Jennifer and I were thrilled to be appointed for a second term to the Louisville Area. We have discovered great joy in serving the Kentucky Conference and the Red Bird Missionary Conference. So when the Episcopal Committee called us into the room to announce that we were coming back, we were so thankful. Later that evening we attended a reception in our honor arranged by our gracious delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference. We look forward to these next four years with you.
At Lake Junaluska last week, we elected five new Bishops for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Our own Debbie Wallace-Padgett was elected on the 11th ballot. What a treat it was for me and Bishop King to escort her to the stage. The next day Bishop Wallace-Padgett was assigned to the Birmingham Area, which is the North Alabama Annual Conference. She will oversee 769 congregations with almost 140,000 United Methodists. She will also join the other bishops in the Council of Bishops as General Superintendents of the whole church. Her last Sunday as Senior Pastor at St. Luke UMC in Lexington will be this coming Sunday. Bishop Debbie will move to Alabama in late August. Let us keep her and her family in our prayers.
I know that summer is fully upon us. I pray that each of your will have some vacation time with your loved ones. The start of school is just around the corner. May we enter into the fall with new enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel with our neighbors. May God bless us as we seek to grow our churches into more vital communities of faith.