Prayer, Justice, Teaching and Evangelism

The last part of this week has been fascinating.  It is include much of the key elements of the Wesleyan way of being Christian in my life. Thursday morning opened with a breakfast with my prayer and accountability partner.  It is a way I stay grounded personally and spiritually.  I have to tell 1 person how I’ve done that week.  There’s no coercion for either of us; just honest sharing.  I have also added a new spiritual director for my life.  Walking with Christ is a not a sidelight to the Christian life but it is the Way. When I get distracted and miss the time of prayer and spiritual formation, I mess up. I left my prayer time to go over 1st UMC Grapevine and spend time working as a volunteer at JFON (Justice For Our Neighbors).  JFON is a joint ministry of the North and Central Texas Conferences of the United Methodist Church working on immigration issues.  A great team of volunteers under the leadership of a wonderful director (Mary Beth Garcia) coached me through an intake interview.  Working through immigration in a manner that is living with our neighbors/immigrants, respectful of the legal system, and Christ honoring is really complex! (In my intake situation part of the family are US citizens and part are not.  They want to be together in a way that is legal.)  This is a living of our focus area “Ministry with the Poor” in a concrete way that exemplifies Matthew 25:40 – “in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you did it to me.” Thursday night I shared in the Mission Academy jointly sponsored by the UT Arlington and TCU Wesley Foundations.  We are studying Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.  I love learning from the insightful dialog the college students offer. Friday noon will find me meeting with some workers at the “Stewart Tank” (oil storage tanks) in Strawn.  Rev. Tom Beaty (with West DS Rev. Carol Woods’ support) is engaged in a great evangelistic outreach ministry to some seekers in the community who might never darken the door of a church.  The dialog reminds me of the original Wesleyan movement going to the mines.  I am looking forward to breaking bread with them (lunch) and sharing in our mutual learning as we try to faithfully and respectfully offer Christ. Next Monday we begin our Fall Cabinet Retreat.  Dr. Ted Campbell from Perkins School of Theology will lead us in an exploration of the Wesleyan movement for today.