District Visit Yields A Surprise for Bishop Huie
Bishop Huie’s visit to the South District on September 27 included a special presentation.
The South District collectively expressed appreciation to Bishop Janice Riggle Huie for her episcopal leadership for what will soon be 12 years. Notes South District Superintendent Kip Gilts, “We are a different conference than we were in 2004. We are involved in local schools much more personally than we were in 2004, we have participated in significant ways to reduce malaria-related deaths in the world, we have shifted our focus to look outwardly at the mission field seeking ways to relate redemptively to those who are in need of God’s grace, and we are better equipped to address the retirement tsunami of UMC clergy.”
Adds Kip, “We wanted to say Thank you in a way that spoke to Bishop Huie’s heart and we know that she has much of her heart in the Emerging Leaders Initiative, a vision that has helped to shape the culture of call in our Conference.” When Kip asked the pastors in the Bishop’s Meeting with the South District who had been to Texas Youth Academy, served as a College Pastoral Intern, participated in the Advancing Pastoral Leadership program, or benefitted from an Ambassador Scholarship Grant to stand, a good number of young pastors stood up. “We could see how much stronger our District is because of the intentionality of our Bishop,” he shares, “so, we set a goal of $4 per member to be given to the Emerging Leaders’ Endowment by the end of 2016.
A number of churches have already presented this proposal to Finance Committees and Church Councils where it has received a warm reception. We were able to give $25,000, the first installment of our gift to Bishop Huie at her visit in September. It is our intention that the final gift will wind up being over $100,000. Each of us who contribute to this gift are convinced that it is a sound investment of our resources and pleased that we can find a tangible way to express our appreciation to a leader with the character and kingdom commitment of Bishop Janice Riggle Huie.”