Dear friends in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and Peace from the God we know through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Cynthia and are I am still pinching ourselves that we get to serve you again, albeit for a short six months. Our hearts are warmed by the gracious welcome extended by the Beards, the cabinet and staff and the lay and clergy volunteer leadership of the conference.
Thank you for your notes, cards and texts. When my Dad died in late June I had never thought that so many cards would come from you. It just never occurred to me that would be the case. So you can imagine that Cynthia and I were blown away when Bishop Beard came to the Service of Death and Resurrection. Thank you, IGRC and thank you, Bishop Beard.
In the video I prepared for your Annual Conference I assured you that I was joining you in wrapping Bishop and Mrs. Beard in prayer as they work hard at adjusting to a new reality and prepare to return to full service following a medical leave. Their confidence and trust in the medical team working with them is encouraging. Their faith in the constancy of God is inspiring. “O for a faith that will not shrink…”
As I serve among you I want to assure you that all challenges notwithstanding there has never been a more ripe and crucial time to be the church and bear witness to the Gospel of light and life. Our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world begs to be whole heartedly embraced by every local church, faith community, institution and disciple.
That said, I am pleased to join my voice of encouragement urging you to finish the Our Conference Our Kids campaign. What a noble goal to care so much about the future of children especially those who face particular challenges. The child-serving institutions that have been birthed and sustained in the IGRC are a testament to your commitment to serve the most vulnerable among us. This campaign is but one more sign of your love and support for the long haul. Thank you for all you do.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer