From the District Superintendent

Under Construction

Posted 14 August, 2018 by Rev. Kathleen Overby Webster

The orange cones and barrels seem to mark a different course each time I drive through a major road construction project in my neighborhood. I find it hard to anticipate which lane to be in to continue my journey. No matter which direction I approach it from, until I am right there I cannot discern where the lane I'm to drive in lies. While I suspect the plan would be clear and coherent with a bird's eye view, I cannot see it here in the midst of traffic chaos.

In a lot adjacent to the road construction, a new building is also going up. Over the months I've watched the site be readied, foundations poured, beams and girders set. Now, even passing by on the roadway, the outline of interior spaces is clear from the placement of floors and wall studs. I'm reminded of the spatial qualities of 3-D chess as I watch this building take shape from a blueprint and a vision that I can't see.

I find these images of road and building construction apt as our denomination heads to the called 2019 General Conference to act on the report of the Commission on the Way Forward, and other related petitions. As much as I am reading, and praying, and talking about, and preparing, I cannot yet see the clear path. In the midst of this preparation it all seems chaotic. But I keep at it, so that when the way forward is clear, I'll be positioned to take the next step. Through it all I trust that God's will and purpose will be honored. I join my prayer to those from the Scriptures:

Psalm 43:3
Send your light and truth -- those will guide me!(Common English Bible)

Ephesians 4:17-19
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God's call, what is the richness of God's glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God's power that is working among us believers. (Common English Bible)

In July I:
  • Worshipped with Wesley Memorial UMC, Korean Language Service at Thrasher Memorial UMC, and Huntington Court UMC. Preached for the Lift/Elevator Dedication Service at St Paul (Christiansburg) UMC
  • Attended District Finance Committee Meeting
  • Convened District Stewards Meeting
  • Participated in Board of Ordained Ministry Advisory Committee meeting
  • Participated the Bishop's Strategic Visioning Steering Team Meeting, Life-Long Learners Work Group, Strategic Collaboration Team meeting, and Bishop's Way Forward Work Group
  • Participated in the July Cabinet Retreat and a joint Cabinet/First-Year-Provisionals Mission Day
  • Enjoyed the District Clergy Welcome Luncheon at Natural Bridge hosted by the Oakey Family
  • Consulted with laity and clergy in person, by phone, and through email