From the Desk of Bishop Webb: Ministry Shares thank you
February 9, 2021 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb
Editor's Note: On Feb. 9, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, sent the following letter to the Upper New York Conference.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!
We continue to navigate one of the most challenging and unique seasons within our lives. COVID-19 continues to impact every area of daily life. We continue to pray for those who have been devastated by this disease physically, emotionally, and financially. We continue to give thanks to God for the front-line workers who have offered the best of who they are in our fight against this pandemic. I continue to give thanks to God for your faithfulness in ministry and mission throughout these days. The witness to your faith in the God who offers hope and your commitment to God’s call to offer the good news of Jesus Christ in all circumstances continues to be an inspiration.
I especially want to celebrate and thank you for your gift of stewardship and generosity during this unprecedented season. Despite the challenges that you have experienced in the past year, the leaders, members, and congregations of Upper New York trusted God and continued to reach beyond ourselves through our connectional giving known as Ministry Shares.
Because of your generosity and faithfulness, our Conference has been able to remain in ministry, equipping and linking churches for Christ. Your sacrificial giving helped our conference provide congregations with the guidance and encouragement needed to move worship from the sanctuary to the internet and, when conditions improved, safely return to the sanctuary for limited in-person services again. Your generosity enabled our five camp and retreat centers to remain open and find new ways to safely offer guests hospitality and spiritual refreshment. Your faithfulness helped us continue to mail out Sunday School resources from our Media Resource Center, offer licensing school for new local pastors, and host literally hundreds of remote gatherings for learning, planning and prayer.
Once again, Upper New York was a witness to our commitment and covenant together as the people of the United Methodist Church around the globe as your giving allowed us to pay 100% of our General Church apportionments. We join others in our connection in offering resources for ministry that we could never do alone. Through your generosity and sacrifice the lives of countless people have been changed because of an encounter with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hands and feet of His Church. You continue to be a beacon of hope in the midst of a despairing world.
To God be the glory for all that God has done and is doing in each of our lives and the lives of those around us! To God be the glory for your continued willingness to say yes to God’s call to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ. I am blessed to share this journey of ministry and mission with you.
My prayers continue for each of you, as together we trust the power of the Holy Spirit to encourage, strengthen, equip, and lead us in the days ahead.
Grace and Peace,
Mark J. Webb