“No prayer, no power. Little prayer, little power. Much prayer, much power!” – Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, Bishop for the Iowa Conference UMC.
The above statement was repeated several times this week by our Bishop during the Iowa Annual Conference as we participated in holy conferencing this week in Des Moines. This simple statement speaks volumes about the spiritual strength and focus of our Bishop who is obviously a man of deep faith and prayer. Bishop Trimble often reminded us and brought as back to our faith just as it might appear we were being bogged down in the business of being a conference.
The idea of the connection of prayer with the power of the Holy Spirit reminded me how much prayer was central to my decision to become a United Methodist. More than three years ago when I felt led to follow my heart and my growing Wesleyan spirituality into ministry in the UMC I felt compelled to be in constant prayer about God’s direction in my life. During this time I believe I prayed more and more often than I had previously in any other time in my life. I needed to the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit to help me to make the right decisions about the future of my ministry and calling.
The more I prayed, the more I read, the more I studied United Methodism the more I became convinced that this is where God wanted me to be. Wesley’s descriptions of God’s grace captured me and would not let go, even as I continued to serve in another family of faith for quite a few years.
I started this blog in July of 2010 as I was starting my first appointment in the UMC. This weekend at the Iowa Annual Conference of the UMC I because an Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church.
While this is opportunity to celebrate God’s work in my life it is also just a beginning. Now and in the future, with God’s help, I will have the opportunity to continue living out the itinerant ministry of a United Methodist Elder. It is a ministry that I have just begun. It is a ministry that I am experiencing with great joy, and it is a ministry that I have now dedicated the rest of my life to.
Now that I have reached one of the goals I set which prompted the beginning of this blog, I will be changing the direction of my blog to posts about my impressions of ministry and mission in the UMC, the work of my current appointment at Grace UMC in Sioux City, and the day to day issues of ministry and faith in a world that still needs to hear about the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
It was Prevenient Grace, as described in the Emmaus Walk and by John Wesley, that first started to transform me into a Methodist Christian. It is God’s grace that continues to lead me onward as I am blessed and honored to serve as a United Methodist Elder within the United Methodist family of faith.
Thanks be to God!