Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Beauty of Grand Junction

If you are traveling along I-70 headed west toward the Utah boarder you will experience the beauty of the Colorado River. It sweeps through Glenwood Canyon on the way to the incredible depth of the Grand Canyon. Along the way it provides the fullness of life for everything in it's path. The Grand Valley is just one recipient of that abundance.

It is amazing. The entire valley is surrounded by wonderful mesas that shift from dry of dry to lush and beautiful. Throughout the valley you will find evidence of divine activity. The fruit of the vine, the fruit of the tree, the resources of the earth, and the joy of people. Many of those people are folks of faith and a many are fellow United Methodists. Those fellow sojourners were our hosts for the 2009 session of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference.

It was a time or renewal and celebration. It was fresh and joyful as our new Bishop led us in worship and encouraged us in the faith. Bishop Elaine has a spirit that shifts from a very easy smile and a quick sense of humor to the seriousness and strength of significant leadership. She will do well and we will be blessed.

The Annual Conference session is one of the significant touch points when it comes to the fullness of the United Methodist appointment system. Each year, the Bishop is charged with the responsibility of making appointments and "setting" them through the formal process of reading the appointments at Annual Conference. I was blessed to stand as my name was called in relation to the Wilson United Methodist Church. It is one more part on our journey of transition.

Rev. Keith Watson was called on to "pass the torch" from the retired clergy community to the newly ordained servants. His service to the church has been (and will continue to be) a very significant part of our United Methodist family. The transition for Keith and Mary Ann is very important and they deserve our faithful prayers and our full support.

Meanwhile, we all continue to move toward a full transition. Typically that transition actually takes at least one full year...often more! It is about moving in, learning the people and traditions, praying for direction, seeking the vision of God, and building trust one relationship at a time.

From a congregational side it is often a time of uncertainty. Who is this new guy? What will happen next? Is this safe? Is it right? Will it all work out? I understand those questions better than ever since Sue and I just completed a term as "congregation members" under the leadership of a new pastor. Here's what I learned...God is in control! And the Lord has a wonderful way of bringing things together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It will be good and we are looking forward to getting started!

Peace and blessing to you all as you share worship together and honor the ministry of the Watson family. Give them your best, don't miss the opportunity to worship, celebrate the Spirit and join together in a spirit of hope!

The river runs and the vineyard is lush!

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