Staff
Pastor

Rev. Bruce E. Davis

Send Email  •  (580)482-4093

… He [Jesus] replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.” ( Mark 22:37-39 CEB)   Known as “The Great Commandment”

I grew up in the Methodist Church which became the United Methodist Church in 1968. You all surely know that I dearly love the UMC. I cannot imagine not being a United Methodist. What I have valued about the church is that we have always been a “big tent” denomination, meaning that we don’t always agree on everything, but together we can usually find and show grace to one another while we attempt to accomplish the “Great Commandment”. I interpret John Wesley to be advocating this when he said: "In essentials, unity, In non-essentials, liberty, In all things, love. Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?  May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may."  However, just like interpreting the Bible, interpreting Wesley is not without disagreement among both clergy and laity.

I have avoided writing much about the current state of the UMC for some time, but I have been asked questions and know some of you are struggling.  The future of a “united” United Methodist Church, as we know it, is widely thought at this time to be limited.  Within our beloved denomination there are 2 vastly different sides concerning dealing with LGBTQI United Methodists, with much of the denomination in the middle. This conflict is not unique in our history, we have been divided over the issue of slavery, which ultimately resulted in a split, and over the ordination of women; to name just a couple. Though ordination did not cause a split, some congregations today still resist the appointment of a woman as their pastor.  Such resistance I believe is misguided and a detriment to the mission and ministry of those congregations. At the 2016 General Conference (the legislative branch) a split in the church over LGBTQI issues was avoided when the Council of Bishops (the executive branch) received authorization to form a task force seeking to find “A Way Forward” for the UMC.  Yesterday, the Council of Bishops set a date in February of 2019 for a special session of the General Conference to discuss and possibly act on their recommendations, also yesterday the Judicial Council met to hear testimony on a challenge brought by the South Central Jurisdiction (of which we are a part) seeking to invalidate an election of a bishop in the Western Jurisdiction. The Council will also be dealing with other related questions and are expected to give their decisions shortly.

What does this mean for the people of Grace and Blair United Methodist Churches?  At this time I believe it means we all should hold the Task Force, General Conference Delegates, the Judicial Council and members of the UMC in prayer that we can indeed find a way to maintain the union, but beyond that very little at this time.  There are varying views on this and other issues within each of our congregations, yet we still find ways to love and care for one another. I find that to be true in most of our local churches. Today and in the future we still have the Great Commandment given by Christ to love God and our neighbor. I believe that we have been, and will continue to find more ways to do just that. We have confusion and conflict on the denominational level, but I praise God that our congregations continue to be about the business of spreading the word of God, offering the hope and peace that is available through Christ, and caring for all of God’s creation. Together we will deal with any ramifications that may come from the General Conference in the future, but even in that, I know we will do it with love. 

Still I say: Come, worship with us!   Rev. Bruce, always a United Methodist.

 


Grace Daycare Director

Jo Ann Gray

(580)482-6546

Accompanist

Mary Jane Hamende


Youth Director

Kim Carpenter

Send Email  •  (580)482-4093

Choir Director

Edie Lazenby


Regular Schedule
Office Hours
  • 8:30 am. to 5:30 pm. Monday through Friday
Sunday
  • Sunday School
    – 9:45 AM
  • Morning Worship
    – 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday
  • Choir
    – 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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