What is going on right under your nose

This morning someone on Facebook posted pictures and a video of a Wallops Island (VA) rocket launch that could be seen locally. When I saw that the picture and video was posted 44 minutes previous, I realized that I had missed seeing it myself. I was even more discouraged about missing it because I was already awake. Not only was I awake, I was doing some things outside! It is very likely that I had to do was turn around and look. Being that the launch could not be heard, there was nothing to draw my attention to the sky.

This stands in stark contrast to last night. Last night I was out walking circles around the church parking lot when I heard a car crash. It sounded like one vehicle hitting something solid. It did not sound like two vehicles. Moments later the fire department siren sounded and moments after that a fire truck and ambulance were on scene. I did not see the wreck, but I could not miss hearing it.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post. I saw a guy say on 60 minutes last night in a segment on social media that surveys show that people on Facebook do not want to be bombarded with political ads. I get it. The person being interviewed said people primarily want to stay connected with loved ones. I would argue they also like to watch funny videos. Nobody prefers controversy. I do not prefer controversy, but I will also not avoid it to achieve a false peace. I never have avoided it. I am old enough that I have written my share of “letters to the editor” of local newspapers. I wrote my first one in 1979 when I was in high school. I got a ticket for parking in a no parking zone outside of Sistersville High School. None of the teachers parked there got a ticket, but I did. I wrote a letter to the editor to express the unfairness of being singled out for a ticket.

The problem is that today, a letter to the editor is almost pointless. Social media is now the modern day “letter to the editor” if you will. I share things so people will know, even if they are afraid to share these things themselves. I share things so people will “hear” and “see” the things that are going on right under their noses, just as the launch and the wreck went on right under mine. How will people know if nobody tells them?

How will people in the UMC know what is taking place in the United Methodist Church if nobody shares things with them? Is anyone else letting people know? I do not see it happening in my circles. I feel like I am the only one in my sphere of influence. Is everyone happy about it? Of course not. Do some people have me blocked and others unfriend me? Absolutely. Am I a thorn in the side to some in the UMC by exposing what is going on? I am. When conference leadership is telling churches that they do not need to worry about what is happening in other churches, other conferences, or other jurisdictions “because they are not happening in our church or conference”, this is not true. It is coming. In addition, when they implore churches to pay their fair share, they stress connectionalism – that we are a world wide church and our giving sends ripples throughout the world. I can tell you that same connection brings ripples right back to our little local church. What happens in the Western Jurisdiction matters to United Methodists in Short Gap, West Virginia, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Do not let them tell you it does not.

For the record, I recently told my District Superintendent that my current personal plan is to wait for Spring 2024, which is a year and a half away and see if the UMC General Conference is able to do anything to hold people accountable for breaking their vows to uphold the UMC Book of Discipline. Or if General Conference becomes obsolete in our current ungovernable situation. I will have a decision to make once I have more information. I do not have much hope. Some people have decided they can wait no longer, and I get it. But God can move mountains. At the risk of being melodramatic, I also told my church yesterday that any Sunday could be my last Sunday in the pulpit here. While I have a little more security as an Elder than a local pastor has, I also know that posts like this can put a target on your back when there are so few pastors sharing information.

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1 Response to What is going on right under your nose

  1. Pingback: UM Fallout: A Compendium – People Need Jesus

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