*Click on this picture to be linked to reading plan.*
On April 2-8, the Virginia Conference will engage in an intentional time of prayer for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church. Specific to this focused prayer ministry will be prayers for the work of The Commission on a Way Forward. You may access resources for this week of prayer on the conference web site at www.vaumc.org/PrayForward.
In addition to this week of prayer, I invite our annual conference to join together in praying that God’s will be done as the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church meets on April 25-28. One of the items on the Judicial Council’s docket will be the consideration of the Western Jurisdiction’s July 2016 election of Bishop Karen Oliveto. A question and answer document has been produced by the Southeastern Jurisdiction’s College of Bishops in preparation for the upcoming meeting of the Judicial Council. This document may be accessed at www.vaumc.org/QAJudicial.
As the resident bishop of the Virginia Conference, I offer my prayers that God’s voice may be heard through the ministry of The Commission on a Way Forward, the upcoming meeting of the Judicial Council, and the ministry of the Virginia Conference.
A challenge to read the Bible in 2017
Dear Virginia Annual Conference,
I think you would agree with me that every New Year there are individuals who decide to make a New Year’s resolution. I googled “New Year’s resolution" to discover that there are several articles written on this popular subject.
All of us have made New Year’s resolutions ranging anywhere from losing 10-20 unwanted pounds, starting a new exercise program, paying off our credit cards and giving up a bad habit.
I’ve always found it interesting that people will go to great lengths to make a New Year’s resolution — throwing away food that tempts their cravings, buying expensive exercise equipment with a voice-activated trainer or being the first person to join the gym. Unfortunately, it has been proven that New Year’s gym resolutions are normally broken in 90 days, and the gym equipment becomes the new and latest clothes rack in our homes.
I’ve always wondered when individuals are making resolutions if they ever considered making a “Christian resolution.” For example, resolving to pray daily for your church, to become an active agent in inviting people to your church or to increase their participation in a ministry in their local church.
As your new bishop, I would like to challenge you to look at this yearly tradition from another perspective.
Let’s make a “Christian resolution” by joining me in reading the Bible together this year:
• Choose your own translation to make this experience engaging and exciting.
• Invite others to join you on this journey.
• Commit to sticking to the outlined plan at this link: http://backtothebible.org/reading-guide/15/1.
Let’s become Bible scholars in 2017.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
2017 Banquet Pictures