Soul Reset

Puzzler's Corner Blog, Midwest District, DS Margie Crawford Blog

In 2019, at the School for Pastoral Ministry, attendees were invited to begin reflecting on the theme for this annual session: “Streams of Healing Water.”  The speakers for our time of gathering were Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Officer of the Connectional Table, and Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary and CEO of Discipleship Ministries. 

Both speakers talked about creating a personal space and space for our faith communities to have time to think about what was unfolding in our lives.  Possible options for the 2020 General Conference were presented.  Rev. Bigham-Tsai spoke of how members of the Connectional Table were engaged in continuing the mission of United Methodists.  We are a denomination that seeks to help those in need.  The words attributed to John Wesley are an integral part of our devotion and commitment to answer God’s call upon each of our lives.  “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” As part of her presentation, Rev. Bigham-Tsai asked each of us to consider how we might live out this quote while simultaneously facing the issues which are dividing the denomination.

Rev. Dotson shared how many of us, laity and clergy alike, are so focused on work and the goals of the kingdom that we have neglected our own spiritual well-being.  Rev. Dotson actually broke down at a funeral before he realized his life wasn’t fine and he needed a change, a soul reset.  Out of that experience, he wrote a book to help all those who seek to be God’s instruments, care for ourselves as we care for others. 

The work was published before we had any idea that we would be caught in the pandemic.  The work was published before the shooting of Breonna Taylor and the death of George Floyd. The work came before people began protesting about injustice.  And the work came before Rev. Dotson was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He lost that battle and went home to be with our Lord on February 24.  I include his memorial in this week’s Puzzler’s Corner.

Memorial Information/Obituary

Rev. Dotson’s book came for such a time as this.  A time for us to reset our souls as we prepare for what’s next in our lives, our faith communities and our neighborhoods.  There is hope that we are nearing the end of COVID restrictions.  I invite and encourage us to begin conversations about what is possible when we are able to be together in person again.  What can we do to live out God’s call upon our lives? What missions and ministries are possible now and once the guidelines of the pandemic end? And in the midst of our work, how can we also reset our souls, engaging in those spiritual practices which nurture and strengthen us? God continues to walk with us on our journey of discipleship.  And Amen.