Greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. As you heard in worship this past Sunday, Annual Conference has been happening these past few days in Paducah, KY. We had a wonderful gathering of United Methodists from across West Tennessee and Western Kentucky, lay and clergy alike. This year’s theme was “See all the People.”

We spent much time in prayer, in praise, in worship, and in discussion. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that God is still with us, leading us along. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of our lives that we can forget that God is still there, guiding us. What does it mean to see all the people? 

We live in challenging times; I think we can all agree on that. But, there are many, many things we do not agree on. We, as a United Methodist denomination, face an unknown future as well. But as Bishop McAlilly reminded us this week at Annual Conference: God is with us! Jeremiah 43:19 says, “Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.” Pray and ask God’s guidance for this “new thing” that will happen within us. I believe the Holy Spirit will guide us. I hope you believe that too. I invite you to read the Affirmation of Faith of the United Church of Canada: 

We are not alone, we live in God’s world. We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit. We trust in God. We are called to be the Church: to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. 

Grace and peace, Dakota