-by Annie MacNeal
What makes us “shrink” from the gospel, the Church, and from doing every good thing? That is the question Bishop Sally Dyck posed to students and professors at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She said that often times we want to get our arms around God so that we can define and label God and make God fit our understanding. Bishop Dyck believes that as a Global Church, as long as we have theological competency, we can have a diverse theology without shrinking the Gospel: “People have different experiences with Jesus… welcome to the Global Church… welcome to Thanksgiving dinner.”
“This is a time to really imagine what God can do in the world around us.”
Bishop Dyck gave the example of Imagine No Malaria and how small churches are making huge differences to eradicate this epidemic. When I heard this I could not stop thinking about the grassroots movement that came out of General Conference 2012...
DreamUMC started as a Twitter movement where people from all over were invited to participate in bi-monthly “tweet-chats” with guided questions challenging us to imagine what God could do with the United Methodist Church. Where is the UMC going in the future? What needs to change? What can we do to truly make disciples of Christ to transform the world?
People participating in these tweet-chats have many different ideas such as creating an inclusive church, creating more leadership opportunities for young people, being fully inclusive of the LGBTQ community, new restructuring ideas, being more connectional, taking more action on social justice issues, and much more. It is a place where all are welcome to contribute to the dreams of the future of the UMC.
Bishop Sally Dyck said it well when she stated, “The Holy Spirit makes our hearts big so we can do more than we imagine.” If you have not yet participated in the Dream UMC movement, you should try it and see how the Holy Spirit truly does move to make hearts big and to help our hearts dream for a better UMC and a better world. I will leave you with the benediction the Bishop sent us out with, “Go and be big in God and God’s grace.” Amen.
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If you would like to get involved with Dream UMC, join a tweet-chat on the first and third Monday nights at 9pm EST by logging onto twitter.com and searching #DreamUMC. In addition, you can follow @DreamUMC on Twitter, and you can read summaries of previous chats on Dream UMC’s Facebook page and website (http://dreamumc.net/).
Annie is a first year Divinity student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is a declared candidate for ministry on the elder track in The New England Conference of The United Methodist Church. Annie was a lay delegate to The 2012 General Conference.