A Word from DS Laura Merrill 12/20/21

December 20, 2021 As I write this Monday morning, with all four Advent candles finally lit, I’m thinking about incarnation. The masterful theological statement of John 1 approaches in the lectionary, and the high, holy day or night of Christmas will retell the tale of the God of the cosmos putting on the tiniest, tenderest…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 10/1/21

At our district professionals meeting this week, Bishop Schnase shared a description of our collective responses to traumatic events, a description that some of us heard last year from Rev. John Thornburg of TMF. These apply to events like hurricanes and 9-11, as well as to our more extended pandemic. The stages of response or…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 09.17.21

Friends: As I write this, I’m about to drive to the fourth of four social gatherings I’ve held with clergy this month–2 for coffee, and 2 for happy hour. My hope was that we would have relaxed, non-agenda time to be together. Some preachers have met each other for the first time, and others have…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill 09.03.21

As a part of returning to the DS role this summer, I participated in what those of us in the biz affectionately call “DS Charm School,” but what is actually a time of orientation. It was online and included new DSs and other leaders from across the country. Despite my joking that I was having…Read More »

A Word from DS Laura Merrill – 7/22/21

My first newsletter article as Capital District Superintendent! Where do I begin? I’ll start with gratitude for being back in my hometown after 34 years away, in a wonderful parsonage, near my mother and many other family members. I’m glad beyond words for friends who have helped me pack and unpack. I’m grateful to be…Read More »

A Word from DS Rev. Teresa Welborn-6/10/2021

As humans, we’re good about marking endings and beginnings. Coffee at the start of the day and family movie night on Friday. The baptismal liturgy and the funeral liturgy. The graduation party and the retirement party. The beginning of a new appointment and the last Sunday’s farewell celebration. But what about all the in-between time?…Read More »

A Word from DS Teresa Welborn-4/23/2021

Texas Methodist Foundation recently launched a podcast called “Reservoirs of Resilience.” If you aren’t already familiar with this podcast and listening, I commend it to you. Leaders interviewed include: Tod Bolsinger of Fuller Seminary who says, “The giant challenge isn’t the external challenges, as strong as they are, it is the internal resistance” and Dr. Colette…Read More »

A Word from DS Rev. Teresa Welborn – 3/31/21

In her book Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other LiesI’ve Loved, Duke professor Kate Bowler writes about the time she visited Lakewood Church in Houston for worship. Worshiping there one Holy Week, she recalls the smiling parking lot attendant waving and hollering over to her to say, “Happy Good Friday!” Lakewood Church is where Joel Olsteen…Read More »

A Word from DS Rev. Teresa Welborn – 3/12/21

Recently I shared with leaders in the district that I have accepted a new appointment beginning July 1st. Bishop Schnase has introduced me as the pastor he intends to appoint as senior pastor at University UMC in Austin. I also asked that our prayers join Bishop Schnase’s as he discerns the right next District Superintendent…Read More »