It's transition time
Delphine, JaNaÈ and Joshua join me in greeting you and thanking you for your warm and welcoming spirit. Your hospitality has helped us to enjoy a smooth transition from the eastern shores of Georgia to the mountains of Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee and Dade County, Ga.
It appears to me that transition is one of the constant experiences of being a United Methodist. We are a people that definitely have our share of transitions. Clergypersons experience transition as we move from one appointment to another. The nature of our itinerant ministry demands that we be adaptable to different climates, surroundings, styles of worship, structures of buildings, and local church organizational structures, as well as understanding of local nuances and the changing demands of ministry.
Though laypersons do not itinerate, they too experience transition as they adjust to a different preacher. Because we humans seek to avoid unpleasant experiences of life, we often dread transition. But we must be reminded that we are called by God to always be on the move. In fact, most of our living is spent in transitions -- especially when we think about the fact that every day is a transition. Each day is a day we have never experienced before.
I love music, and in music you have what is called moves. This is where a composer shifts the beat, the mood, or the tempo of the music. The skilled composers use moves to change the effect, keep the song interesting, and ensure that it is not monotonous but inspiring to the listener, moving the listener to another level in his or her musical experience. My arrival in Holston Conference as your new servant bishop is another transition for you and me. Just know that God is with us in this transition. We are part of a great caravan of witnesses to God's ability to move us to another level.
The heroes and heroines of the faith listed in Hebrews Chapter 11 experienced God's power that leads us from one level to another. They stand as testimonies to us to never fear transition because it is the way to victory, growth and greater service to God.
Hello, Holston. It's transition time.