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Dear Suncreek Family,

I am really late in getting this article submitted, I am sure Daniel is wondering if I have totally forgotten what I am supposed to be doing! But, it isn’t that at all. I was at the Annual Conference meeting of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is always good to be at the meetings, seeing old friends and celebrating the ministries of former students from my days on the faculty at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. It is exciting to hear about all the amazing ministry taking place in our churches, and there is indeed amazing things happening. Two celebrations that were particularly moving for me had to do with the revitalization of the White Rock United Methodist Church under the leadership of Mitchell Boone and the story of rebirth of our partner church, Casa Linda United Methodist Church, under the leadership of David Rangel. I was touched and inspired.

One of the things that happens at annual conference is the ordination of clergy. This is always a meaningful experience for all the clergy as we recall that significant night in our own lives. As I recalled my ordination, I could almost feel the excitement of the moment, the weight of the vows being taken and the crazy belief I had that I could save the world. I can remember the tears as Fred Craddock, the best preacher I ever heard (and a hero of mine through his books), looked down at us from the high pulpit of First UMC Shreveport, Louisiana and gave us the business. I remember that my best friend, the “other” Barry, set right next to me and was ordained right before me. He died a couple of years ago, and though seldom a day goes by that I don’t think of him, I miss him most at annual conference. We sat together every year, ate together every year, laughed and acted up to the point of being “shushed” every year for well over 20 years at annual conference. Good memories are a true blessing.

Annual conference also reminds us all that the ministry does not belong to the clergy alone – it belongs to all baptized disciples. I enjoyed spending time with Brett Smith this year at conference. He represents well the devoted disciples of Suncreek. The sermon this week speaks to our shared work as we begin our summer sermon series called, “Moments with Matthew”. I will be preaching on Matthew 28. 16-24, a text often called ‘The Great Commission”. I will be talking about “The Purpose and the Doctrine”. What is the “why?” behind the Great Commission? I hope to see you here Sunday as we worship. Don’t forget to register for Vacation Bible School and to pray for our Cantate youth choir as they are on tour in D.C. and our Sr. High Missioners who are in Costa Rica.

I am so glad to be back. Suncreek is a good place to be and this is an exciting time to be here.

With an expectant heart,

Barry

Don't forget to check out a new little blog we've started - "Thoughts on Giving"