The Duke Endowment sponsors bi-annual meetings of the NC Conference District Superintendents and Bishop with our counterparts from the Western NC Conference. We met two weeks ago in Charlotte. By chance, I sat next to Bishop Hope during an intense and powerful session with Ruby Sales, a Justice Advocate and Spiritual Guide. Ruby used portions of the Magnificent several times in her presentation and, later in the meeting, walked through a part of Mary’s story. Bishop Hope and I looked at each other and said, “I’ve never thought about it that way before.”
What both Bishop Hope and I experienced was God at work: a new understanding and a new way of plummeting into the depths of Scripture’s marvels, as well as, a new appreciation of how those truths apply to us.
I work to learn new things. I hope you do too. It does take work: whether it’s a new piece of technology you want to understand or a new bit of history or a new awareness of the Word, learning requires an active engagement with God, God’s world, and what human art and science are doing.
Responsible Christian witness requires that we always learn in order to be able to speak to the world around us. John Wesley, our organizer, expected his people to always learn: he had reading lists for his people and examined his preachers about what they were reading and learning. He had a reading plan, today’s UMW’s reading program is a descendant of that idea!
Throughout his ministry, Jesus is described as a rabbi or teacher, someone who shares new things. (For example: Luke 18:18) He used parables to teach with fascinating depth (For example: Matthew 13). The Apostle Paul always went to the synagogue in a new town on first arriving and taught them new things (the Gospel) on the basis of what they had already learned. (Acts 18:4)
All this means that we need to make a plan to learn (just like the UMW!).
I have one that involves regular reading and listening to others, a few special events a year, and occasional opportunities to hear speakers such as Ruby Sales. I admit that sometimes I am challenged, sometimes I am amused, and sometimes I have to work at whatever is being offered. But, I am always better for it. I am better for it as a person using the gifts God has given me and, frankly, I know that you, the people I am blessed to serve and to serve alongside of, are better for it.
What is your plan to learn?
Grace and peace,
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Hello from Harvey – Learn Something Today
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