More than a year ago, I set-up a blog intending to write spiritual reflections about my, then new-found, love for running. It never happened. Between my pastoral responsibilities, my role as husband and father, and training for my first marathon, I was too busy and did not go beyond reserving the blog name, "Reflections of a Running Reverend". I did run my first marathon last year (as well as my 2nd & 3rd). But my blog never made it past the "starting line."
Today, I find myself at another starting line as I officially begin this new role as Superintendent of the Alaska United Methodist Conference. My predecessor, Dave Beckett, ran the race with perseverance and passion. And he ran it well! Now the baton is in my hands. My prayer is that I would handle this baton faithfully until it is time for me to pass it on to the next person in line.
As I stand at the starting line of this new role, I thought it would be a great time to start blogging as well. This blog will be a chance for you to get to know me and have a glimpse of what's in my heart and mind. As the name suggests, it will have running metaphors and reflections, as running has become for me very spiritual. It will definitely have photos, since one of my other passions is photography. It will have videos, another of my interests. And since I have a bachelor's degree in math, I may occasionally talk numbers and stats.
The beauty of our itinerant system is that we are always given a new start. Here in the U.S., July 1st is always a starting line for United Methodists. Whether you are in a new race (i.e. a new appointment or a new pastor) or a new lap (i.e. a reappointment to the same church), I invite you to always look at the beginning of the new appointive year as a fresh new start, a spring, a resurrection, for you, your family and your faith community.
As we run the race of life together, I echo the words of the writer of Hebrews, "...let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NRSV).
Your fellow disciple,