Bishop's Corner

Saying thanks


"The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives." (1 Corinthians 1:6, The Message) Part 2 by bishop robert hayes jr. A‌s I think about the 10,000 experiences of our time together, memories surface that will last always for me. This 12-year journey is filled to the brim with treasured moments that will require my careful sorting and sifting, appreciating each one by one. So at the top of my must-do list in retirement is to set aside days when I find quiet places — to reflect,...

How can I say thanks?


"Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives." (I Corinthians 1:4, 6; The Message) Part One by bishop robert hayes jr. If you open the New Testament to Paul’s writings, you will find in each one a joyous note of thanksgiving at the beginning and sometimes also at the conclusion. I marvel at the way he expresses his gladness (and often his ...

Linger with Jesus and learn


"After his suffering, he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the Kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3 NRSV) By BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. There is a book I’ve carried with me since my seminary days that still fascinates me just as it did the day I bought it. You really don’t sit down and read it like you would a novel, because it’s simply the "Book of Bible Lists." Within its pages are more than 6,000 intriguing items. ...

What happened next?


"Now on that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:13, 15-16 NRSV) BY BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. Of many experiences throughout the course of my life, certain ones linger in memory, refusing to be forgotten no matter how long ago they happened. Such is the case for an encounter I had with my son Ryan when...

Lord, teach us to pray


"Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." — Philippians 4:6-8 (The Message) By BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. When the Council of Bishops met at Lake Junaluska, N.C., in November, the group suggested every ...

Spiritual inventory


"If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope." (Psalm 130:3-5, NIV) BY BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. Among typical life activities that I dread most, you’ll find going to a department store at the very top of my list. Without a doubt, it’s an agonizing experience for me. A trip to the dentist or the doctor? No problem! What about ...

Are we there yet?


"Hold on to what you have" — Revelation 3:11 By BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. Entering a new year and my final eight months as bishop of the Oklahoma Area, I conclude the five-part series in which I’ve been focusing on several aspects of our shared ministry: the expectations of all our churches, the laity, and those called to lead as pastors. Today I offer what I call the balcony view for our annual conference. Throughout 11 years as bishop, I’ve often asked a question posed by people on long ...

Giving gifts?


NOTE: Bishop Hayes is calling each of us to action in the Oklahoma Conference. This is the fourth in his five-part series. Did you miss one? Go to   "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in ...

What should a pastor do?


NOTE: Bishop Hayes is calling each of us to action in the Oklahoma Conference. This is the third in a five-part series, following "Closed on Sunday?" and "Is church high on your list?" "I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. He is about to break into the open with His rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. Keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard...

Is church high on your list?


NOTE: Bishop Hayes is calling each of us to action in the Oklahoma Conference. This is the second in a five-part series, which began with "Closed on Sunday?"   "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him." (Luke 5:11) By BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. In a recent meeting of Conference leaders, I was troubled to learn that still only one-third of our churches are growing in members. That means two-thirds are either stagnant or declining. These are statistics...

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