Bishop's Blog Archive


THE COURAGE TO MARCH © PT 2

Central Texas Conference Episcopal Address given by Bishop Mike Lowry June 6, 2016 PART II – “A Relentless Focus on the Mission” As we move into a new quadrennium the pathway before us is clear. We must retain a relentless focus on our mission – “to ...

A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirit #8:

The Future Before Us I come now to the close of an eight part series on “A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirit.” I opened recalling how books on giving birth to one’s first child describe the emotional changes and feeling of an expectant...

A NEW CHURCH BEING CALLED FORTH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT #7:

Spirit Led This blog will be posted as we open the 2015 meeting of the Central Texas Annual Conference. We meet in a time of great opportunity and equally great peril. Facing forward with a focus on the local church, I invite us to seek the leading ...

The Cape of Good Hope ©

This Sunday I will be preaching at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Belton. I will be using the lectionary text for the second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-30. As I reflected on the passage, my mind drifted back to an illustration used by Rev. ...

CTC Cabinet work in Diversity, Mission Field Ministry and Inventory Retreat

As this blog is posted (Tuesday, February 17th), the Central Texas Conference Cabinet is meeting in its yearly “Inventory Retreat.” At our retreat, we look at the needs of the Conference for clergy deployment in the upcoming year. This starts with an...

Reporting From the Mission Field

There a many great avenues of ministry taking place in the Central Texas Conference and around the larger church. One of them lies in new church development. It is important to remember that every church was at one point in its life a new church. ...

An Unfolding Work of the Holy Spirit

  On returning home from the Council of Bishops week-long meeting in Oklahoma City, I find myself slowly getting back into the issues of ministry in our local setting. Among the disagreements at the Council, the great sign of encouragement was our ...

What Does Your Church Pray For?

In my readings, I recently finished Andy Stanley’s intriguing book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. As usual in reading Stanley’s material, I found myself stretched and challenged. There are insights and ideas I ...

A Flat Bottle of Soda or a Scary Thing

Recently I had the great joy of sharing in a Charge Conference Celebration for the East District. As we sang, prayed and heard incredible witnesses of service in the name of Christ from various congregations, I had this sense of the Holy Spirit ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT -- Report from Taize 4

Today [May 25] we left for Cluny right after worship. The great Cluny Abbey fills me with awe. It once was the “major ecclesia” – the largest church in Christendom. Cluny Abbey started over 1,000 satellite abbeys. Its influence spread far and wide. ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT - Report from Taize Part 3

I find myself fascinated by the way the Taize Community claims and proclaims a richly, powerfully, dynamic, active embrace of the Holy Spirit. In many of our churches the Holy Spirit is the last element of the Holy Trinity, tossed in as almost an ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT -- Report from Taize 2

I came to Taize immersed in appointment making, preparations for Annual Conference, and the numbing administrative burdens of the office of bishop. Mind you, I love what I do and I firmly believe God has called me to this place. I am further ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT -- A Report from Taize 1

I have been gone for the past 10 days on a Young Adult leadership development trip to Taize. Along with Rev. Larry Duggins (Director of the Missional Wisdom Foundation), Rev. Kyland Dobbins (Director of Mission Experience for CTC) and Leanne Johnson ...

Reclaim the Day! A Pentecost Community

The earliest Christians understood full well that the Church was a community of the Holy Spirit. It was born not by human will or effort but by an act of the triune God on Pentecost Sunday (which this year is to be celebrated on May 19th). The first ...

When Faith Kicks In

On Thursday morning, April 25, I travelled to West, Texas with staff leadership from the Central Texas Conference (Rev. Dawne Phillips, Rev. Kyland Dobbins, & Vance Morton) to assess how the Conference might best continue to respond to the tragedy. ...

The Great 50 Days

Easter is over. As a pastor for 30 years I am aware of a sense of the life of the church moving on. We start looking towards the end of school, graduations, Mother’s Day, summer activities, Vacation Bible School, mission trips - the list is almost ...

Prayer

We begin our Cabinet sessions with a time of worship using The Upper Room Worship Book. This time is precious to me. I feel calmed and centered by singing, focusing on Holy Scripture, and sharing in prayer. It is here that I can feel the presence of ...

Musings on Heading to the Holy Land

Around noon Jolynn and I will board a plane and, along with about 200 other pilgrims from The Central Texas Conference, head to the Holy Land. As I go through last minute work details before being out for two weeks and finish packing, I find my mind ...

On the Way – Journeys in the Wilderness

The original identification of Christ followers was not the label “Christian.” They were called followers of the Way. By that, they meant they were following the way of Christ in faithful discipleship. As we met for the first Cabinet meeting of the ...

The Outlandish Claims of Radical Orthodoxy

It is right there in the great opening overture of the Gospel of John. “The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The phrase translated ...

A Different Kind of Christmas

Last Sunday we flew back into to DFW from the Council of Bishops meeting at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. The weather was cool (if not cold for Texas). Somehow with Halloween over, despite the fact that Thanksgiving has not come, thoughts turned to ...

I SAW GOD

On Friday night our CTCYM Community Living Center shared in a moving, humorous and thought provoking worship service. Every team came forward & each CTCYMer was invited to share. As if in a cascading litany, young person after young person spoke the ...

A Great Sunday

My steady deep conviction over my almost 4 years as bishop of the Central Texas Conference has been that the Conference exists to “energize and equip local churches to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” This Sunday I...

The Ministry of Chaplains at Harris Methodist (THR)

The following is a note passed on to me by Senior Chaplain Eric Smith of THR – Harris Methodist Hospitals and used with permission. May you look back with blessing on the past and forward with joy to the future. Christ is with us! -Bishop Mike Lowry ...

God at Work

In my recent Kairos event at the Boyd Unit (Texas Department of Corrections), I was once again privileged to see God at work through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Love trumps evil. Sacrificial love can crack the hardest heat. At Boyd, this ...

Meeting at the Bridge

Thursday and Friday I have been at a South Central Jurisdictional College of Bishops meeting at Lydia Patterson Institute. Lydia Patterson Institute is a mission of the United Methodist Church and more specifically of the SCJ to share the gospel of ...

The Holy Spirit and the Pension Crisis

Another Annual Conference is behind us and I find myself struggling with the paper work which any Conference generates. As I wrestle with an overflowing in-box of letters to answer, articles to write, and people to visit, some questions from ...

The Hedgehog Concept

Last summer I read Jim Collins newest book How the Mighty Fall. It was a fascinating reprise to his marvelous earlier works Built to Last and Good to Great (including the added monograph Good to Great for Social Sectors). Recently I had the ...