- Registration is open for WPA General Assembly, Friday, October 16. Guest Speaker is Rev. Dr. JoAnne Lyon, General Director Emerita of The Wesleyan Church. The General Assembly will be held from 9:00AM - 5:00PM. The Annual Business Meeting will be held at 1:00PM.
- The elementary campers will start arriving at Whitehall Camp today, please pray for them and the counselors to have a wonderful week full of learning of Jesus's love for us and how we can be better servants to him.
- There will be a Credentialing Services Meeting at the WPA Ministries State Office on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 10:00 am. Due to the Covid -19 Pandemic we recommend you wear a mask when entering the office building.
- WPA Ministries of the Church of God published a newsletterReadWPA E-CONNECTJUNE, 2020 We exist to equip congregations & leadership to help people find and follow Christ
A Message from the Director:
One of the most challenging (and convicting) quotes I have heard down through the years is the 1867 statement from John Stuart Mill – “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” Inevitably this statement makes me check my heart and my actions.
I have spent the last several days praying, thinking, reading, and listening to voices – most of them much wiser than mine. I do not have the right words. No words seem adequate to express the pain of the present chaotic reality of our country right now. Like you, I look on with a sense of helplessness.
Many people are offended by the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” They have countered the cries with the statement “All Lives Matter”. There is no question this is true. However, I believe at this moment, that is not the relevant point. Saying the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is a way of lifting up those who have been historically marginalized and whose lives have been made to feel less valuable. It is not in any way dismissing other persons. It is clear that many people DO NOT feel black lives matter. But this must not be way of followers of Christ. Pastor Nick Wilson stated – “We do not have a racism problem, we have a sin problem.” For racism is sin.
Jesus chose to elevate those who were made to feel inferior to others. In doing so, he did not ignore other people, but included those who had been excluded. When encouraging the children to come to Him, despite the crowd, in Matthew 19:14, he was not disparaging the adults, but was elevating, at that moment, the ones whom the disciples tried to exclude.
As we choose to follow Jesus, we stand with those who have been devalued and alienated. We are called to stand with those in need at the moment: “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, naked and you clothed me, sick and you looked after me, in prison and you visited me.” Matt. 25:35-36. Whatever the current need, we align ourselves as followers of Jesus when we do what we can to help the person.
For hundreds of years people of color have been treated as “other”. Perhaps out of fear, we have dehumanized them with words, laws, restrictions, and assumptions.
What does THIS moment demand of us? Should we speak up when the breath of a man is brutally, heartlessly, meticulously forced from his body until there is no more life in him? Should we stand in solidarity with a young teenager who cries “My life matters too!”? Like you, I have brothers and sisters who are not treated with the same respect and dignity that I have been.
Another of our own pastors, Dr. Lora Adams-King suggests Jesus dealt with racism in John 4, when he ministered to the woman of Sychar, in the following ways:
1. He addressed it head on – He did not take the more common route to Galilee, but deliberately chose to go through Samaria, intentionally welcoming the upcoming encounter.
2. He allowed for truth and transparency – he knew her past and present reality and ministered to her where she was
3. He always tried to leave people and situations better than He found them – he treated her with respect and invitation
Eddie Glaude, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Princeton University has challenged us recently “We are the midwives of this new day. What will we birth?”
I don’t have all the answers. So many of them seem trite….even as they are true. But I do know that Christ demands we speak out against the evil of this moment. I do know we need to listen and learn. I do know we are each created and loved by God. How can we love each other more? How can we follow Christ better? How can we live as messengers of his mission? What can we do, as brothers and sisters, no matter what our color or race or financial status or educational background to live out the love of God and the truth of Christ?
God forbid we betray Him by dismissing this crisis.
With love for each of you,
The following link is from Pastor Dean Ward of New Kensington, as he shares a significant moment of truth at the intersection of God's presence and his community: