On November 7, 2014 the Council Bishops issued a statement for immediate release after meeting for a business week to discuss human sexuality and the unity of the United Methodist Church. The statement reads as follows:

“As bishops of The United Methodist Church, our hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church.  We have been in constant prayer and conversation and affirm our consecration vow “to guard the faith, to seek the unity and to exercise the discipline of the whole church.” We recognize that we are one church in a variety of contexts around the world and that bishops and the church are not of one mind about human sexuality. Despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to be in ministry for and with all people.  We are also united in our resolve to lead the church together to fulfill its mandate—to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As we do so, we call on all United Methodists to pray for us and for one another.”

Here is my prayer: 

Creating God,
You who made all things and all persons and called them good
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

You made heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, people who are transgender, genderqueer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirited, Reconciling and Confessing
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

You made the human race incredibly diverse, but we have chosen to surround ourselves only with those who look and/or think like we do
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

You made the Church
Those whom you call your body, your bride, your children
Help us to be holy as you are holy – move us on to perfection
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

You made Elders, those whom are tasked with ordering the life of the Church
Elders who become district superintendents and bishops
Help them to follow your example of bringing order where there is chaos
Bringing justice where there is injustice, love where there is hate
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

You made Deacons, those who are tasked with connecting the Church to the world
Deacons who do the work of the Church and serve the world
Help them to follow your example of including those whom are excluded


Jews and Greek, all genders, all races, the wealthy and the poor, those with disabilities and the able-bodied, and the whole spectrum of human sexuality

Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

God we know it is your will that none should perish (2 Peter 2:9)
Help our Church to stop offering the gospel with strings attached

God we know the harvest is plenty but the workers are few (Luke 10:2)
Help our Church stop sending away willing workers

God we know our children, like Ben Wood, are taking their own lives
Help us not be the cause (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2)

God we know that our laws in the Book of Discipline are causing harm
Help us to cease violence, and seek justice (Micah 6:8)

God we know that our current structure is leaving people out
Help us restructure so all are fed (Acts 6:1-7)
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

What we do not know God is how to navigate these waters of reconciliation

How do we who believe that you created LGBTIQ persons fully whole remain in community and connection with those who believe LGBTIQ persons are “in sin?”

How do we undo what was done in 1972? How do we remain in communion with nations who seek to kill those whom are LGBTIQ? How do we walk humbly with you if we think we have all the answers? How do we let the Spirit lead us if we pray with one eye open looking for a way to get ahead politically? How do we respond to LGBTIQ persons who are called to ordained ministry? How do we respond to our baptized members who are seeking to be joined in marriage to those whom they love, but are same-sex couples? How do we respond in love to those who tell us that you believe we are abominations, Creator? How do we respond in love to those who call us bigots? How do we remain one Church?

We do not know Lord
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

We are lost
Good Shepherd, lead us to green pastures and still waters (Psalm 23)

We are hungry
Bread of Life (John 6:51), be our manna from Heaven (Exodus 16), feed us with your own hand

We are thirsty
Be our wine, you are Living Water (John 14:4)

We are foolish
Be our Wisdom, call to us from streets and marketplaces (Proverbs 1:20)

Our vision is cloudy
Give us your eyes that we may see what you see

In the name of your son Jesus, our Lord and our brother, we pray

Amen

Jarell Wilson

Jarell is a graduate ofAustin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a Twitter addict, a blogger, and a self-proclaimed Methodork. He attended Baylor University and graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Sociology. He’s an Austinite but not quite a true Texan; an activist in Chacos; a proud Slytherin; a Matt Smith Whovian; a scented candle aficionado; and obsessed parent of the most wonderful dog in all of God’s creation. While he isn’t working or studying, he can be found slacking off, prowling whatever city he is in for the best places to eat, reading, watching Netflix, and singing…rather loudly. He is currently a certified candidate for ordained ministry in the Rio Texas annual conference of the United Methodist Church on the elder track.
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