The Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood urges UNY Conference leaders to lace up their sneakers
On Oct. 2, 2022, the Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood was officially welcomed as the Mountainview District Superintendent.
Bishop Webb’s introduction to the Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, introduced Rev. Dr. Rood as the new District Superintendent (DS) for the Mountainview District. He explained that the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church allows an elder to serve an additional term as District Superintendent not to exceed 14 years if service does not consist of more than eight years in a consecutive 11 years.
Bishop Webb explained that the work of a DS is hard. He reminisced of the time when he was DS and a congregation would provide lists of what they seek in a pastor; He would so often say, “I’m sorry but Jesus is not available,” or “I am sorry the Apostle Paul is not available.”
Bishop Webb was very pleased to welcome Dr. Rev. Rood back to the role of DS, explaining how she meets his “David Letterman” style list of the Top-10 qualities he looks for in a DS, the most important being deep spirituality and humbleness.
Rev. Dr. Rood’s message—Lace up your sneakers
Imagine hiking the spiritual journey of the Camino DeSantiago—many miles a day in sweltering heat, tracing a route of an important Christian pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Now, imagine doing this hike with severely blistered feet.
The Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood set out to do this hike recently, only to almost quit on Day 3. Her feet were swollen with nasty blisters—shoe showed guests at the installation service photos ion a slide.
During her journey, she stopped in a sports store to see if she could find better fitting hiking shoes. A store employee explained to her that she needed trail running shoes for this hike and fitted her to a pair of bright turquoise Salomon trail running shoes that Rev. Dr. Rood considered “hideous,” but they helped her complete the hike without any more pain.
Rev. Dr. Rood explained, “I didn’t go faster or higher, but I moved forward.”
She moved forward just as Abraham in faith, moved to a strange land as described in Hebrew 11: 8-10
Rev. Dr. Rood said, “Lace up your sneakers Abraham—I am paraphrasing a little bit—go to a place you’ve never been. He laced up his sneakers and walked by faith, obedient to God’s call, even though he didn’t know where he’d end up.”
Dr. Rev. Rood asked the guests, “How are you doing with trusting God these days…God wants us to move forward even though you don’t know where you are going.”
Rev. Dr. Rood urged guests to let go of their backage, such as nostalgia of what the Church used to be. She said, “The world has changed so we need to change. The message has not changed—that God powerfully loves us—that there Is good news because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! We need to provide ways for people to see what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ.”
Rev. Dr. Rood continued, “My goal is to help churches to share the grace of Jesus Christ in communities,”
Rev. Dr. Rood’s sendoff
Rev. Dr. Rood said, “Christianity is not a spectator sport. It’s time to lace up our sneakers and get in the game.”
Rev. Dr. Rood had asked all the Cabinet and clergy members who attended her installation service to wear sneakers. And all did.
She concluded her message, by saying, “Every time you put on your sneakers, think about how Jesus is appointing you, consecrating you to go forward and let people who are desperate know that God loves them. Let them here about God’s grace. God is calling us to move forward!”