A Note from Dr. Bishop

A Note from Dr. Bishop

February 15, 2018

Pastors and Laity of the Mobile District,
I write to encourage you to participate in one of the 27 Courageous Conversations. They begin on 22 February and there are 27 locations. Four of those are in the Mobile District:

  • Christ UMC on 12 March (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
  • St John UMC on 17 March (in Spanish) (1 pm – 4 pm)
  • Ebenezer UMC – 14 April (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm)
  • Toulminville-Warren Street UMC – 15 April (2:30 – 5:30)

Registration is through the AWF Conference web site, click here to register. You are not limited to the Mobile District and may choose a Courageous Conversations taking place in any of the 27 locations around the Alabama-West Florida Conference.

  • My expectation is all clergy shall attend one of the Courageous Conversations. After you have registered, please send me an email indicating which Courageous Conversations you will attend.
  • My prayer is the laity will attend so we are better equipped to be in partnership as we lead at the local church, the Mobile District, and The AWF Conference.

The cost is $10 for the meal – either lunch or dinner. The investment of three hours and $10 for a meal with other United Methodist will reap great dividends. I participated in a Courageous Conversations last year. I drove, three different evenings, to Cokesbury UMC in Pensacola and met with people from three districts – Baypines, Mobile, and Pensacola. I met people I had not known and also saw people I knew from previous work in the Conference. We ate together, shared with each other, and developed new relationships.
These relationships are not based on where we worship, where we serve, or where we live. These relationships have a foundation centered on respect for each other and a love for God’s people called United Methodist. As we now run into each other at various functions we can see each other as individuals and not through labels.
I think we can all appreciate the opportunity to sit with others in a place where we can listen AND be heard. The conversations are guided and the environment encourages open dialogue that is honest and considerate.
I am thankful for the four congregations who will host these events. I have volunteered and been trained to facilitate Courageous Conversations and will be facilitating in other Districts. I will not be attending the Courageous Conversations in the Mobile District so I look forward to hearing from each of you who attend.
In a world of fast paced communication – venting on Facebook, Tweeting opinions – we have an opportunity for real communication. In spiritual formation language we call it “speaking with intention and listening with attention.” Do not miss this occasion to engage with others who care about The United Methodist Church.
Good morning, God. Thank you for being the same compassionate, loving God to so many of us who are different from each other. Thank you for making us in your image and making us all special. Thank you for Jesus who came because you love the whole world. We ask for your Holy Spirit’s guidance as we enter a time of discernment and set priorities so we can make the effort to talk with and listen to each other. We are glad we are your people, amen.

Dr. Debora Bishop
Mobile District Superintendent