Executive Conference Minister Gives Lenten Message

Executive Conference Minister Gives Lenten Message

Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin marked the beginning of Lent - a season of prayer, reflection and renewal - with an Ash Wednesday video message. Read, watch and listen below:

"We're beginning this Lenten season in the middle of darkness in our world. In the middle of a war in Ukraine. In the middle of a time where the governor of Texas and the attorney general accused families who are loving their children beautifully created in the image of God of child abuse for allowing trans and gender nonconforming youth to just be themselves. We're living in a time where voting rights are not an assured right. And so many things are happening in states all over this country to silence the already minoritized and marginalized. We're living in a time of unrest, even in our own country. As we continue to battle with sexism and racism and homophobia, and a number of other isms that we had hoped we would have moved further along within, we're also still living in the midst of a pandemic," he said.

"And so where are we supposed to find some form of light in the midst of this darkness? When I think about where we find that light, I think about who we are as a people. I think about the tradition in which we are walking and nurturing our relationship with the divine within. In this tradition, we are a people who have hope because in the midst of all darkness, we yet see that God is manifesting light all around us. For many of you during this Lenten season, you'll be discerning what you can give up, what you'll stop doing for this period of time. For some of us you'll discern that I've already given enough, I've already lost enough. I've already traded in enough. For me during this Lenten season, I'm choosing to add something into my life."

"I want to add a daily practice of gratitude. Thanksgiving for moments like an 86-year-old grandmother who celebrated a birthday this past week. Gratitude for a Conference staff who is already preparing for a weekly prayer opportunity for you during the Lenten season," he said.  "I hold gratitude for each of you who've welcomed me into the beginning of my second year as Conference Minister. So each day, I just want to take a moment to add thanksgiving to my life. Add an awareness of how God is already manifesting light so that the darkness doesn't get too dark. Because as you already know that anytime light encounters darkness, the darkness has no other choice than to scatter. Tonight I sit with one of the many prayer shawls I've received from our churches. And I offer this prayerful song to you. That just as warmly as I'm wrapped with your tender loving kindness and prayers, you might feel the prayers of your Conference Minister and the Conference staff surrounding you. These are the words of a prayer that I hope you hear the divine singing to you on this Ash Wednesday, and all of the days of Lent as we march towards resurrection."

Listen to the song in this video:

Rev. Goodwin finished with:

"Siblings in Christ. Walk with me towards the light. Walk with me, believing that even if there is a moment of darkness in our lives in this season, light will shine again. And if we're honest, the light has never really left us. The light has already been nurturing us. The light has already been lifting us up. The light has already been pushing us towards resurrection. So I join you in the season of prayer, this season of reflection and in gratitude for what God has done and for what God will do. Blessings. I hope you'll join us again in our Lenten prayer over the next few weeks led by our Conference staff, I hope you'll join us in a vigil for our siblings in the Ukraine and our world as we consider the war we're currently involved in, and I hope you'll join me in activism as we stand up for those who are often voiceless and pushed to the margins that they might know, the world might know that God is yet alive and doing great things. Bless you on this Lenten season."
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