Letter from Interim Conference Minister

“Distracted”

I was distracted. Alone in my own world. I was focused on something that didn’t matter but seemed super important at that moment.

“Justo. Justo.” I heard trepidation in his voice. Something was not right; my heart was pounding when I realized I was DISTRACTED and that cars were coming at us. His voice caught my attention. I looked up and I had just run a red light. I was so DISTRACTED that MY ACTIONS could have killed or severely injured us.

When we are not paying attention, or focused on the wrong things, it is a recipe for disaster. For pastors, including myself, we can and do get lost in the sea of busy work. I’m talking about things that keep us DISTRACTED; things that take up our time and we think we’ve accomplished a lot. As pastors, we have been to meetings, planned worship, engaged with the community, but in the realm of larger issues of ministering in this post digital age, we have done little but move in circles. As a conference, we have been distracted “the way we have always done it”; still operating in an organizational system that no longer serves our reality. We have been distracted away from making the changes needed.

Indeed, the Church universal, the Illinois Conference, our five associations (yes, yours), and our local congregations have been very distracted. We have been distracted by our narrative of yesterday; we have been distracted by who has left; we have been distracted by what we don’t have. We can no longer afford to daydream about yesteryear and our desire to be who we once were in our rich history (understand, this is not a call to lose that history, but rather not to be completely bound by it.)

These distractions can kill us! Now is the time to get focused on our future destination. Now is the time to get focused on how to bring the love of God and the message of hope and healing to this hurting and broken world. Now is the time to let the scales fall from our eyes and see the reality before us.

This distraction does not serve us well. Let’s RE ENERGIZE and MAKE THE HARD DECISIONS THAT MOVE US AWAY FROM DISTRACTION and AWAKENS US INTO TRANSFORMATION that God Intends. I pray that this will be…

Warmest Regards,
Rev. Justo González, II
Interim Conference Minister
Ministro de la Conferencia Interino