Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our History Runs Deep

   Bishop Lawson Bryan, who started in September as leader of United Methodists in South Georgia, passed along an interesting piece of information this week...
   "One of the great traditions of The United Methodist Church is the presentation of a Bible to each newly elected president. This practice dates back to the very first president of the United States when Bishop Francis Asbury presented a Bible to President George Washington in 1789. The tradition has continued with each subsequent president. When the Council of Bishops met recently at Epworth By The Sea each bishop added his or her signature to a Bible that will be presented to Donald Trump following his inauguration." In addition to a letter requesting a date to present the Bible to the new president, Bishop Bruce Ough sent along this prayer,

And so, I pray for you and our nation: Holy God, creator of us all,
Send your Spirit of peace, justice and freedom upon us;
Break down the walls of political partisanship and economic disparity,
and make us one. Give us wisdom to walk in your ways.
Remind us that your ways are not our ways;
That your power and might transcend the plans of every nation.
Teach us again to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

The Peace of the Lord,
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President
On behalf of the Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

   To be United Methodist is to be connected to ministers and laypersons - men and women - who have literally helped to shape the history of our nation. It is no wonder that both Francis Asbury and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, are remembered with statues of them on horseback in our nation's capital. Here you see the crowds gathered at the dedication of Asbury's statue in 1924 with President Calvin Coolidge presiding.
   Let us be a people of influence and witness as the holidays approach. Let us offer the love and hospitality fitting citizens of this nation and God's Kingdom. Grace and peace, Scott

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