Liturgically, we begin with Advent. Culturally, we begin with New Year's Day. Academically, we begin in August and January.   — a distinctly Methodist way of measuring time. 

On Sept. 1, we began this quadrennium — a distinctly Methodist way of measuring time. 

Bishops are assigned by the Jurisdictional Committees on the Episcopacy for four years at a time. Jurisdictional and general conference committees, councils, agencies and task forces organize in four year intervals. 

In the 2009-2012quadrennium, 11million United Methodist people around the world will focus on:

• Developing leadership
• New churches in new places
• Engaging ministry with the poor
• Global health. 

These are appropriate ways of embracing once again discipleship, evangelism and mission. 

Mike and I are delighted to be assigned to Mississippi for the next four years. It was our hope to continue in ministry with you. We give thanks for your loving support and your energetic partnership in the ministry before us. 

May God's grace and peace and power be upon us as we begin this quadrennium together.