That’s a great question and a colleague asked me that this week. He was referencing the quadrennial emphasis our Annual Conference will be celebrating for the next 4 years. He was a bit sheepish in asking but I was very glad he did. The more we talked, the more evident it became that his question wasn’t just “where did it come from” but why?
It‘s great to start with why. So why generosity?
Because proclaiming the generous love of God in Jesus is what United Methodist Christians have always done. Telling the Good News is who we are and why we exist. “Generosity” isn’t just a 4 year theme for the NC Conference. Generosity is a way to tell and sum up the very nature of God: Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. [Psalm 36:5]
Because our world needs to hear that Good Word. We live in what many pundits call a time of anxiety and fear. Our folks – certainly I – need to hear about the generous grace of God Who supplies our every need.
Because our Connection has questions. People have questions about our church and the issues before us. No matter how deep the concerns, the generosity of God will supply our need and direct us forward on mission for Jesus.
Because being generous is what United Methodist Christians are about. As I write this, some of our sisters and brothers are going to help people in the northeastern part of NC, to help victims of flooding. Other Christians are serving as missionaries, others are teaching Good News today. Our connection is a generous one and we can thank God for what it does for us all.
How did the emphasis get chosen?
A group of lay and clergy leaders from our NCC Connectional Table worked together with Bishop Hope to develop various aspects of this emphasis. We will celebrate those various aspects of grace in the 4 years ahead.
Love great questions.
Grace and peace,
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