Episcopal Conversations: Bishops Mike Lowry & Ruben Saenz

In the fall of 2021, Bishops Mike and Lowry and Ruben Saenz had an opportunity to sit down and discuss much about what it is to be a bishop in the United Methodist Church today. As the Central Texas Conference prepares to transition from the episcopal leadership of the retiring Bishop Lowry (2008-2021) to Bishop Saenz, the Central Texas Conference is pleased to present some of the narratives, insights and plans of these two United Methodist Bishops.
Please click on any of the video players below to view. To download and share the video(s), click on the title below each player to go to the CTC Vimeo Page. You can also access and share these videos via the Central Texas Conference Facebook page.
Part 1 - Background & Experience

"Helping others experience Christ is where the greatness of ministry happens!" Bishops Lowry & Saenz recall the other times in thier ministries when Bishop Saenz has succeeded Bishop Lowry in ministry, their ministry backgrounds and experiences that prepared them for the episcopacy and Bishop Saenz's thoughts on being the bishop of two episcopal areas.

Part 2 - The Importance of Family
"I've always seen my family as my first church." In Part 2 of their discussion, you'll hear how vital family is to both bishops and how family has shaped ministries. You'll also get a couple of "proud papa" and being blessed to "marry up" moments - especially from Bishop Saenz as he just lights up when discussing his wife, children and grandchildren.
Part 3 - Hope During the Pandemic


Thank you to our pastors and lay leadership for all they have done and are doing. In this video, the subject turns to being the church in the COVID-19 world - the challenges/opportunities this time has presented to churches; how innovation and technology have had a positive impact for the kingdom; and the importance of understanding and believing that it is OK to fail as long as you fail trying to positively advance the mission of making disciples of Jesus and don't stop trying.

Part 4 - Reaching New and Diverse People Groups


"Our No. 1 missional challenge is how to reach people from varied social and economic groups. The UMC does NOT stand for Upper Middle Class." In Part 4 of their conversation, Bishops Lowry and Saenz hone in on the importance of reaching new people in new ways. In particular, the need to become more diverse in these efforts - not just racially diverse (though quite vital) but also in areas of age, socioeconomic situations and technology.
Part 5 - Making Disciples of Jesus Christ


What does it mean to be a disciple AND to make disciples? Part 5 of this video series centers on the CTC's Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and the three driving values - Christ at the Center; A focus on the local church; Developing the next generation of lay and clergy leadership - that have fueled the WIG efforts. All which seem to be music to Bishop Saenz's ears and very similiar to the focus of the Great Plains Conference.


Part 6 - Revitalizing the Church


I'm excited about and energized by this opportunity and will give the Central Texas Conference my very best. As the bishops wrap up their conversation in Part 6 of the series, Bishop Lowry thanks Bishop Saenz for his willingness to take on the challenge of leading two episcopal areas and offers prayers for his ministry. Bishop Saenz in turn thanks Bishop Lowry for his faithful service, shares his excitement over what's to come and discusses his thoughts on how we can revitalize the church going forward.