Inspiring Generosity


Will the Good Samaritan Show Up at General Conference?

It's just that easy...and just that hard. Nina Strehl on Upslpash

Well friends – especially those United Methodists out there (and you know who you are) – this is the week we have been both anticipating and dreading. The Special Session of General Conference is starting on Saturday in St. Louis. This meeting will determine the future of the UMC in ways we can’t imagine. Unless, of course as a friend noted, “They kick the can down the road and ultimately decide nothing.” Which will be a decision too.
For those of you who have not been keeping up with United Methodist developments of late, hundreds of United Methodists from around the world will be meeting to decide where the church will stand on the issue of LGBTQ inclusion. In four short days, four (or is it up to 24, I can’t keep count) proposals will be discussed, debated, and parliamentary-proceeded ad nauseum. It will, no doubt, be grueling.
Me? I want the church’s doors opened wide, letting more Jesus in rather than figuring who can be kept out. The other day, our Sunday School class was looking at the parable of the Good Samaritan. Who is your neighbor? Well, according to this story – it is the one you least expected it to be. The one who showed compassion and mercy and openness was the one who was also rejected by everyone else. Don't we as a church want to be just like the Good Samaritan? Can we blow people’s minds by our willingness to be compassionate, merciful, and open to all of God’s children?
This week, I’m asking that you pray for the United Methodist Church…even if you don’t identify as United Methodist. Pray for all the people who are voting in St. Louis, that their hearts will be filled with love for all people. Pray for a generosity of spirit. Pray that the Spirit (with a capital “S”) will move in a mighty way. Pray for stamina.
And here’s one more specific prayer request: Pray that the Good Samaritan makes a surprise appearance at General Conference this weekend.
Our world needs more Good Samaritans, not less. We need churches that surprise the world with love. We need to stop looking for love’s loopholes because in God’s realm there aren’t any loopholes to help us avoid God's all-encompassing love.
Yes, let’s pray that the Good Samaritan shows up at General Conference.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. FYI, if she ever finds herself along the Jericho Road, she wouldn’t object to George Clooney being her Good Samaritan. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.