Greetings! Now that I’m settled I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I count it joy to serve with you in the Mississippi River District. My first appointment in this District began in 2003 with East St. Louis Trinity United Methodist Church. It was a true blessing and joy. Now, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to serve as your District Superintendent. Truly God’s gift. Please know that I will love you. I am a servant/woman of God and a true follower of Jesus Christ. I too am a sinner, saved by God’s Grace.
I thank Pastor Beverly Wilkes Null and Highland Hope for hosting our District Worship Gathering. Also, Thank Mike Rayson, Pastor Nameoki, Mr. & Mrs. Vic Mitchell, Highland Hope Worship Leader, and Gail Smith, Trinity East St. Louis for blessings everyone through song. A special thanks to Carmen Wuebbels, Christ Faith Community Coordinator team and Edith Lakizian for ministry of anointing and prayers.
During our Worship, I spoke on the importance of remembering your “Why.” My hope for our District is that because of our “why” we’ll continually reflect and live out our call and ministry in Christ Jesus. Many churches in our Denomination have become settings of social clubs and meeting places. Members are rarely welcomed for fear of change; offerings are received as membership dues instead of acts of stewardship and gifts to God; internal conflict becomes a norm instead of acts of love, forgiveness and compassion. Our America is increasingly becoming a nation of hate, intolerance, injustice, and destruction. I’ve heard commentators say, “It’s in our DNA. That’s how we were founded.” That doesn’t mean that’s how we should remain.
It’s my belief, remembering your “why” shifts your thinking from immoral/conflictive behavior to Christ-like living. Remembering your “why” alters your belief from selfish gratification of “how can I serve me” to “how can I serve others.” Remembering your “why” compels you to love others while uplifting peace and justice for all. When you bless others, you bless whom God loves most – all people. My prayer? We continue to live out our purpose as a District embracing God’s call as children of God and followers of Jesus Christ.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy he wrote, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (I Timothy 4:11-12 NIV) I encourage you, young and seasoned, to set an example as followers of Jesus Christ.