It was great to see so many of you at the April 22 Called Annual Conference. Though a hard day as 264 of our churches disaffiliated, our worship, business and vision-casting were meaningful and Christ-honoring. We said goodbye to people and churches near and dear to us, grieving their departure while simultaneously wishing them the best.
Now, it is time to write the next chapter of Holston Conference history, built on who you are, who we are together and our vision for the future.
Who You Are: For starters, please know what a blessing each of you is to the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. My heart is full of thanksgiving for you and your commitment to continue this journey together. Especially inspiring is your dedication to:
- Jesus Christ;
- those who are not yet Christians;
- each other;
- The United Methodist Church;
- and our shared ministry together.
A diverse group of Christians with a variety of perspectives on many matters, our commonalities far outweigh our differences. Our core convictions, summarized well in The Apostles Creed,* propel us forward together in mission and ministry.
What we envision for the future: Our best days as the Holston Conference are ahead of us. We are Christ-following United Methodists who are committed to:
- growing day by day in our love for God and others;
- reaching more people for Jesus and
- being a part of making the world a better place.
The Holston Conference’s next chapter is a bright one thanks to who you are, who we are together, and what we envision for the future. It is truly my joy to serve as your bishop as we write this next chapter together.
Holston and North Alabama Conferences
* The Apostles' Creed (Ecumenical Version)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Reverend Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett was elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. At the time of her election, she was the lead pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, ...