202. Returning Home

My family and I were delighted to receive the news late on Friday night of our assignment to serve the Missouri Conference for the next four years.   It’s a privilege to work with the laity, pastors, and congregations of Missouri.  We’ve explored new approaches to ministry during these last several years, and I pray that these next four allow us the time to deepen and ripen many of our most fruitful initiatives.   I hope our work together serves God and serves the mission of the church given us in Christ.  I hope our time together strengthens congregations, and helps reach more of our neighbors with the gift and demand of God’s grace.    With two sons attending the University of Missouri and Esther working in the library at the University, our whole family is thrilled with news of this assignment.  Thank you for your prayerful support and encouragement during these weeks of anticipation by us all and of discernment by the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee which determined this assignment.

I want to express my deep appreciation for the delegation that represented the Missouri Conference laity and clergy during Jurisdictional Conference.  Their positive spirit, clarity of purpose, and focus on the mission of the church fostered an atmosphere of collaboration and discernment during the election of bishops as well as during the periods marked by difficult issues and hard decisions.  My gratitude to Cody Collier and Brian Hammons for their conscientious leadership of the team.

I’m particularly proud of Rev. Bob Farr, and for his offering of his leadership for the Episcopacy.  Three fine leaders were elected to the Episcopacy.  It’s easy to imagine Bob among them bringing his excellent gifts, passions, and insights, but that did not happen.  He represented the Missouri Conference well, and he did it with energy, clarity of purpose, good-humor, and graciousness.  We gladly welcome him home as we work together on the next steps in our journey as a conference as we seek to lead congregations to lead people to active faith in Jesus Christ.

I’m also deeply grateful for the fine work and wise leadership of Cody Collier and Larry Fagan who represented the Missouri Conference on the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee.  This year more than most, their service on this committee has demanded immense amounts of time, work, and prayer, and I give God thanks for their love of the church and for their unwavering commitment to Christ.

I’ll be taking some time for rest and renewal during the weeks to come, and then I look forward to our renewed work together as we organize our new leadership teams in the fall as we take on the task given us in Christ, the work of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Yours in Christ,

Robert Schnase