Not long ago Mark Cuban (the owner of the Dallas Mavericks) said that he feels President Trump is Political Chemotherapy. The point he was making is that regardless of how you feel about Trump, everyone in the American political system is having to examine what it is we want to be normative and what are values are and what it means to be a public servant today. This is for some, a painful process and for others a sense that this is the last chance to "fix" the sick system. It is an interesting metaphor regardless of how one feels about President Trump.
The UMC faces among her more difficult future in the months ahead. The ruling of the Judicial Council on Bishop Oliveto, the Commission on the Way Forward, the called session of the General Conference, local churches voting to leave the denomination and the evolving of renewal/schismatic groups - just to name few of the challenges. While the future is not something that I would have desired for my denomination and I have no doubts that there will be a great discomfort and pain, but perhaps the UMC is not dying but going through chemotherapy?
Part of the intensity of chemotherapy is that it does not discriminate - even healthy cells are affected. All of this facing the UMC, of course there will be a number of good people who will leave the denomination, and perhaps the Universal Church. There will be indiscriminate pain and hurt across the UMC. So what do we do?
I submit that we look to how we would minister to those going though chemotherapy. Sit. Pray. Be still. Cry. Find the moments of joy where we can. Remind one another we are not alone. Try not to get too bogged down in the days ahead, but be present right now.
Note: It is not my intent to downplay the intensity of cancer, and I only offer this as a metaphor and like all metaphors it breaks when stretched passed its usefulness. I have witnessed the effects and in no way mean to imply that the struggles of the UMC are of the same level of pain and fear that come with medical chemotherapy.