Saturday, July 15, 2017

One Bishop's Reflection on the First Anniversary of Her Election

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight. (Proverbs 3:5)

One year ago today, I was elected a bishop in The United Methodist Church in the midst of what was the closest experience of Pentecost I have ever had. Delegates and episcopal nominees of the Western Jurisdiction entered into a time of deep discernment and prayer. Truly, there was a profound sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

There are some who have said we in the West were drunk with new wine. But as Scripture and history show, that is often the case when those who weren’t present try to dismiss the movement of the Holy Spirit, which seeks to make all things new.

We were simply trusting in God with all our hearts.

I continue to lean into that trust.

I lean into that trust as I bring my gifts, skills and experience to this new ministry.

I lean into that trust as I surrender my life to God, who will guide my steps.

I lean into that trust as I sit at the Council of Bishops table, bringing a voice that has never been present to our common life and work.

I lean into that trust as I listen to those who are angry about my election and commit myself to remain in relationship with them.

I lean into that trust as a vision emerges for our denomination’s future.

I lean into that trust as we sit at Cabinet meetings and seek God’s guidance as we make appointments.

I lean into that trust as we in the Mountain Sky Area commit to the vision of Beloved Community, God’s desire for humanity.

I am so thankful for new and old companions--both within the Mountain Sky Area and throughout my life--who have enriched my life, sustained my soul and informed my ministry during this past year. I am especially thankful for my colleagues on the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops who have generously welcomed me and offered me their wisdom and insights, as well as the members of the Mountain Sky Area cabinet, as we have sought to care for and equip the clergy and laity of our area so our churches’ ministries might be vital and transformative.

It is humbling to have been entrusted with this ministry.
May Your will be done, O God, in all I say and do.


  1. Oh, Bishop! Thank you for being here; for leaning in; for asking for the Grace to trust even more.... that means, venturing out in ever- deeper water! It is where the bigger waves are, the bigger storms are, the bigger fish are, and where the largest sunken treasures are!
    Knowledge is proud of all that it has learned. Wisdom is humbled by all it does and doesn't know.

  2. May God continue to bless your ministry. I am grateful for all you do. God bless

  3. As we approach the feast of Mary Magdalene I am thankful for another woman jumping into the deep end to testify to something new and glorious, despite a reception of doubt and suspicion, that changed absolutely everything! Blessings on this anniversary from your colleague on the Colorado Council of Churches and Vicar to the Ecumenical Catholic Communion's Rocky Mountain Region.

  4. Greetings from the Texas Annual Conference. Prayers for your ministry!

  5. You bring so much wisdom, so much compassion and so much of yourself to this position. May you continue to trust in God and lean in so that he will continue to guide you as you forge forward in ministry. The Mountain Sky Area is very fortunate to have you as our Bishop. Many blessings to you in these challenging times. ~ A Member of Arvada UMC