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I’ve been holding this scripture close to my heart for some time now:

“He came over and asked him, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus replied, ‘The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

And the other scripture that sits with me regularly is 1 Corinthians 13. The whole chapter describes many good things that we can fill our life with, but it repeatedly says that “if we don’t have love” all those things mean nothing. Love continues to matter more than any greatness we may think we possess.

This has been a roller coaster month for me. Being part of the episcopal candidate process was wonderful and wildly political. I experienced the ups and downs of people voting on my personhood (I don’t really wish that on anyone), and the thrill of talking with those who attended the event. I was surrounded by friends and family and strangers who had a vision for the church. My window to the world has been changed through this process.

But the best of all was the overwhelming love that was expressed to me when I withdrew my name. I describe it as a dump-truck load of love… I’ll never forget the words, the encouragement, and the overwhelming support.

Which reminds me of those two scriptures I began with. It boils down to loving God and each other. The rest will work itself out. And love changes everything. So I am praying for you this month. I’m praying that you will also receive a dump-truck of love in your life. I’m praying you will see how beloved you are in God’s eyes, and in the community that surrounds you. I’m praying that your love for God’s world will overflow onto those around you so that our whole world can know the sense of “beloved.”

I’ll be taking a month off in August as part of a sabbatical. Jim and I will be traveling around and exploring different parts of the world. If you need anything, call Sally (520-325-2775), or the East/West District offices (602-798-8236). Take care of you as you care for your part of the world.

I’ll be back…as we have more work to be about as we show God’s love to all.

Faith, hope, & love,
Dottie

Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank
South District Superintendent
Desert Southwest Conference
The United Methodist Church

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