A Call to Peace
Dear Siblings in Christ,
Thank you for your faithfulness in our mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. I am grateful for your courage and innovative spirit as we faithfully engage ministry during days of a global pandemic. I write today to remind us of our global siblings in Ukraine and seek your prayers.
According to the 2016 Book of Resolutions, “the bible makes justice the inseparable companion of peace. Both point to right and sustainable relationship in human society, the vitality of our connections with the earth, and the well-being and integrity of creation.” For Isaiah, peace is the fruit of a well-ordered life together: “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Is.32:16-18, NRSV).
Non-violence and peace-making are central to the moral imagination of the gospel. In the words of Jesus, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9).” For Wesleyans peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that vivifies personal and social holiness. We claim the help of God always before us and with us to inspire our faithfulness in each day.
Siblings in Christ, I ask that you join me in prayer personally and collectively for peace with justice in Ukraine, an easing of tensions in Europe, and a diplomatic solution. May we seek to live with mutual respect and humanitarian solidarity and let us unite prayer with our actions.
Today I offer The Prayer of St. Francis (#481 United Methodist Hymnal):
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
— St. Francis of Assisi, Italy, 13th century
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).