Mark’s Musings – Family

In just a couple of weeks my wife and I will be flying to Michigan to see family and friends. It has been over three years since the last time we were in Michigan. Even though I don’t make it back up north very often, these relationships are very important to me. I love being part of my family! The distance, and time, does not take away my feelings for these people. My family is a big part of my identity.

Are You An Encourager?

On Sunday I finished one of the goals that I adopted when I became the South District Superintendent. In my first year I wanted to worship with every church in my District. This is not an uncommon goal. I expect that most Superintendents have a similar goal each year, and especially their first year. I have the advantage that I have a small district, which makes it much more doable. When I started the position last August (I started a month late due to a pre-planned leave), I thought that this would be an easy goal to achieve. I was wrong! It is amazing how many called-charge conferences and celebrations happen! Occasionally, like Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas, I also wanted to go to church with my wife. Then there are the occasional conferences and retreats to attend. There are so many things that look easy—until we are in the position! 

South District Certified Lay Minister

Marlene McNeice, member of the UMC of Green Valley, is the first lay person in the South District to achieve the position of Certified Lay Minister. Having achieved Certified Lay Speaker a few years ago, Marlene decided to pursue Certified Lay Minister when she heard our Missional Strategist/District Superintendent, Mark Conrad, talk about the importance of Lay Servant Ministries and the new position of CLM during the Lay Servant Annual Celebration last Fall and by learning that there is no upper age limit for a CLM.

Spiritual Well-Being

I was a little surprised when the doctor asked why I wanted an annual physical. I told him that it is covered by my insurance, and that it is recommended. The truth is that I was about eight months over-due for my “annual” physical. I was due for the physical about the time that we were moving from Sierra Vista to Sahuarita. I was too busy to be very concerned at the time, and it made sense to me to wait until we were re-established in Sahuarita (we lived here once before). It made sense, but I was very slow in finding a doctor and getting an appointment. My previous Sahuarita doctor moved years ago, which is what finally forced me to move to a doctor in Sierra Vista.

Litany for Thankfulness

Prayer videos and resources are released each week before Annual Conference for spiritual preparation. Permission to reproduce and distribute these resources is granted to all person’s interested in joining us in prayer and spiritual formation. Find this week’s resources and the devotional videos here and on

Kairos Prison Ministry International-The Kairos Outside Program

Kairos Outside is a ministry designed to demonstrate God’s grace and love through Christian support for women who have been impacted by incarceration. Spouses, parents, relatives, and friends of the incarcerated “do time” right along with their loved ones. This program provides a 2 ½ day Christian weekend with ongoing support through the Kairos Outside community to support these women. Women who were previously incarcerated but were unable to attend a Kairos Inside program are also able to attend.

Mark’s Musings – Less Is More

Sometimes it’s the little things that get me started thinking, This time it was eating at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. I love the food, but I’ve always had stomach problems afterwards. I thought at first that there might be an ingredient bothering me. Then I determined that it was just too much food being served—and eaten! I tried taking half back to my hotel room, and still had problems. Last week I determined that if I ordered just one chicken enchilada (one of my favorites!) a la carte (along with some chips and salsa, of course!), I’m fine. I can now confess that I was so happy to figure this out that I went two nights in a row! This lead me to pondering on the saying that “less is more”.

Grace as the space between us

Prayer videos and resources are being released each week before Annual Conference. Permission to reproduce and distribute these resources is granted to all person’s interested in joining us in prayer and spiritual formation. Find this week’s resources and the devotional videos here and on

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