A fresh start for us to serve God and all God's people


       All of the congregations in North Georgia have now begun a "brand spanking new" conference year. Some congregations have newly appointed clergy on their staffs and these laity and clergy are just getting acquainted with each other. Other churches are beginning a new conference year with clergy staff with whom they already are familiar. Either way, a new conference year offers opportunities for exciting fresh starts in ministry. I am praying for all of our people and all of our pastors in all of their ministry settings.
       Let me suggest that each of us, whether lay or clergy, make the most of this time of new beginnings and allow the Holy Spirit to move in new and more powerful ways than ever before as we open ourselves to God's will as we have never done before.
        God is able to do so much more through each of us if we increase our openness to the dynamic possibilities available because of God's miraculous power to redeem every aspect of every life and every ministry.
      Every congregation can be more invitational and hospitable to those in and around it's community who do not have a living relationship with God and God's people. Every person can grow in grace through the faithful practice of spiritual disciplines and generous acts of Christian ministry.
      Most of us can be a bit more generous, a bit more passionate in our grateful response to God's love as shown to us in Jesus Christ, a bit more involved in ministries with the poor, a bit more involved in improving global health, and a bit more committed to our church's mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
   Happy new year! A new conference year is another rich opportunity to follow our Lord wherever we are led. Let's make the most it. Dear God, let it be!     
Grace and peace,
Mike Watson
Resident Bishop
North Georgia Episcopal Area
The United Methodist Church