October 28 Set Aside as Day of Prayer & Clergy Appreciation

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October is Clergy Appreciation Month. The Cabinet and I are convinced that some of the best pastors serving The United Methodist church are in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Over the past month, individuals and congregations have expressed their gratitude to these pastors. We add our prayers to these good wishes and encourage every congregation to lift their leaders in special, heart-felt prayer this Sunday, October 28.

In my daily prayers, I regularly lift up the 1,018 active and retired clergy in our conference. In this devotional time, I have been struck by the thoughts of St. Irenaeus, a second century church father, who said, "Man fully alive is the glory of God." I believe one of the things that make clergy men and women so effective as leaders is a devotion to embracing their lives and ministry with a fullness of heart and spirit. They dare to claim the richness of Christ's promises and strive to grow daily in faith and in grace.

At worship this Sunday, October 28, and throughout the year, it is my hope that the laity will support the clergy in our conference in their prayers and in their actions. It is my hope we will all say thank you to these servant leaders, who seek to live each day in response to God's call.

I also hope we will emulate the fullness of their lives. Theologian Howard Thurman said, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." That is wisdom we can all live by. Let our wisdom begin with gratitude.

Peace and Blessings,

Bishop Marcus Matthews


October 23, 2012 e-connection