The 34th session of our Annual Conference has ended and now is the time for us to look forward – to find ways to live into all that we discussed and planned and committed to do. As Annual Conference began Bishop Bob told us that three streams would flow together to lead us into a mighty rushing river. (my interpretation of his words)
- The first stream comes from a call to give God our best. The book, The Art of Possibility, introduced us to the thought that God has already given us an ‘A’ and we are called to live into that ‘A.’ Bishop Bob asked us these questions, “Are we doing the best we can do, doing what we are called to do? What is the best that I can do with what I have, that God has given me to do in this world?” He reminded the Conference of the three simple rules, do no harm, do your best, and stay in love with God.
- The second stream addresses a future for our United Methodist Church. Bishop Bob mentioned that the issue is more than what we believe about human sexuality. He believed that no matter what happens at General Conference 2019, the Desert Southwest Conference will engage in thoughtful, respectful conversations about our differences; stating that we can and will be united by our insistence on keeping our focus on mission and ministry because in the Desert Southwest Conference, caring for others, generously giving when there is need, loving like Jesus is in our DNA.
- The third stream flows from our Vision of Growth and Vitality. Sometimes change begins with one small step, one drop of water that starts a ripple which spreads across the water. Ripples can start with one small drop of water, or the splash of a rock, or the pounding from rain starting multiple ripples all at once. What small change do you feel called to start that has the potential to ripple into growth and vitality? What will ripple into transformation of a person’s life, or of a community?
Three streams merging together into a mighty rushing river. That’s all I could think about as Bishop Bob shared his Episcopal Address. What brings the three streams together for me was found in the scripture that provided our foundation. Colossians 3:12-15 is a powerful passage to study, to memorize, to live.
Now that Conference has come to an end, we begin taking what we discussed, planned, and committed to into our daily lives. I pray that together we discover ways to give God our best and truly transform our lives, our relationships, and the work we do each and every day.