An Early Morning Call to Prayer: Day Four GC2019
By: Sherri Gragg, Photos by Brant Mills
Bishop Scott Jones opened an early morning prayer meeting on the fourth day of the Special Session of the General Conference with Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians to hold tight to unity.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6)
The Bishop recognized that there are many members of the Texas Annual Conference were hurting as the Traditional Plan inched ever closer to passing. He reaffirmed his love for all churches within the Conference and challenged those gathered to pray to hold fast to the UMC mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Before leading the gathering in prayer, the Bishop said understood some of the churches in the TAC will have important decisions to make in the days and weeks ahead, and that he hoped the Conference could make those decisions together as much as possible.
After the Bishop prayed, those gathered for the prayer time stood hand-in-hand and prayed for each other by name. “I thought it was beautiful,” said the Rev. Marilyn White, Trinity East, Houston. “We prayed for unity and love. It set the stage for this beautiful day God has made.”
The Rev. Paul Richards-Kuan, St. Paul’s Houston, was one of those who answered the call to prayer. At the conclusion of the gathering, he noted that his very diverse church was anxious. “The hard work really begins after this,” he said, “I am just focused on how to be faithful.”