The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
By the time you receive this newsletter, I will be waking up to my first morning in Dalton, Georgia. The moving vans arrive today with our furniture around 9:00 a.m. I will be in a flurry of unpacking, settling, and figuring out where things are located. As you begin to read this, please say a prayer for me and for my family. I would rather eat brussel sprouts and liver than move, and in case you are wondering, I can't stand brussel sprouts and liver.
This article will be my last weekly newsletter post to you. Mentally, I'm needing to shift focus to the ministry at Dalton and the important work of building relationships there. Like all of you, I will also be making decisions and creating plans for going back to worship in our buildings. During this month of June, if you need me, you can email me (if it isn't too urgent) or call me on my cell phone (if it's really urgent) or call Michele at the District Office (if you can wait a day or two for a call back). As always, you are welcome to text me as well. If anything comes up about which I need to communicate to the whole District, I will send out an email to the clergy.
I want you to know from deep down in my soul that it has been a privilege and an honor to be your District Superintendent. You have been an excellent District to serve! I love all of you and will miss the relationships that I have shared with you. My aim has been to encourage you in the things that matter most. I've sought to keep our focus on Jesus, His Great Commission, and His Great Commandments. For any way that I have succeeded in achieving my aim, I give all the glory to God. For any way that I have failed or let you down, I ask for God's forgiveness and for your's.
There are many things that distract us from the one thing Jesus called us to do - make disciples. At times, we in the church even allow the church to get in the way of making disciples. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Yet, every day we are given is a new opportunity to put Jesus and His Great Commission as our main priority in life. If I could leave you with one final word of encouragement, it would be this: keep asking the Holy Spirit to show you who and how you are to disciple. If you keep praying that prayer and seeking the answer, the Lord will answer your prayer.
In the years ahead, if I can ever help you, I pray that you will feel like you can reach out knowing that I will respond, not as a District Superintendent, but as a friend. I will always make time to have a listening ear and a prayerful heart. God has given me a heart for pastors. Listening to, encouraging, and praying with (and for) pastors is what I have loved most and will miss the most about serving as a District Superintendent.
Well, it's time for me to go unpack some boxes, write a few sermons, and get to know the people of Dalton First UMC. Thanks for reading week after week!
It has been a privilege to pray for you and your church,
Technology and Digital Ministry