A Welcome to the New Year and to Bishop Ruben Saenz ©

Today, I close my THIS FOCUSED CENTER blog with a special prayer for a

A Happy and Holy New Year to All!

To this prayer I wish to offer a special welcome to a good, faithful and honorable man, Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr.  He will serve as Bishop of the Central Texas Conference beginning Jan. 1, 2022. The Central Texas Conference will be blessed by his leadership!!

Welcome Bishop Ruben Saenz!!

To view a series of episcopal conversations between Bishops Lowry and Saenz recorded prior to Bishop Lowry’s retirement, visit ctcumc.org/bishops-lowry-saenz-video-series. The brief videos cover topics such as Bishop Saenz’s background and experience; the importance of family; being the church during the pandemic; reaching new people groups; our mission/WIG; and revitalizing the church.

Years ago, I read the following story:

“On New Year's Day in 1930, King George of England broadcast a message to the people of his dominion which was heard around the world. He opened his message with a quotation that profoundly affected his listeners. [The words were the product of an] obscure little Christian woman named Minnie Haskins. Twenty-five years earlier, she had privately published a book of verses called The Desert. The proceeds of the book were used for charity in India. In the prose introduction were found these now-famous words of hers.
I said to a man who stood at the gate of the year:
 ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’
So, I went forth, and finding the hand of God trod gladly into the night.
And he led me toward the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East. 
So, heart be still; God knows; His will is best.  
The stretch of years which winds ahead, so dim to our imperfect vision is clear to God.
Our fears are premature; in Him all time hath full provision.”

(Minnie Haskins, The Gate of the Year from The Desert)

May our focused center always remain the same!

 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.  

(2 Corinthians 5:14-15, MSG.)


This post is number 829 and the final This Focused Center blog post of Bishop Mike Lowry as the Bishop of the Central Texas Conference. The Central Texas Conference will continue to host this blog as an archive and resource for any and all who wish to actively recall the thoughts and leadership of Bishop J. Michael Lowry – Episcopal Leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church 2008-2021.