PRAIRIE RIVERS NOTES
We were welcomed into the new assignment with a rushing mighty wind. I wonder if that’s like the opening of The Book of the Acts of the Apostles or just for the Prairie Rivers District. The result of this wind was the privilege of then cutting up and cleaning up the remnants of the Walnut tree that collapsed. Luckily it missed our house and prompted the removal of the other 9 trees to avert the possibility of further damage. We now continue with the challenge of the Christmas experience in figuring out what will be in the next box we open that did not get labeled appropriately. Not to say that the help packing was unappreciated because it was… (they were actually better at labeling than our own last minute efforts.”)
We are glad to be here and be a part of this magnificent team of clergy and lay leadership that makes the Prairie Rivers District such a moving force in our Conference. I look forward to meeting and working with each of our ministries and I am sure that the days ahead will bring with it great opportunities.
Having attended numerous sessions in Dallas at Bishop’s week, I heard the expression that described where I am at right now and consider it most appropriate- that of taking in all this information coming in to be like drinking out of a fire hose. There is a great deal to gather and assimilate. Yet, we are about the work of ministry. I know that there are many aspects to this that include pastoral, lay, administrative, cultural and such, but it is all ministry and all done in service to God’s Kingdom. May we be found faithful.
You will be hearing a great deal in the weeks and months to come about our mission and the direction of our Conference as we become the Great Plains Conference. You will see, most importantly, a focus on excellence. There will be a quest for excellence in all that makes for Vital Congregations. We will be working toward excellence in worship, in preaching, and identifying all that makes for effective ministry. This will be especially noticed in the areas of children, youth and in the technology of our time. We are challenged to not be content with the status quo (“the dead center”), but to be always seeking new avenues to bring growth-both physically and spiritually to ourselves and to our churches.
I think we understand that this quest for vitality in ministry brings with it a call for each of us in measures of support, development and accountability. This increases the need for better communication, more participation and more effective measurements of where we are and where we intend to be. While this requires effort, it also moves us toward expanding our vision for our particular areas of ministry in our local settings and in our world. Intentionally it leads us to a better clarification of purpose.
I sincerely believe that this is a great day for us in the ministry of Christ as the United Methodist Church. We have a message for our communities and our world. We have a hope and a calling in Jesus Christ that brings life. We have a purpose in that calling to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our world. I look forward to what God is doing and am so thankful that God has chosen us to be a part of that wonderful work.
PR District Superintendent