Still, it continues...

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Still, it continues... The tragic deaths and continued violence reported daily appear to be creating a numbness in which we are becoming apathetic to the horrible events that destroy lives and community. In an atmosphere of fear and anger we seem to be drifting into a disrespect and defiance of others which may be contributing to an escalation of violence. As social media shares videos of these events we quickly draw conclusions and make statements that are not necessarily helpful to resolving ...

General Conference 2016

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   The General Conference of The United Methodist Church always creates great expectations and hopes for our denomination. This hope was certainly embraced by the 2016 General Conference held in Portland, Oregon, as it became evident that delegates, volunteers, bishops, clergy, and church leaders clearly and consistently expressed a desire for our United Methodist Church to remain cohesive in our witness and mission. The words of Christ, spoken to the church ...

A Christmas Message from Bishop Paul Leeland

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


December 17, 2015 Friends in Christ, While children become more excited as Christmas Day approaches, our lives are enriched by the joy and happiness we experience as we share this day with them. The Gospel of Matthew reminds us the crowds “followed” Jesus, and the Pharisees “came up to” him, but the little children were “brought” to him. These innocent, playful, humble children are attracted to Jesus, the One who is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,” (Col 1:15), ...

Alabama and Florida Bishops Offer a Pastoral Response to the War in Syria and the Rise of ISIS

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Letter to all Florida clergy: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, whose perfect love casts out fear, and who comes to us in the stranger:   As United Methodist Bishops assigned to Florida, we offer a pastoral response to the destructive consequences resulting from the war in Syria and the rise of ISIS. Our hearts break over the violent terrorist attacks in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and the awareness of the increasing number of vulnerable families, ...

A Word from the Bishop: February 10, 2015

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Yesterday, the state of Alabama began to recognize same gender marriage as a result of a Federal Court order. The polity of our United Methodist Church did not change. Our Book of Discipline, in paragraph 341.7, states ceremonies that celebrate same sex unions “shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” As a denomination, we have agreed the only body authorized to change the Book of ...

January 13, 2015

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   With the conclusion of the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops this past week, I returned to our Alabama-West Florida Conference with an awareness of two issues that have impacted our Church.   1) This past Tuesday, the state of Florida recognized same gender marriage as a result of Federal Court order. The polity of our United Methodist Church did not change. Our Book of Discipline, in paragraph 341.7, states ...

Storm Recovery

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


Dear friends and colleagues in ministry, The immediate storm within the bounds of our conference produced more rain water than Hurricane Ivan. Hundreds of homes and churches were damaged by the storm. As your Bishop, allow me to invite your prayers and generosity to offer a healing presence within our communities as we share a compassionate presence to bring relief and hope to those who have been impacted by the damaging rains. Our conference volunteers were immediately present to report and ...

As Easter Season Message

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


“Peace be with you.” These are the words the Resurrected Jesus speaks to the eleven disciples and their companions gathered in the locked upper room. They were “startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost” (Luke 24:37). In response to their fear Jesus asks, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (v.38, 39). Perhaps this is the word we might reflect on individually, ...

Zip Code Missionaries

Bishop Paul L. Leeland


(Bishop Paul L. Leeland) - During an engaging conversation with one of our United Methodist Missionaries several weeks ago, my wife, Janet, and I found a growing interest in the movement and work of missionaries from a global perspective. We were intrigued with those who dedicated themselves to enter into areas of our world to do evangelism and offer specific ministries that point others to Jesus Christ. This, of course, is the traditional view of missionaries – people who witness across ...


Bishop Paul L. Leeland


EF-4 is the designation used to describe a storm whose winds reach 200 miles an hour. Yesterday, May 20, 2013, such a storm devastated Oklahoma. This will be an epic disaster, a tornado that at one point was two miles wide, scorched twenty miles in length, and continued for at least 45 minutes. What has happened is hard to put into words. It is truly an unspeakable, horrific, tragedy. We are once again thrust into a nightmare where the natural forces of nature remind us how vulnerable we really ...

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