Dear Church Family,
Please join together in these two opportunities to pray for the problems that we share together in our nation. First, tonight and second this Sabbath. Please read the details in the message below. this is a time to come together in prayer and action to demonstrate that God IS LOVE. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love on to another." John 13:35
Our nation is in the throes of multiple national crises. The most recent comes in the wake of the avoidable and senseless killing of George Floyd. Our hearts grieve for the pain that this has caused the victim’s family and to everyone else who is being impacted.
Our Pennsylvania Conference family is one of wonderful cultural and ethnic diversity. Our mission statement to Reach Everyone, Everywhere means that we are committed to diversity as we fulfill the three angels’ mission to share the everlasting gospel with “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” As the people of God, we experience the blessings of Spirit-regenerated living where the truths of Ephesians 2:13 and 14 are realized in our fellowship, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.”
The gospel of Jesus Christ removes the separation between people. The supernatural power of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, subdues our natural self-centeredness. Jesus enables us to love as He loves. We do unto others as Christ has done unto us. Because of His grace, we have peace in our hearts and peace with one another.
During this tragic and tumultuous times, let’s be the Spirit-filled people of God! Let’s be peacemakers and show this hurting world that there is a people who love each other no matter their color, language, nationality, or status. As sinners redeemed by grace, we can help the world see that we are all equal at the foot of the Cross.
Yesterday, conference presidents from across the Columbia Union worked together with our Union leadership to craft a response to what is happening in our country. This united statement is below. Please share my email and this statement with your members. Most importantly, please look at the action items at the end of the statement and see how your church can engage with the voted action items.
I especially want to encourage you and your members to participate in the call to prayer. We are told by the Spirit of Inspiration that those who are sealed in the closing minutes of earth’s history will be those who are praying while sighing and crying for the abominations in the land and the church. Our Conference initiative By My Spirit is a call to prayer. I know that a large number of our members have been earnestly praying since this pandemic upended our lives. Now, let’s pray even more! Please call your members to participate in the Union-wide prayer meeting Wednesday, June 3, at 8 p.m. on the Columbia Union Visitor Facebook page. Then, also call your members together to pray for our nation on this coming Sabbath, June 6. (For many of you, this will mean a video or teleconference prayer meeting due to the restrictions on meetings or the safety issues in your city.)
We live in an amazing time! Earlier this year, if we had painted a word picture of what the last days prior to Jesus’ return would look like, I imagine it would be very similar to the language of the current news headlines. Considering the times in which we live, let us first and foremost pray to God, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23, 24)
A Call for Justice, Prayer and Peace
Last week we witnessed a tragedy in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. As a result of this, as well as the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others, many people across our nation, and in our union, are in a state of turmoil. Thousands, including law enforcement officials, are appalled by the actions of the individuals who failed to serve and protect their communities. The anguish and pain is evident by the civil unrest and protests in more than 140 cities.
As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we rise with all who condemn these actions, and we, too, call for justice.
We also acknowledge the other grim headlines gripping our nation. More than 100,000 people have died from the coronavirus pandemic and 40 million are unemployed. Our hearts are with those who have been impacted and mourn loved ones.
As a Columbia Union Conference family, let us ban together and pray for healing, forgiveness, change and peace; for an end to the attacks from the enemy; and a stop to the violence and the virus.
May we heed the call of Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (NKJV).
And is it not an additional sign that we are living in a time just before the return of Jesus Christ? Let us be vigilant and caring and love one another, as we prepare our own hearts to meet our Savior face-to-face.
Columbia Union President’s Council Votes These Actions:
- To hold a prayer vigil Wednesday, June 3, at 8 p.m., via Facebook Live on our Visitor Facebook page. Please join us for a time of prayer and conversation.
- To hold a special unionwide Day of Prayer on Sabbath, June 6, for our nation, those who have lost loved ones, the families of George Floyd and so many others, and the disruption and despair many people are experiencing. Please join us.
- To set up a task force to recommend ways our church family can facilitate dialogue, create understanding and address the systemic issues of racism in our church and communities. Share your ideas at email@example.com.
- To urge our pastors and members to reach out to neighbors and community leaders to create relationships and engage in dialogue that builds bridges and promotes peace.
Members of the Columbia Union Conference President’s Council: Dave Weigley, President and Chair; Rob Vandeman, Executive Secretary; Emmanuel Asiedu, Treasurer; Henry J. Fordham III, Allegheny East Conference; William T. Cox Sr., Allegheny West Conference; Rick Remmers, Chesapeake Conference; Mike Hewitt, Mountain View Conference; Jorge Aguero, New Jersey Conference; Bob Cundiff, Ohio Conference; Gary Gibbs, Pennsylvania Conference; Bill Miller, Potomac Conference; Weymouth Spence, Washington Adventist University; Celeste Ryan Blyden, VP/Communication; Frank Bondurant, VP/Ministries Development; Walter Carson, VP/General Counsel; Ruben Ramos, VP/Multilingual Ministries; and Donovan Ross, VP/Education
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