Who does not need Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, a coach, mentor, guide, friend, or consultant?
Center your mind on God. The values that flow out of joyful obedience to God will enable you to say, “It is well.”
As we continue to focus on growing a Christlike world it is important that we affirm those reaching identified goals, treat everyone special and encourage disciples to become confident leaders. Highlighting the five stars, the small membership church and emphasizing the coaching role of a disciple will hopefully remind us that being Christlike requires us to be intentional.
The purpose of the Bishop's Hour is for me to come out and be with the people, to draw close to them and to teach and to care for them.
As we begin this session of Annual Conference we are continuing an old tradition that is at the heart of Methodism. The first conference that formed The Methodist Episcopal Church began in Baltimore’s Lovely Lane Chapel on Christmas Eve, 1784. This conference took place 47 years after Rev. John Wesley had spent a year and nine months in the new colony of Georgia. Although a preacher was assigned to the settled portion of Georgia in the 1785 Conference it took another 45 years before the Georgia Conference was created in 1830.
Every morning I pray for you. A part of my prayer includes these words, “… and God bless the South Georgia Annual Conference and my role as a bishop here. Help us to have better health, clearer goals and make more disciples that the world may be more Christlike.”
When we started the appointment process for this year, I joined the appointive cabinet in checking off every pastor under appointment in South Georgia. There are more than 600 pastors who have appointments. Then I thought about all the congregations in the South Georgia conference. There are well over 100,000 clergy and laity who identify themselves as United Methodist in our area alone. Wow! What an awesome witness you are to the glory of God. There are so many of you who are dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ and who share the love of Christ every day of your life. What a difference you are making in this world today. Below are some of the pictures I see as I allow my mind to take a panoramic view of our conference.
As many of you know, the District Superintendents and I are now immersed in a season of prayer around the placement of clergy for the upcoming conference year. Each District Superintendent made a concerted effort to meet with each clergy person and each local church Pastor Parish Relations Committee in recent months.
Do you remember the song that includes the words, “What am I living for if not for you? Oh, nobody else will do.”? Well, this song probably dates me, but these words also transcend the generations as we seek to find a meaningful path on our earthly journey.
As we take those first steps into a new year we do so hopefully, with a sense of gratitude and great expectations. Some are grateful for the gift of life and hopeful that life will be more because unfulfilled dreams are realized.