Pre-Conference devotions celebrate Stewardship

Through daily online devotions, Eastern PA Conference members are being invited to spiritually contemplate and commit to Stewardship, the discipleship focus of our Annual Conference in May. For five weeks devotional meditations of varying lengths and formats, written by various authors are being e-mailed to NEWSpirit Digest subscribers and posted on the conference Website (in the Annual Conference section under the Events tab). They also appear on our Facebook page.

The Conference Commission on Sessions’ Worship Committee designed the project to provide readers and conference-goers with some thoughtful and thought-provoking writings.  “We invite you to open your day with reflection and prayer on the themes that will guide our conference this year,” writes the Rev. Bron Yocum in the introduction.

“Brevity is the soul of wit” for the Rev. Michael Johnson, a trained spiritual director,  whose micro-meditations almost resemble Haiku or extended tweets. Meanwhile, the Rev. Suzanne Duchesne refers to biblical, Methodist and even scholarly heroes and concepts in her compelling compositions. The Rev. Andrew Foster offers timely wisdom in his early renderings from Psalms and Ecclesiastes.  And the Rev. Monica Guepet takes us along on a revealing visit to Evelyn, an aging church member whose mental faculties are declining due to Alzheimer’s disease but whose spiritual faculties can still quietly teach important life lessons.

“Each (author) invites you to seek God’s will for your life and for our life together,” writes Yocum, whose reminiscence about Peter Pan warns us to avoid the anxious, “tick-tock” pressures of dwindling time by learning to live on God’s schedule.

The umbrella theme of Stewardship explores each week a different facet of that challenging, caretaking virtue: Stewardship of the Earth, Stewardship of Treasure, Stewardship of Time, and Stewardship of Community.  Other authors will include the Rev. Candy LaBar and Bishop Peggy Johnson.

Yocum reflects on the inevitable pressures that will mark this Annual Conference like others, including ideological debates, important business matters and election of General Conference delegates. “For three days we will hunker down to make decisions that will impact the lives of people and the life of our planet,” she writes.  “We know that people outside…are watching us to see not if we disagree but how we conduct ourselves when we do disagree.  Jesus’ call for unity is not a call for uniformity, but rather a reminder that we must lead with love for one another, even when we disagree…

“Perhaps the most important thing to which we can commit ourselves in this annual conference is to seek God’s will for our church,” she concludes, “to lean on God’s guidance rather than our own understanding.”