Happy New Year, my dear siblings in the Desert Southwest Conference! As of three days ago, I am now officially your bishop and I give thanks to God for the blessing, honor, and privilege to get to serve alongside all of you in mission and ministry. As I write this, I am still physically in Alaska as my family, and I work through the many moving pieces of this transition that will span a few months, and I ask for your prayers, grace, and patience as we do so. I’ll share more about this in the coming weeks as I meet you in person at meetings, district training events, and orders retreat. For now, know that my heart and mind are fully with you as I begin the work, both virtually and in person.
As you all know, I engaged in a #prayerrun in December to spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare for the responsibilities of leadership in the Desert Southwest Conference and to count down our transition from the land of the midnight sun to the valley of the sun. For the whole month of December, I prayerfully ran or biked a mile for each of the faith communities and ministry settings in the DSC. Each day, I posted the number of miles I covered and the corresponding ministries I ran them for. We also posted weekly recaps, which you can find here:
I am happy to share that I ended December with 164.54 miles + a run up a mountain and was able to pray for all our ministry settings in the DSC! And what a journey that was! Your Facebook pages gave me a glimpse of your ministries, and my prayers for you ignited in me a sense of excitement and joy for what is and what lies ahead! I give thanks to many of you who accompanied me on this prayer journey with your encouraging words, and some even logging their own prayer miles. I look forward to our partnership and how God will work great things through us!
Here’s a recap of the finals days of the #prayerrun:
#PrayerRun Day 28
#prayerrun #ak2az Day 28: Ran 7 miles in prayer for these 7 churches in the West District of the Desert Southwest Conference: Trinity UMC in Phoenix; Prescott UMC; Prescott Valley UMC; Sedona UMC; First UMC, Lakeview UMC, and Willowbrook UMC all in Sun City, Arizona. #aumc2dsc #anc2phx #reflectionsofarunningreverend
#PrayerRun Day 29
#prayerrun #ak2az Day 29: Another 7 mile run to pray for the last 7 churches in the West District of the Desert Southwest Conference: Shepherd of the Hills UMC in Sun City West; New Song UMC in Surprise; Fort Yuma UMC in Winterhaven, CA; First UMC, Gila Mountain UMC, Trinity UMC and a New Church Start, all in Yuma, AZ. #aumc2dsc #anc2phx #reflectionsofarunningreverend
#PrayerRun Day 30
#prayerrun #ak2az Day 30: Rode 4 trail miles in prayer on my fat bike dedicating a mile each to: Mingus Mountain United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center; Potosi Pines United Methodist Camp; the Desert Southwest Conference staff; and my Executive Assistant in the Phoenix Area Episcopal office. #aumc2dsc #anc2phx #reflectionsofarunningreverend
#prayerrun #ak2az Day 31: Ran up my favorite mountain to pray for the whole Desert Southwest Conference, whom I get to serve alongside with beginning tomorrow! Mt. Denali(The Great One) was out, serving as a reminder that the Great One is with us as we step into this new season of ministry together. #aumc2dsc #anc2phx #reflectionsofarunningreverend