Weekly Devotion & Prayer- October 3, 2022

"We Can"

Ministry in the pandemic has required a capacity to pivot through unknowns to bring our purpose forward. Living in an age of disinformation requires that we be clear about who we are so that we do not mindlessly follow the scripts of Babylon. Jeremiah arrives in the lectionary this week with good counsel in chapter 29:5-7 for the exiles who will remain in Babylon for an unknown time:

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:5-7)

We continue to be who we are in this place, unknown as it may be. We continue to plant gardens and families, and we continue to seek the welfare--the Shalom--of where we are, because collective well-being will be our well-being.

We live lives of mutual benefit because that is who we are. Focus on the mission is clarifying and our authentic best.

We will continue to be Wesleyan Christians: a biblical, grace-centered, justice-seeking, mission-driven global movement to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. Remember, most will want to remain so.

More deeply, we are people of hopeful imagination, looking to the harvest and choosing to bless until the seventh generation. Sometimes we are tempted to remain stuck, that we cannot decide to act until the new pastor comes, or the General Conference decides, but we can increase racial justice and radical inclusion now. We can baptize today. We can wage communion. We can live the means of grace because we must center ourselves as people of grace. We can live out a social holiness that increases climate justice even if others respond after us. Can we live faithfully until exile ends? We can.

In the autumn the milkweeds remember to spread their seeds because new ground will come. I appreciate your steadfast faithfulness and work for the gospel. Thank you for your support of UMCOR. Thank you for your generous support of the apportionment. Thank you for your witness. Know that I am praying for you.

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung


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).