Putting Our Prayers Into Action ©

On Monday, Oct. 14, in the wake of a shooting involving Fort Worth police that claimed the life of Atatiana Jefferson, I issued a statement calling for prayer for all involved in this heartbreaking situation. However, I don’t want us to stop there. As such, in the statement I also emphasized the need for all Central Texas Methodists to put their prayers into action and become intimately involved in our local communities. Today, I offer that statement as my blog post.
Like so many others across the Greater Fort Worth area, our state and nation, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent circumstances that led to the tragic death of Atatiana Jefferson. To followers of Christ, Black lives matter, and, in light of this grievous incident, I am asking United Methodists in the Central Texas Conference, as well as people of faith everywhere, to join me in praying for Ms. Jefferson’s family, the city of Fort Worth and everyone involved in this heartbreaking situation.
 
But I ask that we as a people of faith do more than pray. Prayer is where we begin, not where we end. As such, I invite all to put their prayers into action through vigorous community engagement. Each community of faith in our conference is expected to be intimately and actively involved in the issues that matter in their particular mission field. The local churches of the Central Texas Conference simply must reach out to everyone with love, justice and mercy, regardless of ethnic, economic or social status. Engaging with our community is the heart of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. By being in active ministry and partnership with all members of their community (not just those they see on Sunday mornings), including people of color and local law enforcement, along with other city officials, we can more effectively address the issues that impact our communities as part of our efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. May the peace of Christ constantly rule our hearts and minds, especially during the upcoming days and weeks as all the facts of this tragic event unfold.