A MOMENT FOR MISSION
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’” – John 14:23
In May, we celebrate Christian Home Month in The United Methodist Church. It is a month focused on faith formation in the home. We believe the family plays a central role in the faith transmission and lifelong faith practice of our children and youth. This year we call our families to hope. Many families today are busy, barely able to find moments to be together. Yet, we must remind ourselves to make time to be present with one another on a journey toward hope. Hope grounded in faith can guide our families through the joys and sorrows of life, and we can share that hope with the world.
Perhaps more than ever before, families need the support of the church and of one another to overcome life’s pressures and heartaches. As important activities demand our time, it is difficult to keep a balanced family. Children face bullying, young people struggle with self-harm and exposure to drug and alcohol use by their peers, and family dynamics change because of aging, illness or crisis. Hearing of – and trusting in – Christ’s hope is vital.
During Christian Home Month, we emphasize family worship in the home, worship and program planning in the congregation, and prayer on behalf of families. Through the World Service Fund, we help Discipleship Ministries and other United Methodist agencies develop resources that equip our families to have rich faith experiences.
Today we pray for families of all shapes and sizes. May your love embrace families, strengthen their faith and give them courage. Remind us always to reach out in love and compassion. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday of Easter - Loving God, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to bring the peace of Christ. We are grateful that you continually teach us through your Spirit. Help our hearts to be so filled with your peace that our congregation will show forth your goodness to the world around us. Let your loving presence be known through our church’s ministries. Accept these offerings as a sign of our trust in you, for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (John 14:23-29)
In 1992, the United Methodist General Conference adopted a resolution that states in part, “We believe that families in our world … stand at a critical juncture … and that The United Methodist Church has the opportunity, potential, and responsibility to respond.”
Statistics show that family demographics have changed drastically. Thirty-four percent of children live with a single parent, increasing numbers of grandparents raise grandchildren, and remarriage forms new families. New and different pressures on families keep them in separate activities. The technology we use to synchronize our calendars can also contribute to a lack of connectedness.
While the shape and size of family changes, family is still the place where identity – including one’s identity in Christ – forms and matures. In May, The United Methodist Church calls our families together to observe Christian Home Month. Whatever the size or shape of our family, God calls us to face the future with hope. When we support United Methodist Discipleship Ministries through our apportionments, we walk alongside families. We strengthen them for the journey.