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God is Making All Things New

God is Making All Things New

by Rev. Hilary Marchbanks on June 11, 2024

God is Making All Things New

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

~ Isaiah 43:19

Last week, I joined delegates from Saint John’s in Corpus Christi for the 10th meeting of the Rio Texas Annual Conference. Ten years ago, the Rio Grande Annual Conference (a Spanish-speaking annual conference) and the Southwest Texas Annual Conference (churches in our geographic episcopal area) joined together to become one annual conference.

Last year at Annual Conference, several churches left the denomination through the disaffiliation process; this summer we gathered with about 100 fewer churches than in previous years. A last-minute air-conditioning issue in the convention center meant we started in a different room than originally planned. With all those shifts, Annual Conference felt different than in years past.

It felt different, and yet, Annual Conference began as it always does: with worship and scripture, rooted in a Christ-centered theology of grace. God’s presence has not changed and United Methodist theology has not changed, even though we are in a period of shifting and changing.

We returned from Annual Conference to Saint John’s to hear a strong word of belonging from Rev. Andy Smith and liturgist Tres Hinds, and to participate in the baptism of Alexa Cervantes. Andy reminded us of how honoring one another is God’s best way for us to neighbor, Tres spoke of her change of heart regarding church attendance, and Alexa’s baptism gave us a front row seat into how God’s spirit continues to transform people through the church.

I hope you will consider joining me for the three-week “How Do I Read the Bible?” class starting Thursday (register below) where we will work through the ancient practice of Lectio Divina to understand how scripture continues to transform us today.

The constant about God is that God makes all things new. It’s a paradox – I know.

With Lectio Divina, we study a steadfast practice to understand what God is making new in our lives now. What new thing might God have to say to you today?

Tags: inclusion, lectio divina, annual conference

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