A Word from DS Rev. Andy Smith

Grace to you, and peace, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I find myself humbled and honored to be following my beloved sisters Bishop Laura Merrill and Rev. Teresa Welborn as your Capital District Superintendent for the next several months.

As you may or may not know, I retired on July 1 of this year following a 31-year career as a UMC pastor, the last five years serving as a DS in the West and Hill Country districts. My purpose for this brief article is to introduce myself to you.

My wife Robyn and I have been married 43 years. We both grew up in Austin, in fact, Robyn was born here. We graduated together from Anderson High School. Both of our adult children, their spouses, and our three granddaughters live in Austin; one south, one north. So, it was a no-brainer for us to retire in Austin. We bought a home off Slaughter Lane near Bowie HS.

We are active members of Saint John’s UMC where I have joined the choir, we go to a Sunday school class, and even worked a shift in the pumpkin patch.

Jumping back into work, and onto the Rio Texas cabinet, was unexpected but not unwelcomed. I love my colleagues on the cabinet and my work as a DS. I’ve been telling people that I feel like I’ve had a 4½-month Sabbatical leave, and now I’m rested for the push to the 2023 Annual Conference (and my next retirement!).

And I love the churches and people of the Capital District. I grew up at Northwest Hills UMC, when my dad was the founding pastor there. And I served as pastor of three congregations in the former Austin District; Dripping Springs, Lake Travis and Bastrop (18 of my 26 years of parish ministry).

I look forward to meeting many of you over the next several months. I won’t be able to get around to all of the churches in this short time, but I will worship and work with you when I can. Although we will certainly miss Bishop Merrill, the work of our district work teams will continue because we have excellent leadership in place, not least of whom is our incomparable Operations Manager Jill Barre – Amen? Amen!

I pray you have a blessed season of Advent and Christmas.

Blessings and Peace.

P.S. Pay your apportionments, please.