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Faithfulness

Faithfulness

By Rev. Matt Ashley, South District Missional Strategist & Superintendent Joy, Compassion. Innovation. Three qualities I have written about in my last three newsletter articles, and three qualities that I hope define the South District. I want my church to be...
Innovation

Innovation

by Rev. Matt Ashley, South District Missional Strategist and Superintendent “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” ~Mark 2:22~...

New Pastors in the South District

Rev. Lynn Bartlow – St. Mark’s UMC – Tucson, AZ Rev. Lynn Bartlow was appointed to St. Mark’s in July of 2021. She has served congregations here in Arizona – including Trinity Heights UMC in Flagstaff – in Illinois, and in Florida before becoming a...
Are We Compassionate People?

Are We Compassionate People?

Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee, age 23, died in an August 26th airport attack in Afghanistan, along with at least 12 other U.S. soldiers and at least 90 Afghans. A few days before, Sergeant Gee posted a photo of herself assisting Afghani refugees boarding a plane, desperate to escape the violence in their country. A week prior to the attack, Sergeant Gee posted a photo of herself holding an Afghani baby. “I love my job,” Sergeant Gee wrote under the photo.

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World!

Two of my favorite hymns are about Joy.  The words to ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee’ (#89 in the UM Hymnal) were written in 1907 by Henry Van Dyke, a Presbyterian clergyperson and scholar.  Rev. Van Dyke was reportedly inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains during a visit to Massachusetts.  The world was a troubled place in 1907, with the events leading to World War I already in motion, but Rev. Van Dyke’s words remind us that God’s joy is a gift even in the midst of trouble. 

Thoughts from Matt about the South District

Thoughts from Matt about the South District

by Rev. Matt Ashley, South District Missional Strategist and Superintendent A year ago, I was participating in the United Methodist Church’s online training camp for new District Superintendents in the United States.  Our meetings went for five days from 6-9 am...

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