The Design Team's professionalism, along with everyone involved in the preparation and planning, enabled the event to flow freely like the theme of the conference, "The River of Life Unites Us."
Through the inspiring worship services, the pure Word of God was preached and further communicated in liturgy, music, prayers, dancing, technology, and fellowship. I felt the sacred flame of love leaping from heart to heart shared by us who participated remotely, together with those who attended in person.
We in Marshall County celebrated the affirmation by Bishop McAlilly of our New to You Shop, one of several cooperative ministries shared by all ten United Methodist Churches in our county.
The prayerful words of goodwill and blessing offered by our leaders for disaffiliating congregations mitigated my sadness and helped me join in wishing them the best. Since many of them, it was noted, had long ago stopped supporting UMC ministries, their impact had already been incorporated throughout our connection.
The joy expressed in my post "All Kinds of Faith in the UMC" a few weeks ago was enhanced as the new and advancing clergy were licensed, commissioned, and ordained. The wisdom of the retiring class was very effectively sprinkled throughout the conference. During the Memorial Service, many friends who had transferred to the Church Triumphant over the past year were warmly remembered with appreciation and love, including one of my best friends, Hugh Barksdale.
Much more is to be applauded about how our new conference is beginning. These examples highlight some of the meaningful ways I was personally blessed by this session. I close this post by celebrating the leadership of Bishops Bickerton and McAlilly. Bishop Thomas Bickerton, President of the Council of Bishops, is providing the whole denomination with timely guidance. The Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference continues to be blessed by Bishop William T. McAlilly, who Cheryl and I agreed as we enjoyed the conference together, is one of the best church leaders we have ever known. Their preaching, conversations, prayers, and guidance are deeply appreciated.
This, the First Session of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference, will help us all move forward with joyful anticipation into the spiritual opportunities the Holy Spirit is opening for us. We will continue to support The United Methodist Church's ministries with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
For recordings and other information about the conference, please visit twkumc.org