Bishop Julius C. Trimble told the North Central Jurisdiction Conference, “The Good News is for everybody…[it’s] an inclusive message that breaks the chains of oppression and exclusion” in his sermon for the Friday, Nov. 4 morning worship service.
The morning worship opened with a word and dance performance by students from The Art Leadership Center (ALC) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The center develops renaissance scholars and artists with a global conscience that embodies the five “Wells” of leadership: well-read, well-spoken, well-dressed, well-traveled, and well-balanced.
In Bishop Trimble’s message, he talked about Peter McIndoe, a college dropout who created on a whim a campaign in 2022 that included billboards and t-shirts that now has thousands of followers. His absurd message is “Birds aren’t Real,” but sophisticated robotic drones that are spying on us. “Lest you think I am overstating the public’s appetite for conspiracy and belonging,” Trimble remarked about this campaign.
In response to such a world where if it is not one thing, it is another, Trimble proclaimed, “I stopped by to tell you that Jesus is real!’
“In a world where fear is being sold at bargain prices, where books are being banned, and teachers are being undervalued, underpaid and undermined. In a world where some, who are arguing that the solution to gun violence is more guns…Lord knows we need good news. Good news of the living gospel, the truth and life, and purpose,” said Trimble.
He continued by saying that we are authorized to be Salt and Light. To bind the brokenhearted: set right what is wrong by proclaiming the love of Jesus and standing up for the gospel with the gospel.
“Beware of campaigns that speak of anti-wokeness when the truth is, we have been doing more sleeping than sharing, more dodging than discussing, more writing resolution than enduring relationships,” said Trimble. “Beware of campaigns, to ban books, and sealed discomforting discussions. Beware of church prognosticators that offer confusion over concession. Paul’s encouragement to Timothy was a timely message for us today. Christ is a message that the church lives for.”
Trimble asked the audience, why should we press on? Why should we stand up for the gospel? Why should we proclaim the good news to everybody?
“Well, first of all, let me say birds are real, and second, Jesus is real, and the gospel is real,” said Trimble. “And we stand for the gospel. Because the gospel is good news. We stand with love over hatred. We stand with faith over fear. We stand with mission over misinformation. Oh, we stand up against racism and rejection and exclusion.”
Liz Winders is the director of communications for the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church