From the District Superintendent

All Will Be Well

Posted 16 October, 2018 by Rev. Kathleen Overby Webster

All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well ~ (Julian of Norwich, Showings or Revelations of Divine Love)

Those favorite words were written in purple fabric marker on the prayer flag I chose to take home as I left the recent Virginia Conference Clergywomen's retreat. Like the one I created, which someone else now has, the flag also included the words hope, joy, peace, and love. The small flag now graces my desk, a daily reminder of God's intention for wholeness and completion.

Julian, mystic and theologian, received these words from God as a revelation on May 13, 1373 when she was 30 and a half years old. Precious little else is known of her life beyond her solitary life as an anchoress in a small room or cell next to the church of St Julian on Conisford at Norwich, located about 100 miles northeast of London. The assurance she receives again and again in the vision has resonated in my spirit ever since I first encountered her writings in seminary.

Many days (whether we look at our lives, our communities, our church, or across our nation and world) so much seems hopeless, impossible to change, lacking justice, devoid of kindness, unfair, sad, broken, and divisive.

It is exactly in those heartbreak moments and seasons of despair I find I need to hold on tightly to the assurance that God is at work when I cannot see it when the visible evidence of such activity is sparse, when a "future with hope" seems a wisp of a dream rather than a viable path forward. It is then I need for Julian's words to echo in my heart.

For my mouth to utter the plea of the psalmist, Fill us full every morning with your faithful love so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long (Psalm 90:14).

For my prayer to be, As I start this day, God, I ask that you fill me with your love. With love that radiates hope. With love that forgives the things I cannot seem to forgive. With love that leads to purpose (Gina Yeager-Buckley, d365 Devotion). Amen and amen.

In Faith and Hope,Kathleen

In September I:

  • Worshiped with Windsor Hills UMC, Southview UMC, Northview UMC, and jointly with Price's Fork UMC and Trinity (Christiansburg) UMC
  • Conducted 10 annual cluster Charge Conferences with 30 churches
  • Led the District Clergy Summit
  • Participated in District Committee on Ordained Ministry and Superintendency Committee meetings
  • Attended General Conference 2019 district presentation by Martha Stokes and live-streamed Q&A with Bishop Lewis, Martha Stokes, and Tom Berlin
  • Participated in the September Cabinet Meeting, which included the annual joint meeting with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry Executive Ctte, and Conference Common Table meeting
  • Attended the Virginia Conference Clergywomen's Retreat
  • Attended District Regenerations Workshop
  • Consulted with laity and clergy in person, by phone, and through email