Rev. Robert Kolvik-Campbell officially begins his joyful journey as District Superintendent
Appointed on July 1, 2022, as District Superintendent (DS) of the Binghamton and Oneonta Districts, the Rev. Robert (Bob) Kolvik-Campbell’s installation service was held on Sept. 25 at Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center. Over 100 guests enjoyed this uplifting service.
Introducing Rev. Kolvik-Campbell, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, described the many characteristics he ponders when making the decision of appointing DSes. These include deep spirituality; someone who “gets” the mission of the Church; proven leadership skills; a strong communicator in words and writing; the ability to equip others to become leaders; a team player; respected by colleagues; the ability to work within ethnic and theological diversity; and deep humility.
Bishop Webb said that Rev. Kolvik-Campbell has all these characteristics and that the respect that others have for him was evident when he announced the appointment— “Everyone said, ‘that makes sense!’”
Bishop Webb concluded his introduction by saying, “People in this Conference have known Bob for many years, and it is my joy to officially introduce you to your new District Superintendent.”
Biblical passages included in this service were from the books of Isiah, Psalms, and Ephesians.
Isaiah 42: 1-9 and Psalm 100 were read by Rev. Kolvik-Campbell’s wife Nancy, who Bishop Webb explained is a teammate in ministry with her husband. These passages reminded guests that God is in the justice business and that God’s love endures forever.
The Rev. Abel Roy, DS of the Mohawk District, read Ephesians 4:1-7 and 11-16, where Paul urges people to live a life “worthy of the calling you received.”
Rev. Kolvik-Campbell’s started his sermon, entitled “Joy in the Journey” by saying that Sky Lake is holy ground. “What we do at camp is important,” he said.
The setting was ideal for the installation service because “Sky Lake is situated in both the Oneonta and Binghamton Districts,” said Matt Williams, Sky Lake’s site director.
Rev. Kolvik-Campbell, spoke of the fact that, “Most of what scripture shares with us is a journey. Paul trusts Jesus and goes (to where Jesus calls him to go) despite the dangers.”
Rev. Kolvik-Campbell likened the biblical journeys to journeys today—to following our calls. He said, “No journey comes without danger. The stones in the road will be stumbling blocks and sometimes they are unavoidable. We need to pray; if we can’t do that, we deny the power of God.”
He encouraged guests to not let dangers slow them down, to not give into weariness and lack of direction, but to lean into where Jesus wants them to go, not where they want to go.
He said, “The Good Shephard knows where we’re going” and “we need to go where Jesus asks us to go.”
Rev. Kolvik-Campbell also acknowledged that the life of the Church is “messy” right now and that many people might not know where to go next.
He recommended that we never say “never” to God, because God might say, “Guess what?”
Rev. Kolvik-Campbell explained that not only are we called to journey, but we are called to journey with the fruits of the spirit. We are called to assure others that “No matter what you do, God will not love you any less. Nothing you can do will make God love you more. God loves you period.”
He said that on our journeys, we need to “seek to make disciples of ourselves and others. We need to work against the isms that pull us down: racism, sexism, and elitism.”
He also mentioned that within the journey, Sabbath taking is something we must support. He added, “By the way, that’s the fourth amendment.”
Rev. Kolvik mentioned some of the literal journeys he will be on as DS to various churches, to Conference Camp & Retreat Centers, and to the Conference office.
He ended his sermon by saying, “I am blessed to be in service for and with you all. I am excited for this journey. Let’s get to it!”