Pen to Paper…It’s All About Love
On June 2, at their annual meeting, members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference will be spending time in mission at four schools and providing supplies and books to students at eight others. The Rev. Wanda Duckett, superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District, reflects on how this initiative mirrors the Conference theme "All About Love."
By Wanda Bynum Duckett
“When you give a child a book, you give them a chance at success.”
– Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Fund
It may sometimes seem that our ministries are not having an impact and that the world is so upside down, violent, and chaotic that there is nothing we can really do to make a difference that matters. It’s quite easy to be overwhelmed and under-enthused about the real possibilities of transformation. But when we understand that it’s ALL about love, we can approach whatever we do for Christ as lasting and loving.
We express love when we show up in communities that believe themselves to be invisible to the larger society. We love when we write a note letting a child know that someone they may never see is praying for them. We love when we put down our voting machines and our opinions and agendas and pick up a pencil and place it in a backpack. We are changing lives when we change our routines so that someone else can be blessed.
It may seem like what we will be doing at the Annual Conference Session is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the challenges that people face. It may seem like what we do every day and every week in the communities around our churches may not be enough. But it’s ALL about love, and love always wins.
When we give a child a book that may change the trajectory of their lives, when we purchase items that close the disparity gap between the kid who has and the kid who has not, when we show up at a school to ensure that it’s in good repair and that the outside and the inside are clean and beautiful because everybody deserves a good learning environment, when we lovingly offer our service to the places where young people live and learn … that’s ALL about love.
When we take the time to plot the people in our churches and learn of the trends, challenges, hopes, and hurdles in our communities through Missional Action Planning, Catalyst and Readiness, that’s ALL about love. Because we can’t love those we won’t take the time to know and understand. We can’t love without listening and learning. We can’t love without showing up.
So let’s make more than a drop in the bucket. Let’s fill that bucket to overflowing. Let’s spring a leak in the cradle-to-prison pipeline. Let’s cause a flood that springs from the fountain of Calvary… so that every community, in every district, every day will know that the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church loves with the love of Jesus. It’s all about love, because love is about ALL.
Long ago in my first appointment a man looked me in the eye and said, "You know, pastor, it's not just all about Love." And I looked back at him and said, "You know J---, I think it is." And all these years later, that's one of the few things that hasn't changed.