Dear South East District Friends,
When I was in college I had a backpack that had been given to me as a graduation gift from high school. It was good quality and sturdy. I remember it was dark green with silver trim. I really liked it and, as it turned out, I would use it for years as I moved through both college and seminary.
Along the way, I collected patches and buttons and stickers for my backpack. Perhaps you once did the same (or was it just me?). I would travel to a new place and buy a patch and sew it on my backpack. Or I’d find a button with a saying that I liked and purchase it to include on my backpack. It was a bit like an old car with bumper stickers all over it. I laugh just thinking about it now!
One of the first buttons I purchased, when I was likely still a young 18 or 19 year old, was one that read, “Knowledge is Wealth.” I remember seeing it and being drawn to it – the concept that what went into my mind was an investment and would benefit me and others. It seemed fitting to buy it and put it on my backpack where all those books of knowledge would be carried around for years.
As the cabinet has been preparing for the District Gatherings taking place around the Conference over a three week period (ours will begin this weekend, see schedule below), the phrase on that button returned to me, “Knowledge is Wealth.” What we hope to accomplish in these gatherings is to give your churches information about what is happening in the larger United Methodist Church now that the General Conference has been postponed to 2024. We want you to know that because of this, there are no changes to our Book of Discipline or other matters. We also want you to hear a vision for the Continuing United Methodist Church that includes both our strong history and a bright future.
I want to invite you to attend one of the gatherings or to be sure someone from your church plans to attend who can “report back.” I also want you to know that I am happy to come and present the same material to your church or a group of churches in your area. There is no rush and we can take time to do this through the spring and summer months.
Thank you, friends, for the ways you seek to “build your knowledge” of the Bible, our church and the world in order to invest in yourself and what you will give to others in return. There is so much to learn and so much to share!
I will look forward to seeing you soon and wish each of you a blessed Lent and upcoming Holy Week.
Grace and peace,
Cynthia D. Weems