My thoughts and prayers are centered this week on the people of Ferguson, Missouri. I invite you to pray with me that peace will prevail there while the community seeks to find ways to work together, moving forward in efforts to promote justice and equality for all people.

In just a few days, people will gather to share Thanksgiving. Some will gather with families and dear friends in homes around table, feasting and fellowshipping. Others will gather in large groups in church fellowship halls, community centers, nursing homes, retirement communities, homeless shelters, and other similar settings, sharing a meal with family, friends, and strangers. While others will choose to be alone for the Thanksgiving holiday, or have a solitary Thanksgiving by circumstance.

Whatever our situation or condition, I pray that all of us will find an opportunity to lift our prayers of Thanksgiving to God. I want to share with you a few of things that I give thanks for this week.

  • The witness of the faithful in Ferguson, Missouri and other places who are seeking peace and reconciliation and refuse to give in to despair or hatred. Who understand that violence, or violent responses, regardless of the circumstances, will not lead to peace, equality, or reconciliation.
  • The faithful people who are leading the fight against Ebola in our world, even willing to put their own lives at risk to save others.
  • The people of the United Methodist Church who, through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), are there whenever and wherever there is a need to respond in desperate times and circumstances.
  • The United Methodist people of Wisconsin who are seeking to build relationships with their neighbors and inviting others to join them on a journey of faith nurtured by God’s love and grace.
  • Our response in Wisconsin to the Imagine No Malaria campaign. It is so gratifying to hear the stories and to share the joy of those who have already given, and those who are planning on ways for us to exceed our goal of raising one million dollars by Annual Conference in June to wipe out this killer disease in our world.

Please make your own thanksgiving list. Add to it each day, each week. For those who follow Jesus, thanksgiving is a way of life, not just a one day holiday.

In Deep Appreciation,

Hee-Soo Jung, PhD
Bishop