Bishop's Corner

First words from Bishop Nunn


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 ...

You just never know


"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers." (Hebrews 13:1-2a, NIV) By Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. Just over a year ago, I joined other bishops and annual conferences’ leaders from across our jurisdiction at a meeting in Austin, Texas. We gathered to learn more about developing strategies and implementing goals to help The United Methodist Church reach a younger and more diverse population. Groups we label as Generation X (1965-1979), ...

The seed has been planted


"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe — as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." (1 Corinthians 3:5-7, NIV) BY BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. When Methodism was in its infancy, in the late 1780s in America, distinctive beliefs set the faith apart from most Christian ...

On the short list


BY BISHOP ROBERT HAYES JR. Over two years ago I promised this conference that I would step away from any non-essential duties as bishop to more fully invest in our work together here. I knew transition to new episcopal leadership was on the horizon. Today, as we prepare to receive a new bishop on Sept. 1, we are in a better place to carry on our life-transforming work. Yet you and I know we must not linger here. Jesus did not call us to be comfortable. We must always go on toward ...

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 ...

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