In the United Methodist way, this is a season of transition. Many churches are offering a farewell to their pastors as they celebrate a ministry together. It is a time to express thanks for their shared ministry and bless the pastor into their next appointment or season of retirement.
So, this summer I have returned to my ministry roots, and am again working at a United Methodist Camp. In 1994 I began at Potosi Pines Camp outside Las Vegas as Site Director. It was a ministry I was only slightly familiar with but felt a strong call to do. Over the years at Potosi, and in Alabama, and in Oregon and in Michigan and now in North Carolina, I have been privileged to watch how God has changed hearts and transformed lives through the experience of Camp.
If you missed the May 26th pre-conference briefing in preparation for the 2020 Desert Southwest Annual Conference, don’t worry, two more are scheduled.
In this season of isolation, when I am now “off-roading,” I have been enjoying the spring flowers which bring fresh life into the landscape of my backyard. They represent hope and rebirth. I find it good for the soul to dig in the earth (OK chisel) and nurture forth life in the garden.
I don’t know about you, but I am not sure I ever used the word ‘mitigate’ in a sentence before March of this year. I used other words with similar meanings, but ‘mitigate’ seems to be in every sentence these days.
Mitigating the effects of Covid 19, mitigating the emotional effects of not being able to be in community, mitigating the financial impact of not having corporate worship, or work, or summer camp. I’ve used it so much that I figured I needed to look it up and see if I am using it correctly.
Open Table ministry has been building relationships and supporting those in need for 15 years. It’s messy but oh so rewarding. Our young adults have expressed how much their table members have provided support, community, and social resources which have made a significant impact on their lives.
Imagine. For just a moment, walk with me, through more than 27,000* square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. 27,000 square miles of many homes without running water or other infrastructure that many of us simply live with daily as part of our “normal”. A place...
The past two Wednesdays the Desert Southwest Conference presented inspirational devotions to bring an uplifting spiritual pause during the middle of the week. This ‘Earth Day,’ North District Superintendent Rev. Dan Morley will present the devotion and bring attention to ‘Earth Day.’
“On March 2 I flew from Las Vegas to Phoenix. High winds had buffeted Las Vegas all weekend. They transformed that hour-long flight into a bone-jarring pothole marathon! Nearly all my off-road adventures have been far smoother! As we landed in Phoenix, I wondered: Was that rough ride a preview of the year we’d just begun?”
The Desert Southwest Conference Emergency Response Team donated Protection Equipment from the Disaster Response trailer. Thirty N-95 masks and 175 TyVek suits were delivered to the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM.
On the road called Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering, Jesus journeyed over the challenging mountain of Golgotha and through the dark valley of death. He experienced isolation from his community (“I do not know him” Luke 22:57), and even with God (“why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46). Even so, on this road of isolation, Jesus held to the vision of the Kin-dom — a hope, a promise, and a grace for all.
Some days ARE very hard. Recently the hard days seem to come closer together, not allowing for us to recover or process their meaning. It’s times like this when our loving connectedness is important.
We have officially postponed the North District Women’s retreat to September 11-12 at Potosi Pines Camp, but we are excited to host a ‘Virtual Easter Eggstravaganza!”
I think I have the beginnings of a Country & Western song — Faithless or Reckless! It came to me while wrestling with our dilemma about suspending public worship and gatherings during the pandemic. Such a predicament.
Did you miss the March 18th “Live-Streaming Webinar on live-streaming licensing?” It was a two-hour webinar covering six topics. If you would like to take advantage of this important information in light of the need for social distancing ourselves from one another, you still can.
The Desert Southwest Camp and Retreat Ministries offer a variety of summer camps for elementary-age children through just graduated seniors. Click here to find out more.
….in my birth family, …each person plays a role or has a function. Mary and Steve take the job of organizing family events to bring us together. Any reason for a family function will do. They let us know where, when, and what to bring. Frank, the eldest, has been the letter writer to keep us informed. Yes, actually paper and pen with a stamp letter-writing. When in the southwest and miles away from Wisconsin, it has always been a blessing to receive one of Frank’s letters. Dave, the youngest of the siblings, keeps us posted and connected via Facebook. He helps us hear about life and see posts and pics about adventures and achievements.
Ash Wednesday – it is a day to reflect on what I can ‘give up’ for 40 days in order to focus on the season of Easter and the Resurrection of Christ, as well as the time Christ spent in the wilderness. I have so many personal indulgences that it’s hard to choose. But I would like to give up something that might benefit the greater community.
The North District United Methodist connection shares love and compassion with Gwen Watson and family in the passing of her mother, Johnnie Cowart. A service celebrating Johnnie’s life is Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Simpson Memorial United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
University UMC Las Vegas is excited to welcome J.J. Warren on Sunday, March 8th from 1:00-3:00 PM. Join us and hear from someone on the front line of the efforts to change The UMC from the inside out, sharing a message of hope within our community.