What a learning and challenging week has just past. It always amazes me that in the same moment we can experience the good and the not as good.
I was blessed on Monday by having lunch with three spiritual giants and wonderful men of faith. I ate a sandwich with them as we talked about the ministry of the District Superintendent and how to constantly seek growth and improvement. These three have done just that in their ministry, and in their retirement they are gracious to share with me.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Cabinet met to do the holy work of finishing up the appointments for 2014/2015. The work is both sacred and difficult. We seek to hear each voice and each situation, and we attempt after prayer and discernment to make an appointment that is best for the will of Christ Jesus and His Church.
I came in on Thursday and began making "the calls" and preparing the letters. I was met with some joy, some neutrality, and some disappointment in the calls, as well as a lot of voice-mails. As I was doing this the other 11 District Superintendents were also calling and preparing letters. We each had the hope that all would see the hand of God in these appointments. After all, the Bishop shared with us the passage from Acts 26 that says,
"But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."
A week of learning and challenge, for sure. I know in my heart that we did our best for each person and for each family. We listened, we prayed, and we believed that God is in charge of the appointments because this is God's Word and God's work
I have questioned my DS before but never was I disappointed by my appointment when I went there with an open heart and open mind ready to do my best, because it was really God who made the appointment and they were God's vessel for that time and season. Putting all aside and remember my call ... and still remembering my call even on this day affords me the strength and courage to serve with joy.
I pray each of you will have joy where ever God has appointed you this coming year rather it be back to the "old place" or to a new place which you never thought of when making your list. The Spirit will do amazing things for those who have open hearts, open minds and say, "Here I am Lord, send me!"
With deepest and humblest love,
A blessing was experienced as I worshiped at Epworth UMC yesterday. Another blessing was the LAST Ministry Review Training Event - I hope all are ready to move forward with this new tool.