Being South Georgia’s nominee for the episcopacy has been many things but most of all it has been a journey in discernment. Many people have asked, “How’s the campaign for bishop going?” They are either bewildered or incredulous when I respond, “There is no campaign.” I am not so naïve as to think that there are not individuals and groups planning, plotting and posturing to influence the selection of bishops at Jurisdictional Conference in the middle of July. But the United Methodist Church is at a life and death crossroads. Slick and effective campaigning for the episcopacy is not only inappropriate, it is useless. Only spiritual discernment will do.
Last month we completed the 2012 South Georgia Annual Conference. The week promised some interesting material and potential for debate sprinkled within the annual slog through reports and business sessions. Like many, I went expecting a typical sort of gathering filled with seeing old friends, making new ones, worshipping, and being sent forth into ministry for another year. What I didn’t expect was to be surprised by grace during those 72 hours.
When John Wesley began his ministry in Savannah, Ga. in 1736 he met 18-year-old Sophia Hopkey. John was 32. After his first worship service in Savannah John wrote to his brother, Charles, telling him about two young single women who attended
“That All May Have Life” is the theme of the South Georgia Cooperative School of Christian Mission, to be held at Epworth By The Sea July Thursday through Sunday, 12-15.
From General Conference to Annual Conference, starting my new role with Connectional Ministries and in a few weeks embarking on Jurisdictional Conference, I am so thankful and often reflect on all the doors that God continues to open for me to serve. “Great is Thy Faithfulness!”
Some years ago I observed a man who, mature in age but young as a new believer in Jesus Christ, was in deep grief not only because he had lost his wife through physical death but because she died before he had. Many sought to console him but his response was a litany of questions from, “Why did she have to die before me?” and “Is she alright?” to “Where is she?” and “How am I supposed to live without her?”
General Conference 2012 may not have ended guaranteed appointment for ordained elders after all. Though delegates at the United Methodist Church’s quadrennial meeting voted to change one relevant part of the Book of Discipline, another was left untouched, apparently inadvertently.
Just a few weeks ago, Adam Sturdivant was unemployed. Recently released from prison after being incarcerated for three years, Sturdivant found it nearly impossible to find a job. Divorced and living with his parents, the father of two needed help and hope.
Who do you know that is a truly generous person? What characteristics of generosity does this person display?
Have you ever been in a situation when you were faced with determining the truth between two opposing points of view? If yes, how did you decide what was “true?”