‘We Do Not Despair’

The House of Bishops has issued this message at the conclusion of its meeting of Sept. 15-20.

A Word to the Church for the World

Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be revived. Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.

Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider world.

We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present time. We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and generational lines. We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and war force families to become migrants enduring statelessness and demonization. We renounce the gun violence and drug addiction that steal lives and crush souls while others succumb to fear and cynicism, abandoning any sense of neighborliness.

Yet, in all this, “we do not despair” (2 Cor. 4:8). We remember that God in Christ entered our earthly neighborhood during a time of political volatility and economic inequality. To this current crisis we bring our faith in Jesus. By God’s grace, we choose to see in this moment an urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world.

Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14). Let prophets tell the truth in love. Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways. Let leaders lead with courage and joy.

In the hope of the Resurrection let us all pray for God to work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

Writing Committee

  • Scott Bader-Saye, academic dean, Seminary of the Southwest
  • Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio
  • Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles
  • Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington
  • Bishop Alan Gates of Massachusetts
  • Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. of Michigan
  • Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real
  • Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire
  • Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central
  • Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester
  • Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta

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