Celebration and Grief, Adventure and Change

Today (Friday, January 27, 2012) I have the joy of representing the Central Texas Conference and The United Methodist Church at the installation of Dr. Fred Slabach as the 20th President of Texas Wesleyan University. I believe the Trustees have chosen well. President Slabach is already engaging the church in the ongoing ministry of “uniting the two so long divided: knowledge and vital piety.” Tomorrow (Saturday, January 28, 2012) I will share with my esteemed colleague and friend Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe in a Memorial Service for his granddaughter Hannah Moran. The tragic death of young girl so full of hope and promise hits us all hard. I ask you to lift up Bishop and Leslie Bledsoe and their entire family in prayers and love. I am deeply grateful for the love and care of the gathered and scattered church at such a time as this. Dr. Tim Bruster and the staff at First UMC, Fort Worth have been especially helpful and grace-filled. Monday, I will fly to Monterrey, Mexico with Rev. Randy Wild (Executive Director for the Center for Mission Support) and Dawn Phillips (Director of Missions) to meet with the Methodist Bishop of Mexico. Our two conferences have long had a covenantal arrangement of missional support and engagement. We hope to explore how we together might serve Christ and especially our neighbors in need in the future. This is an adventure in service and sharing that I look forward to being a part of! The following Saturday (February 4, 2012), Jolynn and I will travel back to Dallas for a regular meeting of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. As we look forward to General Conference, the bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction are exploring together how we lead this great church through our current period of change. We seek to be open to the Holy Spirit and attentive to God’s guidance. We remain committed to the core mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.