Texas Conference Welcomes Bishop Scott Jones With Special Worship Services
Many Methodists in the Tyler and Houston areas enjoyed a special Service of Welcome this month as the Texas Conference officially blessed the new leadership role of Bishop Scott Jones.
“I so appreciated the opportunity to worship with members from one end of the conference to the other. At each service, I experienced a warm welcome and many expressions of support and encouragement as we begin our ministry together. Mary Lou and I feel truly blessed to make the Texas Annual Conference our home,” stated Bishop Jones.
Lay Leader John Esquivel introduced the Bishop in each of the mirrored services, with a statement marking his consecration as a shepherd and servant and an official welcome to the area to which he has been assigned.
Each of the two services also included a Call to Ministry delivered by Rev. B.T. Williamson, Assistant to the Bishop, describing the role of the bishop, followed by the Bishop’s response with the congregation speaking the covenant of acceptance.
Tyler and Houston leaders assisted in their respective services with the Presentation of Signs of Episcopal Ministry. About 40 lay and clergy leaders from across Texas were thrilled to serve as participants in Tyler and Houston ceremonies.
Rev. David Dorn, Lead Contemporary Pastor at Marvin UMC in Tyler was one of
about 450 attendees welcoming Bishop Scott Jones to East Texas in mid-October. “There was a high level of enthusiasm and anticipation,” notes David, “and the Wylie College Choir was an added bonus.”
Bishop Jones’ message called for listeners to have the mind of Christ. Shares David, “The ceremony and sermon was a meaningful call back to our Methodist roots: to passionately and practically make disciples, to teach stewardship once again, and to declare boldly the name of Jesus in all that we do. His emphasis on small groups for discipleship and being unabashedly Christian and Methodist in a pluralistic world was exciting to hear. Bishop Jones has clearly set the tone for the next four years.”
Rev. Jack Womack attended the service at First Methodist Houston, along with many clergy and laity from the neighboring areas. “I think it was an excellent service, beautiful music and lots of tradition, along with the highlighting of the different ways in which a bishop leads,” says Jack. “In particular, it was an opportunity for our new bishop to introduce himself to the conference in his demeanor, his love of the church, his dedication and love for his family and his expectations of all of us as both disciples and disciples makers. As always it was good to see colleagues and to share the connection as we welcome our new episcopal leader. Experiencing his hopeful spirit was uplifting to me and I feel sure was to others that took the time to be there. It is clear to me, and I am sure to most, that he takes his role as bishop seriously, but more importantly that he desires that we work together as the body of Christ to invite more persons into the family of Christ and specifically into the United Methodist family.”