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Reflections for April 13, 2014

I believe—if I am to believe Jesus—that God is suffering love. If we are created in God’s image and if there is this much suffering in the world, then God must also be suffering. How else can we understand the revelation of the cross? —Richard Rohr

These words of Richard Rohr help us understand how we are to approach Holy Week. Holy Week reenacts the last week of Jesus’ life, from his celebratory arrival in Jerusalem to his last meal with the disciples, the betrayal of Judas, Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion and the dark quiet from Saturday to Sunday.

I want to encourage you to spend time this week reconnecting with the story of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Come by the church and walk prayerfully through the Stations of the Cross. Reread the last chapters of one of the Gospels and try to imagine yourself as one of Jesus’ disciples. Look at the events through their eyes. What do you see? What do you feel?

Come to the service on Thursday evening and experience the love and humility of foot-washing and join your community of faith friends as we share in the meal Jesus offered to his disciples, inviting them and us to “remember me.” Be with us on Good Friday and hear the story of Jesus’ death and as we process the cross to the front lawn, remember that God is suffering love.


Belmont News newsletter for 4-13-14

Download April 13, 2014 issue



For Tennessee Conference news click here.



For news, features, and commentary from the United Methodist Reporter click here




Love your neighbors by walking with them

Jessie, Ruby, and Jennifer

The Open Roof Ministry Team seeks some Belmonters who love to walk and to serve. We will pair teams of walkers with the ladies of Homeplace – Ruby, Jennifer, and Jessie. The ladies enjoy and need afternoon and weekend walks for exercise and spiritual refreshment. The walks can be near their home (on the Belmont University campus) or another safe walking location. Walk with a friend or take family members with you. The ladies usually are home from work by 3:00 p.m. during the week, and there is more flexibility on weekends (once-a-month, twice-a-month, or more frequent).

Homeplace is a residential community for adults with intellectual disabilities. It arose as an outgrowth of the ministry of Belmont United Methodist Church. Open Roof is a Belmont ministry dedicated to full inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families. For more information or to say “yes” to this new ministry, contact Rev. Pam Hawkins ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 383-0832, ext. 24).


Reflections for April 6, 2014

During these weeks of Lent, we have been following Jesus’ encounters with numerous persons: a man named Nicodemus, a woman at a well in Samaria, a man who has been blind from birth, and Jesus’ friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Many of you have helped these transformational encounters come alive for us by participating in the readings. We are grateful to Rev. Susan Groseclose for coordinating the readings for us each week and to Susan and Mary Beth Franklyn for the creative altars.

Our hope is that each of us will have a transformational encounter with Jesus during this holy season as we are invited to turn to Jesus in new ways through prayer, reflection, and study. Recently, I was a leader in a spiritual life retreat for clergy from the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences. One of our worship services was a Service of Healing and Wholeness. I was asked to take one of the prayer stations to anoint and pray for persons who needed prayer. It was a humbling and moving experience to pray for my colleagues and to hear their heartfelt requests to pray for them. Many were anxious about possible appointment changes, and some were concerned about family members.

When everyone in our lines had received prayer, the young man standing next to me turned and stood in front of me. He anointed my forehead and prayed for me and for all of you as well. I felt the presence of God in a profound way. I prayed for him in return, and we embraced. Jesus was with us, transforming our hearts and turning us toward God. We sense the presence of Christ with us at Belmont. He is the giver of new life, and he calls us forth to follow him in the adventure of discipleship.



Belmont News newsletter for 4-6-14

Download April 6, 2014 issue



For Tennessee Conference news click here.



For news, features, and commentary from the United Methodist Reporter click here






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