The United Methodist Church Oklahoma Conference Bishop James G. Nunn
March 5, 2022
Greetings in the name of Christ.
Tomorrow, we mark the first Sunday in Lent. The appointed text from the Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) has us joining Jesus in the forty day wilderness journey that marked the beginning of his public ministry. While there, he is tempted in various ways to depart from the path he was on to another path of his own choosing.
As news of another delayed General Conference came this last week, you may feel like you and your church have entered or are continuing to journey in a wilderness. After all, a wilderness is defined as “an empty or pathless area or region.” The delays to this meeting caused by COVID and other matters out of our control have left us feeling like we are inhabiting a pathless area.
I am inviting you to join me on Tuesday evening, March 8 at 7 p.m. when I will address the conference about what we know at this point and answer questions you may have. While you can ask questions that night, you can also send them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can access the webinar at www.okumc.org/webinar. You will not need to register in advance nor will you need a camera or microphone.
As I said in the webinar last week, I have instructed the leadership of the OKUMC to treat every clergy person, every lay person and every church equally by always being fair, cautious and contextual as we support one another in this time of division. I am pleased to tell you that I have confidence that we will be an example of Christ’s love made manifest during these difficult days.
The story of Jesus in the wilderness ended in an interesting way. Verse 13 says, “When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.” This is a reminder that while we do not have any more stories of Jesus being tempted, inevitably it happened again at “an opportune time.” We can expect no less on our own journeys. We have been tempted to move down alternative paths before and we will be tempted again, but for now, let us stay focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world.
Please reach out to members of our executive leadership team at any time should you have questions. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday.
Let me close with this great affirmation you will be using as you come to the table for Holy Communion, “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.”
May God be with us all,
Bishop Jimmy Nunn
Executive Leadership Team Rev. Dr. Joe Harris (email@example.com) Joe Holt, CPA (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rev. Derrek Belase (email@example.com) Rev. Tish Malloy (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rev. Connie Gibson (email@example.com)