's the same way.

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I feel the same way, bro. Love this out.

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Loving and merciful girl who loves us,

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lord, who has commanded us to love others. Lord,

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give us the strength to love our brothers and sisters in

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Christ fully as you love us. As we go out into a world

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that is so marked by division, help us to be centered in love that

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our actions do speak louder than any words that we could ever

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say and that the light of Christ would reflect off

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of us so we would be hope spreaders and joy

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givers out into the world. We give this to you, Lord. I

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pray for all these folks on the call. We can go out and live

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live all the days as United Methodist called the Global. And

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I, God's people, say it. Amen.

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Amen. God of it, your friends. Enjoy your evening.

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I thank you, Bishop. Thank you, everyone. We will see you back next

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week. Same bat cards, same bat station, but we won't have to delay

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an hour as we're trying to figure out what time it is right now. So

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take good care. Invite someone. Join the

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fun. That's right. Don't forget to sign up for the podcast too.

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I'm here.

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