M-Note 5.5.22

Transition Can Be A Time of Hope & Frustration

By Matt Miofsky
May is always a month of transition and we see those transitions in nature and culture alike. Transition and change are double-edged swords. On the one hand, the uncertainty of these moments can evoke frustration over what may be ending, anxiety over where we go next, and fear for what the future holds. On the other hand these seasons open up potential and possibility.

This past week, a draft decision from the Supreme Court was leaked indicating a possible change to protections around reproductive rights and abortion in our country. The political and legal debate is unable to capture the nuances and complexities of choices around abortion and the difficult decisions so many individuals face. The draft decision also raises uncertainty about the fate of other rights and past decisions that were considered settled. This ambiguity rightly leaves many angry and fearful of what comes next. 

For those wondering where the church stands, I urge you to read what the United Methodist Church has said about abortion here. It is a good statement that recognizes the complexities of abortion, the belief in the sanctity of life, the need for legal medical options for women, and the commitment to be a church for those making difficult decisions, grieving loss, and looking for healing.  

Seasons of transition can also be moments of transformation and promise. This past weekend, there was an announcement of the official start of the Global Methodist Church, a new traditionalist denomination that is opposed to the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church. Though separation is hard, it also sets up a clearer pathway for the United Methodist Church to change its official stance and become more fully inclusive. This opens up greater potential for churches that welcome all people into the full life of ministry.  
Every season of transition may mean that clarity is hard to come by and patience, faithfulness, and perseverance is required. I think that we are in one of those seasons – culturally, spiritually, politically, and perhaps even in our personal lives. The good news is that we do not walk through these seasons alone. We do it together, as a community of faith. We do not have to know the way, as we trust in a God who sees what we cannot. Finally, we walk together believing that on the other side of seasons like this one, there is something better emerging.
P.S. Next Wednesday (May 11), I will be hosting a conversation about the state of the United Methodist Church, the news of an impending division over ministry with LGBTQ people, and what it means for local churches including The Gathering. Join me for the conversation at 6:30 pm at The Gathering’s Webster site – it is open to everyone.

***Update on Matt's conversation about the state of the United Methodist Church,
Unfortunately, we will need to postpone the discussion until a later date. We will announce a rescheduled date in the future.

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