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When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
—Matthew 5:1-9 (NRSV)
To our beloved siblings in Christ and our neighbors across Iowa:
We believe that as Christ-followers, we are called to a way of life that is non-violent. When we express our hope, our pain, our disagreements, and even our politics in violent ways, it does not reflect the Prince of Peace whose birth we recently celebrated.
As people called United Methodist, our commitment is to be God’s hope made real for our conference, our country, and our world. Our words and actions should never cause harm or fear.
The crisis we see today at the United States Capitol Building saddens, stuns, and surprises us. We are reminded that our Christian faith and our nation’s principles call us to a peaceful transition of power.
On this day of Epiphany, when we remember the journey of the Wise Ones, may we look back on the path that brought us to this point and make the decision to move forward in new ways that do no harm, do intentional good, and display our love for God.
God of grace and God of glory, on thy people pour thy power;
Crown thine ancient church’s story; bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick
Bishop Laurie Haller and the Appointive Cabinet of the Iowa Annual Conference