Where is God calling you to raise the dead? Bishop Ough asks

September 10, 2012

By: Victoria Rebeck

“Where is God calling us to raise the dead in Minnesota?” the bishop asked those gathered for his installation service on Sept. 9 at Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church.

Referring to a statement from the respected preacher Rev. James Forbes, who told people he was in the business of raising the dead, the new bishop in Minnesota and the Dakotas interpreted this to mean “to raise to new life people who are experiencing deadness,” such as those feeling hopeless, discouraged, and isolated.

“Where is God calling us to raise the dead in Minnesota?” he asked. “Without us, who else will raise the dead?”

The bishop called the lay and clergy to recommit to their call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

“Our love of Jesus is the source of the power we need to move forward into transformation,” he said.

Among those who are hungry for Good News are youth, young adults, those who are not part of the church but would like their spirituality honored, “those who are excluded not by the lack of Jesus’ love but by the lay of the church’s love,” the bishop said.

“Congregations who are the most vital view the world through Jesus’ eyes,” he said. “They act courageously, fruitfully, and joyfully.”

The bishop made clear his optimism and refusal to accept excuses or delays in our mission to introduce people to the way of Christ. “We have an abundance of everything we need to accomplish God’s purpose,” he said.

He urges Minnesota United Methodists to join him in praying daily for:

  • the Holy Spirit’s breakthrough to renew and revive our churches, unleashing new life
  • our clergy and lay leadership to be empowered to proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection power and promise
  •  the Spirit to transform and boldly use us, without limits, delays, or excuses, to reach and make new disciples of Jesus Christ and to transform the world
  • God’s Spirit to work through me to raise the dead to new life

Those gathered each received a card with this prayer as a reminder. They came forward to pray with a district superintendent to signify their renewed commitment to growing closer to God, inviting others into a relationship with God that transforms their lives and leads them to transform the world into the realm of God about which Jesus taught.

Bishop Ough began overseeing the new Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, of which Minnesota Annual Conference is a part, on Sept. 1.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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