Church + the Holy Spirit = Hope
by Jo Anne Lyon
As one looks at the future it is always beneficial to reflect on the past. For over 2,000 years the church has persevered as the light of Jesus Christ in the world. Yes, there have been times of distress and repentance resulting in renewal in the church. But the Holy Spirit continues to cover the church and keep it corrected.
At the present I am seeing the church in North America at large, particularly among evangelicals, becoming much more engaged holistically than in the past. Pastors are realizing they are called to their community and not just to an isolated local church. They are engaging the local church to seize the challenge and opportunity to serve the community and beyond in justice and peace. I believe we are seeing a healthy emergence of social justice and evangelism as in the vision of Amos: "Let Justice roll down like a river and righteousness as a never failing stream."
Jo Anne Lyon is the first woman to be elected general superintendent for the Wesleyan Church USA. She is the founder of World Hope International, a Christian relief and development organization working with vulnerable and exploited communities around the globe.