Bishop's Blog Archive


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WIG Sightings and Celebrations ©

Psalm 100 peeled its beauty in my heart and mind on Sunday.    Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. 2     Worship the Lord with gladness;     come into his presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord is God.     It is he that made us, and...

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Forward Towards a New Spring: A Different Church for a Different World Part III ©

The Forward Towards a New Spring series of blogs began on April 19 with “A Different World Struggling to Be Born.” The second post in the series was published on April 30 under the title “The Search for a New Center.” The following is the third ...

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Reflections on Hospitality and Communion ©

In the heat of July, our family vacation finds us back in West Virginia (our future retirement home near family living in the D.C and Boston areas). As churches and Christians across the country slowly open back up, we have found ourselves ...

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Way, Way Back to the Future – Envisioning a New Spring (Part 3) ©

On June 21, at the 2021 annual meeting of the Central Texas Conference (CTC), I delivered what I believe will be my last episcopal address to the CTC – “Way, Way Back to the Future: Envisioning a New Spring,” I have been sharing a printed version ...

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Way, Way Back to the Future - Envisioning a New Spring (Pt 2) ©

On June 21, at our recently concluded annual meeting of the Central Texas Conference (CTC), I delivered what I believe will be my last episcopal address to the CTC – “Way, Way Back to the Future: Envisioning a New Spring,” I am sharing a printed ...

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Way, Way Back to the Future Part I ©

On June 21, at our recently concluded annual meeting of the Central Texas Conference (CTC), I delivered what I believe will be my last episcopal address to the CTC – “Way, Way Back to the Future: Envisioning a New Spring,” I am sharing a printed ...

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It’s Time to Reopen – Guided by Faith Not Driven by Fear ©

Today, we put the finishing touches on what I hope will be my final video on the COVID-19 pandemic (see video below). Throughout the pandemic, we have remained committed to the understanding that we are to be “Guided by Faith, Not Driven by Fear.”  ...

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A Pentecost Follow Up ©

Jesus had made a promise. “…I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [helper] to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because ...

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Vocational Retirement ©

Through the struggle of the church to be the church in a time of pandemic, in the chaos of our time in the life of America and the diverging future of the United Methodist Church, I have experienced the Lord leading us into a new spring. While that ...

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Forward to a New Spring: A Different Church for a Different World Part II ©

The Search for a New Center About four years ago, when visiting one of our Central Texas Conference Churches, I sat in the back row. At the close of the service, a young lady sitting next to me walked up and professed her faith in Christ for the ...

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Forward Towards a New Spring: A Different Church for a Different World Part I ©

A Different World Struggling to Be Born A heartwarming event took place at the close of the 11 a.m. traditional worship on Sunday, April 11, Michael and Sue Beaton joined Arborlawn United Methodist Church. Their story is a tale of the WIG – the ...

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A Map for Emerging from the Pandemic ©

  As we move through Lent, we are all struggling with issues of re-opening. The WIG remains our mission with an emphasis in discipleship formation through small group ministry, outreach to the community/mission field, and professions of ...

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Building a Post-Pandemic Church ©

Last week, I had the privilege of sharing with many of you in a webinar featuring Dr. Thom Rainer and produced by the Texas Conference UMC. Dr. Rainer is the head of a highly respected Christian “think-tank” and coaching platform called Church ...

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Recovery, Renewal and Recommitment ©

The Sunday after the great winter storm of 2021, many members of the Cabinet and Conference staff leadership team dispersed across the Central Texas Conference to visit various churches and communities damaged by the cold, snow, bursting pipes and ...

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Revised WIG Reporting ©

At our 2020 Annual Conference meeting, we passed an initiative called Forward to a New Spring. In most aspects, this initiative is nothing new at all. Our mission still remains our Wildly Important Goal (WIG) – “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for...

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On the Move to a New Spring ©

In C. S. Lewis’ epic tale, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , one of the first creatures the children encounter is Mr. Beaver. Beaver has great wisdom and insight even in a time of the land frozen and in the grip of the White Witch. Quite soon ...

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Ending Racism In Our Lifetime – Moving From Awareness to Action © (A Guest Blog)

In the turmoil surrounding us and the uncertainty of the church’s future (both coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and a possible General Conference vote on the Protocol), I do not want us to lose sight of our need and commitment to work on ending ...

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Entering a New Year ©

Bishop Lowry states it succinctly and well when he opens his New Year’s message to the conference with “Thank God 2020 is over!” With our sigh of relief that we have begun a New Year, it is good to remember that we have hope and joy in the coming ...

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Moving Forward ©

A video message from Bishop Lowry is available at the end of this post.   So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith. Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time...

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The WIG – Narratives: Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing! ©

The famous idiom recalled in the title above sticks in the mind and immediately raises forth the question, “what is the main thing?” For well more than two decades in the Central Texas Conference, the main thing has been our mission of “making ...

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Focus in a Time of Chaos ©

These are wild times. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to slam us all. International news around the world reports seemingly continual conflicts. Here in the United States, one political party’s convention has just ended, and the other major party is...

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Words of Thanks, Admiration and Perseverance ©

In his latest video message to the CTC, Bishop Lowry, having recently returned to Lone Star State after taking a few weeks to go and play the role of Papa with his grandkids, shares words of admiration and thanks to the clergy and lay leadership who...

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Passion and Wisdom ©

While “sheltering in place,” Jolynn and I have enjoyed a return to “Sunday night at the Movies.” A few weeks ago, we watched the great old action flick “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Early this week, I came across an arresting reflection on ...

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Our Prayer: “On Earth as it is in Heaven” ©

Moderator's Note: A video in which Bishop Lowry directly and fervently addresses the recent events surrounding the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd and the blight of racism and shares some ideas for concrete, specific action to fight racism...

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Reflections on An Honor, Some Insights, & A Hope ©

An Honor The following announcement was recently shared by Bishop Bob Farr, President of the South Central Jurisdictional (SCJ) College of Bishops, and Brian Hammonds, SCJ Episcopacy Committee Chair:  “The Council of Bishops has affirmed the actions...

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Ten Critical Mistakes to Avoid – A Guest Blog ©

I have recommended Rev. Mike Ramsdell’s weekly email “Endnotes” in several of my blog posts over the past several months. And I’m writing today to do so once again. His recent article “Ten Mistakes to Avoid in the COVID-19 Season” is brilliantly ...

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Emerging from COVID-19 as Healthy, Vital Churches ©

As we continue to engage in effective ministry during and after COVID-19, Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet are convinced that churches hoping to return to “the way things were” are not going to emerge from this season as healthy as those who are willing...

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Gospel Engagement in a Time of Crisis ©

Do you recall the great promise given to Peter when Jesus tells him that “upon this rock I will build my church?” Jesus promises, “the gates of Hades [hell] will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, NRSV)  Neither will the COVID-19 Coronavirus ...

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Here I Stand ©

When I started this blog site approximately 10 years ago, I chose to title it “This Focused Center” based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. “Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same ...

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Jesus is Lord – the Heart of Discipleship ©

The earliest creedal affirmation of Christians is the simple phrase, “Jesus is Lord.” Such a confession stood in sharp contrast to the central claim of the Roman Empire with its assertion that Caesar is Lord. At the heart of discipleship lies the ...

Report from the Mission Field ©

Among the many insightful statements from Gil Rendle (recently retired Sr. Consultant for the Texas Methodist Foundation) is the comment, “the narrative [stories of faith transformation] change before the metrics do.” Recently, we began our Fall ...

New Faith Communities, Missions and CTCYM ©

While I am on renewal leave, I have invited Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director of the Smith Center for Evangelism, Missions and Church Growth to share a guest blog.  This report was originally published June 19, 2019.  Bishop Mike Lowry At ...

Summer Reading and the WIG ©

As a part of my summer reading, I have enjoyed 8 Virtues of Rapidly Growing Churches. With our focus on the WIG – the Wildly Important Goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world – the words leaped off the page: ...

As the Storm Rages: Part III ©

This Blog is part three of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video ...

As the Storm Rages: Part II ©

This Blog is part two of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video of ...

As the Storm Rages: Part I ©

This Blog is part one of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video of ...

The Centrality of Worship ©

This coming Sunday night we will open the 109th gathering of the Central Texas Conference at First United Methodist Church in Hurst. Worship is central to who we are and what we are about. The Psalmist writes... 1 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, ...

Amid the Fluid Chaos ©

For those following larger issues in the United Methodist Church in America, it is an understatement to assert that this is a time of fluid chaos. Conversations, and even threatened action for or against the recently concluded General Conference, ...

Intended Consequences of a WIG Focus ©

Later this week, Bishops and delegates to the Special Called session of General Conference 2019 will gather in St. Louis. It is not an understatement to assert that this General Conference will have a crucial role in determining the future of the ...

The Holy Spirit at Work ©

As I write, it is a Sunday afternoon and I have just returned to my office from sharing with Mooreville United Methodist Church in worship. While with those good and faithful people, I saw the Holy Spirit at work. But I am ahead of myself. Though ...

Stay Focused ©

When I began writing my blog back in 2010, I entitled it This Focused Center based on a version of 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 from The Message (a paraphrased translation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson) “Our firm decision is to work from this focused ...