Kindred in Christ,
As I reflect on this past year, I am most grateful for the relationships I have been blessed with (many of whom from our historic and growing church community). And as I lean into the new year, I am most excited about continuing to foster those relationships as well as making new ones! Indeed, relationships are more valuable and meaningful than any individualistic resolution or self-made goal we can accomplish in the new year. And our Wesleyan tradition teaches us this wisdom.
After joining the United Methodist tradition as a young adult, one of the things I appreciated was that the first Sunday of the new year often includes reciting Wesley’s Covenant Prayer together. This prayer attributed to John Wesley (one of the founders of Methodism), reaffirms the Covenant between God and people, and names the ways we affirm and deny that relationship. It reminds us that in the biblical tradition as well as today, God makes a covenant with us, and that a covenant is all about being in relationship.
Join us this Sunday as Rev. Judy Shultz guest preaches and helps us reflect deeper on what it means to be in covenant with God. And I (Paul) will be leading us in a reaffirmation of the covenant during Communion.
And in the meantime, check out this modern rendition of Wesley’s Covenant Prayer (by Hacking Christianity):
I am not my own self-made, self-reliant human being.
In truth, O God, I am Yours.
Make me into what You will.
Make me a neighbor with those whom You will.
Guide me on the easy path for You.
Guide me on the rocky road for You.
Whether I am to step up for You or step aside for You;
Whether I am to be lifted high for You or brought low for You;
Whether I become full or empty, with all things or with nothing;
I give all that I have and all that I am for You. So be it.
And may I always remember that you, O God, and I belong to each other.
Rev. Paul Ortiz