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Bishop Carcaño’s February 2014 Reflection

messageYou have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you…
Matthew 5:38-48

Brothers and Sisters,

Before the end of this month in which we remind each other of love, I wanted to give you an update on what I have been about.

February has been a month of Cabinet meeting to move along our work of appointment making.   I have been attending to my responsibilities related to the Claremont School of Theology, as well as preaching and teaching in Southern California and Hawaii.

I have also been engaged in the work of our United Methodist Immigration Task Force which led me to participate in an act of civil disobedience last week.   Many of you are aware of the fact that I was among 31 immigrant, labor and faith leaders arrested in front of the White House as we prayed that President Obama would use his executive authority to stop the deportation of immigrants until just and humane immigration reform is enacted in this country.

On Monday of this week, I participated in a public demonstration and time of blessing for the work of leaders of the Fast For Families Campaign in Downtown Los Angeles.  On that same day I also conferred with our hard working conference African American leaders.

Today, I am again in Washington DC to lead the spring retreat of our General Commission on Religion and Race (being live-Tweeted @gcorr_umc).  Yesterday, I sent a letter to our United Methodist bishops serving in Africa about the legalization of discrimination against homosexuals in Uganda.

I thank you for the support that you consistently give me in this work that God has called us to.  I am also grateful for those of you who question and even oppose what I do because it forces me into deeper prayer and soul searching.  I want to assure all of you that with you I am striving day by day to be faithful to Christ Jesus.

It is in faithfulness to Jesus that we are called to live each day.    I recognize that I have so much to learn about living in this holy way, but one thing I do know without a doubt is that Jesus always calls us to love with pure hearts.  The Gospel of Matthew allows us to see Jesus’ own heart when it shares the story of Jesus teaching us that true love is not held close only for those who are our friends, but is to be shared with even those who appear to us as enemies.  I am trying to serve among you with a pure and perfect heart.  When I fail, and I fail often, I ask you to hold me accountable.

I encourage all of us to live each day seeking to know God’s will through prayer and fasting, the study of scripture, through worship and through the exercise of every means of grace.  But even as we wait for that deeper understanding of who we are to be as disciples of Jesus, let love be sufficient to guide our steps and shape our actions.

Know that your bishop loves you and prays for you.

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church