Wow, year number 4 begins this week. I have had the privilege and the honor to serve as your District Superintendent for the past 3 years and now start the 4th year.
What is does the future hold for us as The Atlanta Emory District? Well, I am so glad you asked.
I would like for us to work with all our hearts to become a vital church in a vital district. We do this remembering our Vision and Mission; together we proclaim the love of Jesus Christ through our unity, our celebrations, our sharing and thereby making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Yes, this is the guiding tool for us as United Methodists in The Atlanta Emory District.
It is nice to to have a beautiful and powerful vision and mission to guide us, but how in the world will we accomplish it? We are 48 churches and missions, each seeking to find a way to be vital in this mission; it seems much easier to pull our own way instead of pulling together in one direction.
It is the hope of the District leaders and myself that we do it by means of creating congregations through radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking missions, and extravagant generosity. Yes, we are asking that each church to read, to re-read, and to read again Bishop Robert Schnase's book "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations" and to begin to live it out. I believe we have no better work to guide us in meeting the Vision and Mission of our District.
Year number 4 will be looking specifically at intentional faith development, but the other four areas of focus need our attention as well. I see the future moving me to lifting up the not only the cross of Christ for each of you as a sign of love, mercy and grace but also lifting up for you the challenge to be the best we can be for Jesus Christ who has called us and who believes in us. This same Jesus expects our best, so let's not disappoint Him.
Will you do your upmost to join me and to let us work together for God's plan for The Atlanta Emory District? I cannot do it alone, and together with God's direction I am sure we will be blessed and pleasantly surprised!
Here's to 4 ...
I will be on the Theologian In Residence at Camp Glisson this week, so I covet your prayers. Following a week with some really great elementary and middle school students, I will be on vacation. I will NOT be looking at my phone or my emails, so in case of an emergency, please contact the Rev. Sharma Lewis at 770.879.9016 as she will be covering the district for me. See you on the 6th of July.