“Stand. . .help. . .rejoice — Philippians 4:1,3,4
We might think that parents and teachers and pastors should not have favorites. However, particular love does manifest itself.
Paul’s favorite church was the church in Philippi. His heart beats for his friends in Philippi with consistent warmth throughout the short letter. He is confident of their love for him, is mindful of their generosity, is thankful for their faithfulness.
I have the honor of being at church homecomings, anniversaries, groundbreakings, consecrations. I sense that in each of these places, the gathered people have a favorite church – this one! Such is the depth of blessing that flows to us through congregations that have welcomed us, loved us, nurtured us, sent us forth.
We are a connection of faithful people meeting in sacred places to worship, to learn, grow, love, and witness. From these sacred places we go forth to serve in the world, to bear Christ’s light.
This fall — from Crossgates to Inverness to Waynesboro to Poplarhead to Pascagoula to Nugent to Pleasant Hill to Oak Grove to Heritage to Cedar Lake – it is a good journey. A journey to the favorite churches of God’s people, to places of blessing, to places of promise.
It is my commitment as your bishop to seek to order the life of the annual conference in ways that are lifegiving for these, your favorite churches, the places of your spiritual journey. The mission of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by strengthening local churches.
Let us live together well, partnered as people who know the power of God and through the Holy Spirit, the power of place.