Dear Friends in Christ,
Periodically, we have the joy of reflecting and sharing our call to ministry with others, and the privilege of serving the congregations of our Alabama-West Florida Conference. There is not another community as unique as the Christian community gathered for worship, study, and service in the name of Jesus. While we might have chosen to become a part of any denomination, or even to be independent clergy, we gladly have allowed ourselves to be shaped by a Wesleyan understanding of Grace and God’s Presence inviting us toward holiness and sanctification.
Only a few weeks before our Conference Cabinet joins me fulfilling our responsibilities to appoint and reappoint clergy serving our churches for the coming year, I wish to invite you to gather at St. James United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, with all clergy and leaders who serve our churches for a day apart. We will begin to gather at 9:00am and begin our day apart at 9:50am. Let’s affirm our common calling, our ministry, and find the joy in supporting one another for the work to which God calls us.
Bishop Scott Jameson Jones, Bishop of the Great Plains Area of the United Methodist Church, serving East Kansas, West Kansas, and Nebraska, will be our guest as he explores the unique gifts of our Wesleyan heritage; gifts that continue to inform and guide our teaching, preaching, and service.
Bishop Jones earned a B.A. degree in philosophy at the University of Kansas. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University in Religious Studies. He is the author of John Wesley’s Conception and Use of Scripture; Wesley and the Quadrilateral; United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center; The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbor; and The Wesleyan Way.
In addition to his written contributions to our United Methodist Church, Bishop Jones has taught as a professor at Perkins School of Theology, teaching Theology and United Methodist history. He was elected by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the UMC in July 2004 and was assigned to the Kansas Episcopal Area. Bishop Jones’ wife, Mary Lou Reece, is the President of Reece Construction Company. Bishop Jones’ younger brother, L. Gregory Jones, is a provost and vice-president at Duke University, having formally served as Dean of Duke Divinity School.
It is my privilege to receive each of you on March 2, 2015, as we worship and affirm our mutual ministry. Bishop Jones will stretch our expectations, broaden our vision, and inspire our personal hopes for ministry.
To ensure lunch is provided, it is critical to register for this event. To register, click here. The $10 registration fee will cover the cost of lunch and will only be guaranteed to the first 400 participants who register. Once that number is at capacity, you may register to attend at no cost for the event but you will need to find lunch off campus. If you need help in the registration process, please contact Lauren at our Conference Center.
Thank you for your faithful ministry and work in our Alabama-West Florida Conference. I look forward to our worship and study at this year's Bishop’s Day Apart.
Bishop Paul L. Leeland