Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylon prophesizing that God had a plan that would give the people “a future with hope.” My heart is filled with this same God-inspired hope for the future of the Minnesota Conference. We have a plan to change lives, equip leaders, create new congregations, grow existing congregations, and infuse new vitality into our conference.
Every day, I am blessed to hear stories of life-changing faith experiences among our people. I am filled with God’s holy imagination as I contemplate the lives that will be changed through our Reach • Renew • Rejoice initiative. I look forward to the day when each congregation pursues bold plans for growing in love of God and neighbor, reaching new people, and healing a broken world.
Our work is cut out for us. Our hope for the future as a growing, vibrant, missional United Methodist Church in Minnesota must be backed with our prayers and unfettered actions. If we do not fulfill our Christ-given commission to reach and disciple people, or fail to be good and extravagant stewards of our God-given resources, we will impede our ability to achieve God’s kingdom purposes. The Reach • Renew • Rejoice initiative is a means for us to unite in prayer, action, and giving to fulfill this essential congregational development plan and to be faithful to our God-given mission to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I will lead by example through my prayers, giving, and involvement. I look forward to you joining me.
We stand on the shoulders of faithful and fruitful servants of God who built the platform for Reach • Renew • Rejoice. But today, it is up to us. What we do will shape the future.
Through Reach • Renew • Rejoice, we will equip ourselves and our congregations to reach our children, grandchildren, and future generations. We will renew our spirits, empower passionate leadership, and revive our ministries to and with God’s people. We will rejoice in the breakthroughs of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives and churches as we continue increasing the number of vital congregations.
I am already anticipating what God will do with and through us. I look forward to partnering with you and each of our congregations as we move toward a future with hope.
~ Bishop Bruce R. Ough
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church