For the Good of All

5/4/2012

...whenever we have an opportunity, let us work
for the good of all, and especially for those of
the family of faith. — Galatians 6:10

Verses from Galatians helped me as I sought to center our spirits in the morning plenary at General Conference.

The task of the presiding officer is "an opportunity" — to guide the group in conversing together and in moving collaboratively and faithfully forward. Challenges abound in presiding: knowing the rules, remembering the rules, applying the rules, honoring desires to voice and for closure of issues, sensing when sufficient queries have been made.

I give witness to the remarkable support I experienced in this opportunity to serve the General Conference. There was a palpable sense of cooperation among the delegates and of kinship and support from the community of active and retired bishops. There was grace in stumbling and encouragement in perseverance — as we "did the work for the good of all."

The morning has been spent in considering a series of reports from the General Council on Finance and Administration. "Within the family of faith," the wise use of our resources in ministry and mission is essential.

I write this message as these items continue to be considered in the late morning plenary. As I do this, I give thanks for the Mississippi delegation, on the back row. They have served you well, engaging these two weeks with energy and faithfulness and courage.

On this last day of General Conference I am comforted by reading Galatians:

Live by the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

With gratitude to God for each of you,
Hope Morgan Ward