From the District Superintendent

A Season of Reflection

Posted 12 March, 2020 by Kathleen Overby Webster

My spirit was moved by a picture of God painted by the words of a song:

When I am a wasteland /  You are the water When I am the winter /  You are the fire that burns When I am a long night /  You are the sunrise When I am a desert /  You are the river that turns /  To find me What have I done to deserve love like this? (Love Like This, Lauren Daigle)

This was quoted in D365, a daily devotion a few weeks ago, before the start of Lent, but it has led me into a season of reflection. My heart breaks for those who feel God is far off, uncaring, disinterested, and ready to pounce in judgment. What God have I shown to the world? Have I shown the God who sustains, refreshes, warms, brightens, seeks, and loves extravagantly? Have I led the folks (congregations, churches, districts, teams) I have served to show that God to the world? In this season of heightened anxiety, how are you and your congregation showing forth the amazing grace and love of God to those who desperately need it? What Easter joy of new life, renewed hope, or unexpected possibility are you sharing to those who are fearful, sad, or dejected?

I join you in welcoming the Reverend Doug Forrester who Bishop Lewis has appointed to follow me as the Roanoke District Superintendent. Doug and I have worked together on the Board of Ordained Ministry and through the Royce and Jane Reynolds Program in Church Leadership. I value his vision and spiritual grounding and know you will mutually bless each other. I'm sure he and his family will receive a warm welcome and enjoy getting to know this wonderful district.

In Christ's peace and hope,


           In February, I:

  • Worshipped with Greene Memorial UMC, Park UMC, Parrish Chapel UMC, and preached for Windsor Hills UMC
  • Attended Bishop's Strategic Visioning Steering Team and VITAL Team meetings
  • Participated in Annual Conference Common Table Meeting and a Common Table Personnel Ctte meeting
  • Participated in February Cabinet meeting
  • Convened Board of Missions Executive Ctte
  • Attended District Finance Ctte and District Ctte on Ordained Ministry
  • Conducted one Meet Your Pastor with a Staff-Pastor Parish Committee
  • Participated in Table Talk conversation with several leaders of one church
  • Consulted with laity and clergy in person, by phone, and through email