and it shall be that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.  Acts 2:17-18

Last Sunday the Church celebrated Pentecost:  the gift of the Holy Spirit on the community of early followers of Jesus, that allowed them to continue after his death with courage, wisdom and strength to become the early Church.  The Spirit manifested in such a way that people of every imaginable cultural, geographic, and social difference were able to hear the Good News of Jesus.  With that amazing gift, the ancient prophecy of Joel gained new meaning:  the Good News of God needs the witness of all people—young and old, male and female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile.  Being a witness to the power and love of God takes all of us—every age, every culture, every faith.  Every difference reveals another aspect of God’s Good News.

There were a whole lot of seekers at General Conference this year.  Even with the meaningful and beautiful worship it felt a lot like trying to find Jesus in the darkness.  Searching for Truth and Life.  By the time General Conference was over a lot of us were left mystified.  I would guess there wasn’t anyone who could say that it all went the way we wanted or thought it should.  We were disappointed, disillusioned, dispirited, and wondered what it all meant for us who love the Church and who look desperately for the Good News that will deliver us from fear, distrust, despair and free the world from the devastating effects of violence and hatred.

As I continue to let the meaning of those two weeks sort itself out in my soul and spirit, I find myself in a new place, especially in light of many of the votes that I deeply disagree with.  A learning for the Way:   God’s witness to this world, the Good News for this world, needs all of us.  I’ve often wished that everyone believed the same way I do.  Held the same values.  Wanted the same things.  That hasn’t happened, and I suspect it won’t.  God’s truths are revealed in different ways through each one of us.  Even those of “us” we think of as “them.”

As we approach Annual Conference, I find myself wanting to be in more authentic and in honest relationship with the “us’s” and the “them’s.”  I’m not looking for agreement; I am looking for God.  And for God’s Ways, Truths, and Life in all of us, through all of us, among all of us.

Prayer:  Gracious God of all life, be with us all as we prepare to be the Body of Christ at Annual Conference.  Help us to see you in each person there, and to love You in Them in ways that lead to Life for each one, and for the world.  Amen.

Daily Practice:  Take time each day to bring to mind those persons you anticipate seeing at Annual Conference.  Whether you hold the same views or not, share the same values or not, believe the same things or not, pray for them to reveal more of God’s Truth and offer more of God’s Love.  And pray the same for yourself, as well.


Devotional written by the Rev. Sharon Moe. Moe serves the Tacoma District of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference as District Superintendent and as Dean of the Appointive Cabinet. 

Image Credit: “Fire & Ice by Flickr User Universal Pops


  1. I am concerned that the words dispirited, disillusioned, disquieted are still fresh in yur memory of the General Conference in Florida.

    I, too, feel that the enemy is winning what could be a glorious achievement for us all.

    Tracyton United Methodist Church will say a difficult goodbye to our spirited, beautifully Holy Pastor Sharon Hamilton. I, too, feel dispirited at times. This wonderful woman led me through my Mother Betty Metcalf’s journey Home, held in her tiny hands the Bible of my Grandfather, resented to him in 1906 on his leaving Cornwall, England for America, and read the tiny print at Mother’s Memorial Service; led the singing at a Luncheon of my Friends honoring Mother, prayed me through lymphoma treatment to 100% remission, laughed and cried with me when I struggled with fear and sadness and now, guess what?
    We are told that we must not be in touch with each other for one solid year. WHO made up this silly rule. KNOW that we will break the rule! Sharon had a day off and surely it must be from the tyranny directed at her in this Transition Period…..Yes, the rules of the church must be brought into the present Call to Action prescribed by the authorities of the Church!

    Thank you for listening. I hope to meet you one day. I appreciate your words.

    Suzanne Williamson
    retired CPA, college instructor, quilter, boater, RVer, Mother, Wife, Friend and hanging onto being a Methodist until we get it right. My Blamey family helped establish the Weslean Methodist Church of Tuckingmill, Camborne, Cornwall!

  2. Thank you for this message, Sharon. It is a strong testimony to the truth that each one of us is endowed with the Spirit and is a witness to the Gospel, and that for that reason we must ALWAYS strive to respect and love one another, even when we disagree. I pray that no matter where the church is headed, it will remember to do this.

    Peace, Amanda (Audubon Park UMC)

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