Bishop Karen Oliveto's Weekly Message (10/8/23)

October 10, 2023
I am praying for the laity and clergy of the Mountain Sky Conference as we prepare for Sunday worship.

This week, I was in Wyoming as several staff gathered to look at the site of Annual Conference ’24. While there, I learned about the Cowboy Code of Conduct. I confess I hadn’t heard about this before (after seven years in the MSC, I am still learning about the various cultures found in our 4+ states!) so I had to do a little digging to learn more.

The Code of Conduct is largely unwritten, and there are various versions, but they all center around four values:
1. Live each day with courage.
2. Take pride in your work. Always do your best.
3. Talk Less Say More
4. Finish What You Started

These were not laws, but there was an expectation that if you lived and worked on the range, your behavior would reflect this code. If you failed to follow the code, you weren’t officially punished, but you did become a social outcast.
Jesus, through his life and teachings, offers us a Christian’s Code of Conduct: “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed that the whole point of Christian discipleship was to help us be perfected in Love, possessing the heart and mind of Christ. Love was the hallmark of faithful living. Even when studying the Bible, he believed it needed to be studied through the lens of Love.

What is your personal code of conduct? How much of it is informed by your faith? How can you, step by step, day by day, live it more fully? How do you express your love of God and neighbor?

With love,
Bishop Karen