Caring for God’s Children … and all Who Love Them

Blog Post May 25, 2022

Caring for God’s Children … and all Who Love Them
 
…let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
1 John 3:18

As you must be, I am stunned by more gun violence in this country. I am stunned. I wish I could say I am surprised, but I have honestly come to wince each time I open the news. I just wonder, “who is next?” What setting, what community? Online hate groups are indoctrinating impressionable people and encouraging and endorsing violence against the innocent.

Like you, I am still horrified by the May 14 racially-motivated massacre at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York. And only 10 days later, there is a massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

You might be wondering what you can do. I hope so. We need to do more than wince. We need to do more than post. We need to do more than pray. The history of the United Methodist Church is rich with activism. Our heritage is one of advocacy. We have historically led our communities in calling for safety in communities and strong support of public schools. Our Social Creed calls us to use our spiritual leadership to protect the welfare of all persons.

You have people in your neighborhoods and communities right now who are in pain, persons of all racial backgrounds, vocations, and life stages who are living in fear in this time of increased violence and hatred. I believe your church can provide help. Your church can model love, acceptance, peace, and safety. Your members can speak out in public forums to call for reform in our legal system and in our state and federal policies. Again, this is the work of United Methodist Christians. I grieve that so much of our recent internal discourse is on those things which divide us, while the communities outside our doors need our help and witness so desperately. While we are arguing over who is worthy of inclusion, people are perishing.

Your church can also provide assistance for those who are traumatized by violence. Rev. Beth Johnson, part-time pastor of Mizpah UMC, is also a social worker. She shared these resources with me from the Guilford County Partnership for Young Children. I pass them along to you:

Sesame Street in Communities:

 
NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children):

 
PBS KIDS:

Blessings of Peace and Health,
Bev
 
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
District Superintendent
& Chief Missional Strategist

Caring for Gods Children and all Who Love Them