Throughout the day, reminder was a word lingering in my mind. I woke up this morning and noticed it was 8:35 a.m. I did most of my morning routine and hastily walked through the hall of the convention center to be on time for worship while saying my morning prayer. Randomly, I turned to a scripture on my phone. I came across these verses, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6; ESV) After reading these verses, the feeling of guilt overtook me. Often, I reflect on my doubts and fears regarding the church while claiming to trust God.
What a terrible feeling to be guilty. Thanks be to God for the perfect timing for worship. I recited the scripture from 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I was forgiven. It was a joy and blessings to experience the Native American tradition come alive in worship. I needed ‘the prayer over the drum’ and ‘the friendship dance,’ a reminder of the beauty of God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit pours out in many traditions. Worshiping God in truth and Spirit.
Throughout the day, God reminded me through proclamation, our leaders, and his people that God will not leave nor forsake us. The Holy Spirit will always be at work to empower his people to love God and love neighbor and to heal a broken world.
In addition, I was reminded, God continue to bless the church with leaders ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Friends, I was reminded about the presence of God. God’s presence was alive in worship. God’s presence enlightened the deliberations. God’s presence was experience in the elections. The presence of God was amongst the people called United Methodist. Friends, I was excited about the diversity in the room and the intentionality to listen, to questions, and the effort to address the schisms.
It was a joy to see my Africa University brother from DR Congo. He is serving as one of the district superintendent in the Iowa Conference.
Whatever the future hold, I am grateful for God’s giving resources at our disposal to make disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World. Once again, I am ready to utilize these resources to labor in the mission field spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know God will make straight our path if only we acknowledge God and Trust in God with all our heart and do not lean on our own understanding.
Rev. Henry Dolopei II is a clergy delegate for Minnesota to the 2022 North Central Jursidictional Conference and the pastor of Portland Aveune UMC in Bloomington.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church