February 10, 2016
Grace and peace to you as we journey together into the season of Lent.
I have to confess, this year I miss the tradition of gathering with the clergy of the Baltimore-Washington Conference on Ash Wednesday. I am in Zimbabwe for an important Board of Directors meeting for Africa University. A severe drought has caused a state of disaster to be declared in Zimbabwe. Official estimates are that 2.4 million people, a quarter of the country’s population, currently need food aid. The people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference have a covenant partnership with the people of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area. I hope you will join me in praying for our partners and for an alleviation of the suffering brought on by the drought.
Lent is a time that we more intentionally thirst for God and more faithfully pursue our spiritual disciplines as we draw ourselves into the life, suffering, justice
This Lent, I encourage you to let God empower you to make a difference in the lives of others every day. Cast away the fears that may be keeping you from stepping out into bold ministry and mission. Claim hope. Claim Christ, and then act in a way that serves your loved ones, your community
Each of you will delve into, reflect upon and live out Scripture in your own way this Lent. I invite you
This verse always brings to mind, for me, the lay and clergy members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. You are an extraordinary group people who are whole-hearted servants of God. I thank you for all you do in Christ’s name for our Church, the conference, and your congregations and communities.
Lent is a season of confession and repentance. It is also a time to claim the power and potential that God grants each of us and put it to work in the church and the world. God is calling out for us to go deeper to use our minds, our imaginations, our passions
Maybe, even, yours.
Have a blessed Ash Wednesday.
God Bless You,
Bishop Marcus Matthews
Resident Bishop, Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church