Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño Delivers "Ambassadors of God's Reconciliation" Sermon in Perkins Chapel
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church returned to Perkins School of Theology on Sept. 30, where she presided over a service of Word and Table in Perkins Chapel. Bishop Carcaño is a Perkins alumna (M.Th. '79) and formerly led the Mexican American Program at Perkins – now known as the Mexican American and Hispanic-Latino/a Church Ministry Program – as director from 1996-2001.
A portion of her sermon is available below:
Over the last week we certainly saw an ambassador of God among us in the Bishop of Rome. Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. touched many hearts and lives including my own. We saw him live out his words that, “Holiness is always tied to little gestures …. signs of tenderness, affection and compassion.” We saw it as he blessed the children, embraced the afflicted, stopped for those whom others ignore. Small gestures of reconciliation that we can all give.
But he also spoke of big things in clear ways: All people are worthy of mercy including immigrants and the imprisoned. The environment is being destroyed and we have a moral responsibility to care for it. Our priority should be ministering to the most vulnerable among us.Pope Francis spoke to us through word and deed of the reconciliation that the Apostle Paul exhorts us to practice in Second Corinthians. Do we not remember that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself? We are called to be reconciled and ambassadors of this holy reconciliation.
Paul found himself at odds with the people in Corinth. Enmity was a part of life even among those early Christians. As we consider the church today we see that enmity among Christians is still with us. In the United Methodist Church the litmus test is are we confessing or progressive, do we stand for evangelism or social justice, is our good news the true good news or not. We spend much too much time inwardly fighting over these dividers rather than focusing outwardly being ambassadors of the One who calls us to be reconciled, letting go of our enmity and living in sacred friendship in spite of our differences. You would think that by now we would have learned how to live and love in the way God hopes we would.
Read the full text of Bishop Carcaño's sermon on the California-Pacific Conference website.