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I first started pastoring a church in 1985 while I was still an undergraduate in college. I wondered if I would ever be ordained. The thought of becoming a district superintendent seemed like a future impossibility. To be honest, until a few months ago, I still thought it was an impossibility. That was OK with me. I was happy serving as the senior pastor of Sierra Vista UMC. Then Bishop Bob called and asked me to be the new South District Superintendent.

Annual Conference is where this new role for me started to feel real. Normally, when I change churches, I have a pretty good idea of how to get started. With this new role I feel like I have a pretty steep learning curve. I ask for your patience and grace as I learn how to be a district superintendent. The part that I’m looking forward to the most is getting to know better each of our South District churches and pastors. There are a lot of faithful Christian disciples in our district!

One of the complications of taking this new position is that I already had plans to be in Alaska for the summer. I’m appreciative that Bishop Bob and the Appointive Cabinet have supported my being gone until August 7th so that I could follow through on these plans. A reminder that I’m in Alaska is that I’m writing this article at almost midnight and it is still full daylight outside!

I have been asked many times about the location of my office. All of our District Superintendents have moved to having our offices at our houses (and in our cars!). My wife and I will initially continue to live in Sierra Vista, and then, before the end of the year, we hope to move closer to Tucson. Another change is that Cynthia Holly, our Administrative Assistant for the South District, has her office in Phoenix.

As I look towards the future, I don’t know what all is going to happen. I do know, though, that God is active in our lives, in our churches, and in the South District! I feel fortunate to be a partner in ministry with each of you.

Your brother in Christ, Mark

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