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July Newsletter Article

Hello friends and a happy July to all of you!

During the last US presidential election cycle, I fell victim to the trap depicted on the left. Many of us did. There were tears in some of my friendships, and fractures in my own family. My mother-in-law passed away on March 26, 2021, and she almost left us before we had a chance to mend things. All I can say is thank God we listened to God and came to our senses instead of allowing political divide to spread division in our own family.

Recently, I was watching the news. As you know, I have been trying to do as little of that as possible. The networks anchor literally encouraged the viewer to bring war to their own family and network of friends unless they endorse one side over another. This is a trap set for humans to willingly step into. However, we have enough information this time around to ensure we do not fall into political and social divide once again.

Let me tell you what IS encouraging me and what I hope will encourage you; and that is the new stance that our Conference has adopted on how we have committed to treat each other going forward, out from under the shadows of our past. Our Conference is in a transitional phase. We look different than we used to, and we are going to continue to change.

At Annual Conference in Syracuse last month, The United Methodists of Upper New York faithfully committed to retraining our focus on our similarities in Christ rather than our differences over the exclusion of people that have been at the heart of our being for the past several years. It seems as if it has been so long since we last came together to say we will include, instead of exclude. But we did it. Everybody in attendance voted. And nobody voted against it. Although the schism in our denomination will still take some time to come to an end, I am so excited for the United Methodists of Upper New York, who, under the guidance of Bishop Hector Burgos-Nunez now have a clear purpose, and mission; to focus on our similarities in Christ.

So, I implore us all to not let this new attitude that we have committed stop at worship or religious functions. Drag it into your personal and secular lives as well! So many problems in our nation stem from the lack of family. Let’s keep our families strong and remember this…

There are two types of people. Your neighbors, who you are supposed to love. And your enemies, who you are supposed to love.

Your brother in Christ,

John W. Buddle, Pastor

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