By Jessica Connor
Over and over again, sitting at the press table at Annual Conference, I heard pastor after pastor stand up and remind the body about the importance of faith in our walk as Christians.
It came in the words of the Rev. Telley Gadson, who preached on how faith is at the heart of all we need to do and be. “We are empowered to step out on nothing believing we will land on something,” she told the crowd.
In came in the words of the Rev. Jeff Kersey, who told us to fear not: “Faith does move mountains.”
It came in the words of the Rev. Michael Turner, who said that when we trust in Jesus with blind faith, when we let go of the shackles of the world and step out on pure hope, we will begin to regain the true meaning of what it means to be a church that transforms the world and makes disciples for Jesus Christ.
It came in the words of the Kutless praise song we sang during Wednesday night worship: “I’ve seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new ¨– that’s what faith can do.”
And it came in the words of Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor at the sending forth and ordination service: “Your life’s work will never mean anything if you don’t expect God to show up.”
The theme was so resounding it was as if God Himself were imploring us: Trust. Hold tight. Know I am the Almighty. Don’t lose hope. I will show up.
Even during one of the toughest moments of Annual Conference, when the harsh realities facing the United Methodist Relief Center were announced and the body understood the ministry owed more than $750,000 in outstanding debt – $274,000 of that to the conference – faith was in the room. A UMRC board member told the crowd it would take nothing less than a miracle to keep the ministry afloat. When someone asked whether we should bother amending the Standing Rules when it seemed possible the UMRC would soon no longer be in existence, the Rev. Tim Rogers reminded us all that “while we may think we may know what next month may hold, the fact is we don’t.”
If God is willing, He’ll make that miracle happen.
I say let’s do as Rev. Gadson preached: step out on nothing believing we will land on something.
Faith can move mountains, indeed.