Dear Friends/Colleagues/Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

“Wow!” Or is it “Whew!”?  Annual Conferences are behind us. Pentecost has come and gone (I pray not gone in spirit).  Some of us have made difficult, but promising moves.  Others of us have made no physical moves but find ourselves in familiar territory which hold both difficulty and promise.  Wherever you may find yourself in this season After Pentecost/Ordinary Time I encourage you to take time for refreshment and renewal.  A great way to do that is to participate in the annual gathering of the National Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors happening in Tipp City, Ohio, September 17-19, 2019.

I have been participating in this event for the past 10 -12 years; from the first time I learned about it from my Annual Conference Fellowship chair.  At each gathering I have had the opportunity to fellowship with old and new friends, learn from facilitators and colleagues, receive continuing education credits and see new places.  I am sure this year will be no different as we meet in the original Ginghamsburg Church with Pastor Emeritus, Mike Slaughter.  Mike is the author of multiple books for church leaders, including Down to Earth, The Passionate ChurchA Different Kind of Christmas, Spiritual Entrepreneurs and UnLearning Church to name a few.  He will be sharing with us, pastor to pastor, about recognizing ministry opportunities in our own communities and refreshing conversation on preaching with vision and passion.

Your Executive Team has been working throughout the year to develop legislation to bring to the 2020 General Conference that we believe creates a stronger, better and more just UM Church.  You can take a look at this on our website now.  Feel free to make contact with your Executive Team if you have questions or suggestions about legislation or anything else.  Contact information can be found on the website.

I recently discovered that by some glitch or human error on my part the long letter I wrote for this website before Easter did not get downloaded or has been lost in cyber heaven, or …well.  Since I discovered this, I have felt especially foolish and irresponsible.  I tell you this to remind that all of your Executive Team are volunteering in their positions in addition to all of their other pastoral responsibilities, conference and district responsibilities and family and personal responsibilities.  This is not an excuse it is a fact and an appeal. We need each and every Licensed clergy member working together for the good of all and the good of the UM Church.  I ask that you contact me or other Executive Team members when you have a concern or a friendly reminder and always be ready to forgive one another and serve one another.  If you would like to see that belated letter feel free to email me at dgwolford.gw@gmail.com and I will forward a copy to you.

As we live out this season known as Ordinary Time on the Christian Calendar, let’s invite God to do extraordinary things in us, the congregations we serve and in the United Methodist church.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” — Ephesians 3:20-21

My favorite prayer has become, “Lord, please do abundantly more than I can ask or imagine.”

May it be so!

Gwen