One of my convictions is that we are lifelong learners. During this new season in my ministry, I have learned something new every day, specifically about my role as District Superintendent.
According to the Book of Discipline 2016 ¶404.2, “District Superintendents are elders in full connection appointed by the bishop to the cabinet as an extension of the superintending role of the bishop within the annual conference through the same disciplines and in accordance with their responsibilities designated in the Book of Discipline under the supervision of the resident bishop.” Something else I learned last week, in what is known as “Charm School,” which is the training for new District Superintendents and Directors of Connectional Ministries in our denomination, is that district superintendent are called to be the Chief Mission Strategists and Keepers of the vision – God’s vision.
Additionally, I kept hearing over and over throughout the week that this is not the best time to be in this role because of the many challenges we are facing as a society and as a denomination. At the same time, they reminded us how privileged we are for having such an opportunity in such a time like this.
At the end of the week, we were challenged to name one specific thing we would do this week. I said I was going to meet with pastors from my district this week and share with them how I understand and hope to live out my role as Chief Mission Strategist and Keeper of God’s vision for the Heritage District. To be honest, I forgot about it over the weekend. However, I have been meeting with pastors this week, and I have been asking them, “How can I support you and congregations in the Heritage District?” One of the pastor’s response was: “Lead us missionally, as our Mission Strategist, help us localize mission in our district.” Although I did not say it to the pastor at the time, I say it now – challenge accepted.
In addition to the conviction that we are lifelong learners, I also strongly believe that it is important to pause, breathe, pray, consult, and then respond to whatever situation is in front of us. So, through these bi-weekly messages, I’ll share with you how I understand and hope to live out my role as Chief Mission Strategist and Keeper of God’s vision for the Heritage District. Most significantly, I will be in prayer and consultation with you, so we can identify specific ways in which we can live out as covenantal people and active participants in God’s mission for the world.
As we all know by now, Isaias, a category 1 hurricane made landfall in NC. Although it weakened to a tropical storm, it left a trail of floods, fires, and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. Some of the storm’s most devastating effects were caused by a series of tornadoes that it created across its path. Here is a message from Bishop Hope Ward. We have in front of us a missional opportunity. In fact, Jason Duvall, a pastor from our district, is asking for volunteers to work a couple of days picking up debris scattered throughout Windsor, NC. Please be in touch with Jason for more information.
In the spirit of mission, I invite you to accept Wesley’s invitation:
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition (Contemporary Version)
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.