In this season of much Lenten introspection and prayer I found myself in a conversation about gun control. The background was of course the most recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida. I was at a non-church board meeting of an agency whose mission is the health of California’s communities. In the board’s investment and finance committee a board member brought forth the motion that the board establish an investment screen that would prohibit it from investing in companies...
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2 As I have been preparing with you for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a memory came to me. I was a child smudged at our congregation’s Ash Wednesday service. I remember looking at the smudge on my forehead that night and ...
It is with joy that I announce that I will be appointing the Rev. Blake Busick to serve as the next District Superintendent for the Great Northern District effective July 1, 2018. Rev. Busick has served in our annual conference since 1984. In his present appointment, he is serving as the Senior Pastor of First UMC in Santa Rosa. As he assumes the superintendency of the Great Northern District, he will be succeeding the Rev. Dave Samelson who completes six years of outstanding servant ...
Brothers and Sisters, Earlier today I had our Conference Communications Office post the statement released by Bishop Bruce Ough, our Council of Bishops President. The statement was in response to President Trump’s recent extremely derogatory remarks about Africans, Haitians and others. As I asked for this posting, I was providing pastoral care for persons of African and Haitian descent. They were all devastated by President Trump’s words, and feeling dehumanized, humiliated, and even ...
Father in the name of Jesus, we thank you for this great opportunity to lift up prayer and praises through your word during this first week of the New Year 2018. May each prayer prayed be a sweet frangrance unto you, Jesus. We humbly ask you to lead and guide us into your perfect will for your church. We seek your wisdom as the United Methodist Church continues to pray our way forward to a solution that is pleasing to you. We pray for the conferences who will pick up the mantle of devotion and ...
Dear God, as we together pray our way forward, may those in positions of decision be able to choose the way forward in love that you, O God, would have us go, in Jesus name and for His sake. Amen
Prayers for my friend who lost his wife of 50 years he dedicated Methodist with of many years of service to this conference Please Pray for Don Sheffel and his family and friends remembering the members of the Fort Bragg church
Gracious and compassionate God, please hold Mia in Virginia Beach in your loving care. Watch over her and her family as she faces surgery due to the death of one of her unborn twins.
Gracious God, full of healing and compassion. Please fill us with your Wisdom and may She point out the distractions that separate us from You and Your community. Ecclesiasticus 51:13-20 (Sirach 51:13-20) While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. 14 Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her until the end. 15 From the first blossom to the ripening grape my heart delighted in her; my foot walked on the straight ...
Dear God, you that created such beauty through out our world, the wonders that you have done with mankind, with your grace and your love we have been able to help so many people and reach out to strangers, like you son did when he walked among us. If we could only be a tenth of what he was, what compassion and love that he showed for all. It didn't matter to you who he came across, he treated everyone with the same passion and love. My prayer today and everyday is that we can love our ...
O Holy One, source of all that is good and life-giving. We praise your name as we breathe air, drink water and eat food from this beautiful world you have provided for all beings. We long for your life giving Spirit to infuse all our relationships.Give us eyes and ears of Christ Jesus that we may trust in the power of your mercy, too.
Creating and Re-creating God: Be with our church as we continue to grow into an all-inclusive church. Let us follow your will made known through Jesus Christ instead of our own agendas. Show us signs of your inclusive grace! Amen.
God of creation and compassion, we come to you in prayer, You are God who is the source of all that we see, all that we need, and all that we are. You have looked upon your creation and rejoiced - saying, "it is very good." And when the need for renewal comes to be, you enter creation with healing compassion. The calendar is changing to the next year - a reminder that the cycles of life are ever turning. Usher us into the days before us and into the Way Forward with confidence that your loves...
God, you are the loving creator of all that is, the source of the energy of the universe, and indeed, LOVE itself. As we strive to follow You and to walk the way forward both as Christians and as United Methodists, open our hearts to be as widely loving as You showed yourself to be in the life of Jesus. Open our ears and hearts to LISTEN, to you, to one another, to the needs of all your children. May everything that we do increase compassion, increase goodness, increase beauty, and increase ...
Heavenly Father. We pray for your Light to shine where it is needed. We pray for Your Love to heal and Your compassion to guide. It is only through Your Presence and Your Power that we are able to walk through our lives together in unity and peace. For this and all you bring into our world, we are so grateful. Amen. "For we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of others." - 2 Corinthians 8:21
Holy and Loving God, as I begin this vigil of intercessory prayer, I especially lift up to you these 32 disciples of Jesus who are serving on the Commission for a Way Forward: Jasmine Rose Smothers, Jorge Acevedo, Brian Adkins, Jacques Umembudi Akasa, Tom Berlin, Matt Berryman, Helen Cunanan, David Field, Ciriaco Francisco, Grant Hagiya, Aka Dago-Akribi Hortense, Scott Johnson, Jessica LaGrone, Thomas Lambrecht, MyungRae Kim Lee, Julie Hager Love, Mazvita Machinga, Patricia Miller, Mande Guy ...
Heavenly Father I lost my Son in November last Year, I know he is at Peace with You in Heaven. I am having such a hard time with this .Please help me to move forward I know there is such Power in Prayer Thank You. Debbie Arnold
Dear Lord, help us to remember that we are all your children. Please show us how to let go of our strident voices so that we may listen to each other. I pray that we discover that love does win, and that we can look beneath the surface to see your beauty in all of our brothers and sisters. If we erase the lines in the sand, then we can embrace each other fully.
May our way forward include all in love while respecting each person's place on their journey.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for your voice to be evident to me in every situation. I pray for your wisdom and discernment to follow your calling and serve my family, school, community and a desire to care for all the resources you have given me. I pray for all our leaders in all areas of our life as well as followers to come to you first lord in every decision that we make this year.
God Almighty, All-wise, and All-loving, Too often when I come to you in prayer I spend a lot of my words giving you advice, which you do not need, but which you tolerate because you love me and know that I usually mean well in my prayers. As I pray for your UMC I believe that I can confidently pray for you to lead us into greater fruitfulness in our making of disciples; that you would lead us into new and old ways to reach more people and help your followers be more like Jesus. I am less ...
As I begin this half-hour of intercessory prayer for the UMC - our witness, our fruitfulness, the people serving on theCommission on a Way Forward, I confess that sometimes I feel hopeless when I read social media posts by other members of the UMC. It seems impossible that we could be reconciled to a path on which we can all walk with integrity. And, as I stand facing this impossibility, I remember that in other impossible situations a sea parted, food provisions never ran dry, water sprung ...
Eternal God, Grant us gratitude enough to look backward and be thankful; courage enough to look forward and be hopeful; faith enough to look upward and be humble; kindness enough to look outward and be helpful. Amen (a prayer written for use during the Jewish New Year)
My prayer today, Lord, is that you lead us to lay down all of the trappings of human-contrived ritual and restriction. Open our hearts to the way that you actually want us to live, as one in the spirit. Let love break down these walls and let us remember that you abide in each of us. Amen.
May the joy of the Lord be our joy and confidence as we pray our way forward this week Amen
Dear Lord, May our prayers and our listenings be a reflection of You. May we see each other as Your children, and may we learn to get along in grace. We ask boldly for the unfolding which is in front of us to be a discovery of Kindness and Caring for each other. We pray for our leaders that they will be listening to each other, but most of all, to You. In the beautiful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen and Yes.
Dear Gracious and Loving God, may we be united in love and compassion. Guide us to do your will and keep spreading your word to the world. Amen
God, Thank you for this opportunity to pray individually and collectively. Guide us and keep us close to your love no matter what. May our hearts open where they are closed. May we be patient and compassionate with one another. There is such deep need on our planet and in our individual lives. Thank you for this larger community that is praying together. May your will be done.
For the life and ministry of Elizabeth Brick in showing the love of God for all people, I thank and praise God. May her example of the Spirit-filled life lead others to the same great Love.
God of Radical Compassion, help us to see how to live out the love of Jesus. You who make possible things we consider impossible, heal our brokenness and empower us in our limitations.
Lord, Hear my prayer in bringing all people of the UMC together under one roof of equality and love.
Almighty and gracious God, we thank you for the gift of your Son and the gift of your Holy Word. Help us Lord to be focused on both of these gifts as we pray. Help us to be more concerned with your will than our own desires. Help us to pray the prayer that never fails, "Thy Will be Done."
As I prepare for our conference time to pray our way forward I am convinced that our prayers do matter and I pray that our hearts and minds will be guided by the extravagant love of God, the sacrificial love of Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, Pour out a spirit of unity and power upon us as your people. Grant us vision to see many perspectives. Grant us compassion to feel what others are feeling, and in all things we pray, illumine our path so that we might walk with Jesus on this journey. In his name we pray, AMEN.
December 25, 2017 Luke 20:1-20 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 20:7 Brothers and Sisters, Blessed Christmas to you and to the world! Christ our Lord is born this day, full of God’s love, mercy and grace. Heaven and earth, shepherds in the fields, and a manger were blessed to welcome Christ. No one, however, experienced the blessing as deeply as Mary and Joseph. ...
Lord, help us to take on the mantle of extraordinary. May we see the hidden benefits for everyone involved.
Dear God, You only want us to love one another, 'everyone' just as you have loved us. Help us to remember that we only have time for love. Please hold our precious church family at large extra close this week. Sharon Warren
Friends, I have been at the Council of Bishops’ fall meeting this week. I thank you for your prayers for us. You have been in my prayers. This has been a critical week as we have considered a significant report from the Commission on a Way Forward. Please receive and prayerfully consider the press release from our meeting as it provides information that will be foundational to a season of prayer and conversation we will have in our own California-Nevada Conference beginning with our ...
Migration has been a part of my entire life and ministry. Perhaps it is because my father was an immigrant from Mexico who first came to the U.S. under the Bracero program in the 1940s. In the absence of men to work in the agricultural fields of South Texas because of so many men from the region serving in World War II, the U.S. established a program that allowed men from Mexico to come to the U.S. to pick up the work left behind by men at war. Bracero is derived from the Spanish word brazos, ...
Friends, As you know, I spent yesterday in Washington D.C. advocating on behalf of The United Methodist Church for a Clean Dream Act. You may want to consider our United Methodist Resolution on DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) and the recent letter from our Council of Bishops on this matter. To read the letter, click here. While in D.C. I participated in two pieces of work, a press conference at the Capital and visits to Congressional leaders. You can find my press conference ...
Brothers and Sisters, On this All Saints Day may the saints you have known in your life inspire you to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ! I am in Washington D.C. representing our United Methodist Church in advocating for a Clean Dream Act. As United Methodists, we are called to join other persons of faith throughout this week in support of Dreamers. Recently President Trump terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As United Methodists, we support DACA ...
October 18, 2017 Brothers and Sisters, Today was another very meaningful day. United Methodists from our beloved California-Nevada Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness. Rev. Linda Caldwell and I traveled to Napa where we met with clergy and lay leaders from our churches in Napa, St. Helena, and Vallejo. We learned new things about the impact of the fires. Our youngest participant at any of our pastoral itineration visits this week was little Adeline who with her ...
Visiting Napa and Novato October 18, 2017 Brothers and Sisters, Today was another very meaningful day. United Methodists from our beloved California-Nevada Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness. Rev. Linda Caldwell and I traveled to Napa where we met with clergy and lay leaders from our churches in Napa, St. Helena, and Vallejo. We learned new things about the impact of the fires. Our youngest participant at any of our pastoral itineration visits this week was little...
October 17, 2017 Friends, I start this pastoral report with an apology. In yesterday’s report, I forgot to acknowledge Rev. Jola Bortner, pastor of the Rohnert Park UMC where we gathered for the meeting with the Sonoma Circuit. She was our host pastor who reminded us in these strange unsettling days that we are in Autumn. The seasons affirm that we are held by God our Creator who gives us the steadiness of seasons. The conditions left behind by a hot summer are now met by autumn colors ...
October 16, 2017 Sisters and Brothers, I pray this has been a blessed Autumn day for you. As Rev. Linda Caldwell and I drove up to Rohnert Park to visit with pastors and leaders of the Sonoma Circuit, we saw beautiful trees with their changing colors, rolling beige hills, and grazing animals. Soon enough though, we began to see the blackened earth where fires had burned the land. The smoke that had gotten caught in our throats on Sunday in Santa Rosa, again became evident as we began ...
October 15, 2017 First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa was full this morning; full of worshipers and full of faith. The members of Christ Church United Methodist Church also joined them. Using words from the Book of Job, Pastor Blake Busick gave witness to his dependence on and faith in God even in the worst of circumstances. He and his family lost their home and all their possessions in this week’s fires, but with tender love for his flock he guided the congregation to trust in God ...
October 14, 2017 Brothers and Sisters, Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus! I have finally arrived home. I was delayed by almost a day because of airline mechanical problems, but I am home! I am grateful to Laura Roberson and Sandy Royall for their work to get me home, and the travel agency that worked with them. What I most want to share with you, though, is that the last leg of my flight today was from Atlanta and it was full of Red Cross Volunteers from many places in ...
October 12, 2017 Brothers and Sisters, Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus. Our area has been devastated by wildfires, but our United Methodist leaders have held steady in the confidence that God with us. I hold up the example of Rev. Blake Busick, Senior Pastor at First UMC in Santa Rosa, who even while he and his family were evacuated and have possibly lost their home, led God’s people to open the doors of their church to provide refuge for those escaping the deadly ...