BY BISHOP JIMMY NUNN
I love beginnings. They are the bedrock of faith.
The very first verse of the Bible opens with "In the beginning, God created…."
The Gospel According to John echoes those first words by announcing a new revelation: "In the beginning was the Word…."
Can anything be more exciting? Each new beginning is an opportunity to become all that God imagines we can be. And in the context of a new endeavor, we are sustained by a strength far more profound and powerful than ever could emanate from ourselves.
I am excited about our new beginning in Oklahoma!
Staff in the United Methodist Ministry Center prepared a large book and video introducing many Oklahoma people and ministries to your new bishop. I marvel at the diverse ministries in the Oklahoma Conference. I have been systematically praying for each pastor, church, and ministry named in the 2015 Journal. I am excited by the prospects of new relationships here.
About a year ago, I visited in the state, seeking to coordinate work I was doing in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As I made my way back home to Lubbock, Texas, I felt that I had just seen people I had known for decades, although we had just met.
Every beginning is built on a foundation of significant people who have impacted us in ways we can acknowledge but never truly comprehend. I am grateful to God for my wife, Mary, and our children: daughter Jaime, with her husband, Scott Montgomery; and son Michael. Likewise, our brothers and their families have blessed us in innumerable ways. Our parents and grandparents left a heritage filled with potential. The people of the Northwest Texas Conference have richly blessed us as well.
The delegates of the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in July elected me to the episcopacy and assigned me to the Oklahoma Area. During the jurisdiction’s Service of Consecration, we were blessed with an outstanding message from a bishop whom you and I know and love — Bishop Hayes.
His message was timely, and I will seek to embody it: "Carry a Little Balm and a Little Honey."
He has modeled those words and served with distinction and a deep commitment to Jesus Christ. I am grateful to Bishop Hayes, the Oklahoma delegation, the transition team, and the jurisdiction for support and encouragement.
In mid-August, Mary and I were able to visit Oklahoma City. We experienced your hospitality, friendship, and dedication to Jesus Christ. That radiated from everyone we met.
In every corner of Oklahoma, there are people longing for new beginnings. Some of these people are clergy colleagues. Others attend their local churches faithfully but long for a fresh wind of the Spirit. And others — so many others — are outside the churches, in what we call the mission field.
God is calling Oklahoma United Methodists to be vessels for new beginnings.
Will you hear and respond to the call?
Serving Christ with you,
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