God’s beloved in the Great Plains,
Grace and peace.
Now a little more than two weeks into my new role as your bishop in Kansas and Nebraska, I wanted to pause for a moment to tell you how honored and excited I am to be your episcopal leader and partner in the mighty works that God has in store for all of us in the Great Plains Annual Conference.
I am doing my best to learn quickly about the many aspects of our two diverse states and the opportunities we have for a wide variety of ministries as we work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to live out the lessons our Savior taught about mercy and justice for all of God’s children.
Many organizations aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required to offer the fullness of life, hope and healing to a volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous world. Friends, the church can and does have that transformative power through Christ.
As the people of The United Methodist Church of the Great Plains, we will continue to teach about Jesus’ love for all and the message of hope that comes through his resurrection. Together, we will work to embody God’s good and tangible gifts of healing, liberation, salvation and caring in the neighborhoods surrounding our churches, in our surrounding communities and throughout our world.
Please know that I will prayerfully and joyfully offer you my best and most meaningful efforts toward the great kingdom work before us, as I know you will offer yours. Please pray for the work that is at hand, for your pastors and for the laity who serve as the hands and feet of Christ in today’s world.
Again, it is a great honor to join you on this next phase of your journey. I look forward to getting to know more about your ministry settings, the many aspects of mission work in which you are engaged and about God’s people in the Great Plains.
I am looking forward to meeting many of you in my travels, which will include visits to your districts. And all are invited to a celebration service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. For those of you who can’t attend in person, I invite you to watch the livestream broadcast online at www.greatplainsumc.org/livestream.
Thank you for your prayers and for the warm welcome I and my wife, Maye, already have received.