Why You Should Be There Saturday (The D. S. Will)

Why You Should Be There Saturday (The D. S. Will)

by John Weston

 

We're all busy. I get that. But if you didn't come to last fall's simulcast of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, you missed out. And if you miss this Saturday, you'll miss out again. And you will miss an opportunity to visit with D. S. Mark Galang who hopes to sit in with us for an hour or two during the course of the day. If you're expecting to hear a lot about homosexuality, you will be disappointed. What you can expect to hear is about how Methodism in America was a vibrant, powerful movement for the gospel, and how it could be again. The United Methodist Church in America has ground to a halt in terms of growth. Statistically we are officially in decline. But the United Methodist Church is GROWING in the Philippines. And is EXPLODING in Africa. Why? Because God is gracious and the core doctrines and teachings of the United Methodist Church are worth using, celebrating, and spreading. The heart of United Methodism is worth imparting: we don't spend all our time thinking or talking about faith: we also do it. We help. We witness. We see miracles. Anyone can see a miracle. That's what you're going to hear about.

 

As a pastor I spend my connectional time with other United Methodist pastors in our region, and I have friends and colleagues. We share the same tradition and all of us pastors do jobs that are very similar. But I'm a minority; most of my colleagues see things very differently from me. We are serving for different motivations and for different outcomes. Sometimes I get up and speak about our differences. And sometimes I give in to apathy or fatigue. It's not easy to get up and speak when most people are not going to like what you have to say. It's not to the same degree as Jesus, or Peter, or Paul, or others in the early church who were forced to publicly defend the true faith at risk and eventually at the cost of their lives:

 

Luke 12:11-12 11 "And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don't worry about what to say in your defense, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there."

 

Jesus lived out his own prophecy himself before he died at the hands of the authorities. Peter, Paul, and many other early church leaders did as well. I am grateful that in my generation I have not yet had to take that kind of a stand. But it could come. Sometimes you can say the truth and even if you put it in the most perfect terms possible, the deal-maker is not word-smithing—saying it as perfectly as possible; the deal-maker is when you're faithful to stand up and when the Holy Spirit prepares hearts to receive it instead of playing target practice with it. Or with you.

 

But Saturday I will get to enjoy United Methodists who believe and live out what we say we do on paper—folks who are a lot like us here in Silverdale. I still love my progressive colleagues here. But Saturday will be a time of great comfort for me. And hope.

 

Sign up as soon as you can. I'm making my famous pinto beans for our taco bar for lunch. (And don't worry because that's all Jennifer is letting me make.) But we will be together and by the miracle of technology will get to listen in and even worship with over two thousand other United Methodists around the world. Walk-ins welcome. It's $50. We have some scholarships available. Do this with me. We just might be getting a glimpse of the future.