June 2020
JESUS WEPT! WHY SHOULDN’T I?
By Superintendent Amelia Cleveland-Traylor
Everyone knows where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001 when the planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in DC, and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. It was a Tuesday morning and I was seeing patients at the Independence Family Health Center of Cleveland Clinic. When the first plane hit, we thought it was an accident. By the time, the second plane hit, we all knew different and we immediately recognized the magnitude of the incident. This day would always a special place in American history. Roughly three thousand (3000) people died in those attacks (2,606 in the World Trade Center, 265 within the airplanes, and 125 at the Pentagon). The country mourned and everything changed in a moment. 

The WORLD is living through a pandemic related to the Coronavirus (COVID19) right now. There have been nearly 2 million infected and more than 110 thousand deaths in the United States alone. Now imagine if we were to endure an attack like that on 9/11/2001 for 35 days in a row because that is what has happened. The loss of life, jobs, security, liberties, gatherings, celebrations, and so much more have impacted people across the entire country. 

My best friend became infected with COVID19 after contact with an infected family member (a dedicated registered nurse). As a result of the infection, she suffered several complications including pneumonia. We prayed fervently for her and held to our hope in the Lord that she would not succumb to her condition. We walked through many dark days before she got on the road to recovery. I will never forget how I felt in those days. 

I am 56 years old and there are only two (2) people that I have ever called best friend in my entire life. While one of them was fighting for her life because of her complicated infection with the coronavirus, I could not even consider the loss of her life without welling up with tears. Some days that happened several times throughout the day. I know what the Bible says, and I did not question God or my faith, but I have spent a lot of time mourning the loss of so many people. I do not know them all, but Jesus does. Each of them is someone’s son, daughter, wife, husband, brother, sister, or friend. 

Then I recalled the shortest verse in the Bible.
 “Jesus wept.” John 11:35

JESUS. WEPT.

Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus, fully divine and fully human.

Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus though he knew that Lazarus would die before it happened. He knew that Lazarus would be brought back to life. He knew there was life before creation. He knew there was life after death. He intimately knew HIM who had the power of life and death. Yet, he still cried. More accurately, he did not just shed a tear, but he wept. 

Why shouldn’t I cry? Lament is appropriate. After all, more than 110,000 Americans have died from coronavirus infection and the country is wrestling with the unjust loss of African American lives that marred American history for centuries. Life is precious. Jesus cares about people. He relates to our pain, our loss, our feelings, and our condition in this life. We live in a fallen world. There is so much pain and suffering around us. Do not allow yourself to ignore it. Do not allow yourself to minimize it. 

Jesus is weeping. Why shouldn’t I?
TRC's Annual Conference Session of Leadership Summit 2020
will take place via Zoom on
Friday, June 26, 2020
9 AM (Pacific) / 10 AM (Mountain) / 11 AM (Central) 

Elders and lay delegate(s) will receive an invite to the Zoom meeting soon.

We are planning Fall 2020 gatherings in each District to complete our Leadership Summit agenda.

DISTRICT / DATE
  • Colorado/New Mexico / September 19
  • Spokane / October 3
  • Boise / October 17
  • Texas (North & South) / October 24
  • Arizona / November 7

We encourage churches to invite their Staff, Board and other leaders to your District's gathering. Mark you calendars and plan on attending.
International Child Care Ministries
Click here for an update from Alma Thompson, Director of ICCM.
TRC signed up to take advantage of Amazon.com's "give back" campaign. Amazon Smile is a program where you can designate a charity to receive a percentage of any purchase made on Amazon.com.

If you buy things off Amazon, please consider designating TRC as your charity. How to get started:
www.smile.amazon.com - find The River Conference of the Free Methodist Church, Lakewood, CO on the charity list, select it. Now every time you order something from Amazon, you must enter through the smile.amazon.com website, you'll see what charity you're supporting in red letters. Then start shopping. Amazon will automatically deposit donations into our checking account.

If you buy things off Amazon, please consider designating TRC as your charity.
Around the Conference
TRC COVID-19 State Resources
Below are the websites for all the states in The River Conference that have current information on COVID-19. Stay informed. These websites have the most current information for each state. Simply click on the state and it will take you to the corresponding website.
TRC DISTRICT LEADERS

ARIZONA
Ben Forsberg (Phoenix, Citizen's Church) ben@citizensofphoenix.org

BOISE
Ryan Stoops (Caldwell, Deer Flat Church) ryanstoops@deerflat.org

COLORADO/NEW MEXICO
Mark Douglas (Pueblo, Light & Life) pastor@pueblolightandlife.com

NORTH TEXAS
Ali Mitachi (Abilene, Portland Avenue) mitachilw@yahoo.com

SOUTH TEXAS
James Ford (Corpus Christi CPP) jesusandjames@yahoo.com

SPOKANE
James Leman (Spokane, First) james.leman@ffmwired.com
Upcoming Committee Meetings
There are no committee meetings in July

Be blessed
MESSAGE FROM SET FREE MOVEMENT

Please help spread the word about Freedom Sunday. The success of Freedom Sunday depends in large part on how well we communicate.

Our website has details -  HERE in English;  HERE in Spanish
The attached has social media assets in both English and Spanish. I encourage you to use these assets in emails, on facebook, instagram, etc.

You’ll want to point people  HERE in English;  HERE in Spanish

We are preparing the startup kit, which will be available in July. 
Find out what is happening around the Free Methodist Church. Click below to view the respective newsletters
The River Conference | theriverconference.org