100th Edition of eLead

July 14, 2022

In celebration of our 100th edition of our eLead newsletter, the Leadership Development Team shares 100 things they are thankful for. We invite you to celebrate this milestone with us by showing your gratitude to God for the ways God has guided us and strengthened us through the years. 

We are grateful to God for:

  1. Freedom of Religion
  2. Family, extended family and church family
  3. The freedom to choose when and where we enter
  4. Life, health and strength
  5. Clean Water
  6. The Opportunity to Strive after God
  7. Wide open educational opportunities
  8. Those in the church who believe in us and encourage us to sing and speak our faith
  9. That no one has to speak for us, but we are free to speak for ourselves. 
  10. The odd and wondrous calling to serve as an ordained clergy member of our annual conference
  11. Getting to live in a state where we can enjoy both the coast and the mountains
  12. Awesome colleagues
  13. All the amazing resources that we share in our conference
  14. Seeing all persons use their gifts to engage in ministry
  15. Living close to Pilot Mountain State Park where I can hike for hours on end
  16. Music!
  17. Lifelong Friends
  18. A new focus on engagement with those both in our church and in the surrounding community
  19. Leading a service of death and resurrection for a dear friend. 
  20. A conference that prioritizes and invests in me as a leader
  21. A conference that invests in developing leadership within congregations
  22. Wise mentors and coaches
  23. Surprising partners in ministry
  24. God’s just-right-timing in opening doors and provision
  25. The Spirit that moves and empowers us to keep up
  26. The Means of Grace podcast
  27. Opportunities to connect with community leaders
  28. Bishop Carter’s leadership
  29. All the shades of green in the trees. 
  30. Joy on my fosters son’s face as he plays in the ocean.
  31. Watermelon shakes on hot summer days.
  32. Time to just sit and breathe.
  33. Shared meals with friends and family. 
  34. Unexpected blessings.
  35. Summer evenings sitting on the porch watching the lightening bugs.
  36. Laughter.
  37. The ability to walk beside family members who are sick and dying.
  38. Annual Conference in person
  39. Precious moments with those we love.
  40. God's presence in our toughest moments. 
  41. Both/And ministry to our community
  42. Fresh expressions of church!
  43. More opportunities to celebrate racial diversity
  44. Walking around Lake Junaluska with friends I haven't seen since 2020
  45. Opportunities to imagine a brighter future for our church
  46. The privilege and the weight of leading my community in communion for the first time.
  47. The unlimited Grace of God
  48. Sabbath rest!
  49. Exploring creation care opportunities in our worshipping community
  50. A pilgrimage to the US-Mexico border to walk alongside legal asylum seekers.
  51. Opportunities for rest and renewal
  52. Lay Ministers in the church
  53. Hybrid Seminary Programs
  54. Festivals including Juneteenth and the Festival of Wisdom & Grace
  55. A plastic free July!
  56. Racial Healing and Reconciliation
  57. Opportunities for Financial support and freedom
  58. Services and prayers of Lament and healing
  59. Ministry with and for young adults
  60. Opportunities to explore Just Compensation
  61. The ability and freedom to vote!
  62. Leading my first marriage ceremony
  63. The Blessing to #BeUMC
  64. Participation with the Poor Man's Campaign
  65. Mission Engagement Sundays in our community
  66. Worship without Walls
  67. Retiring from pastoral leadership and stepping into the next steps of my faith journey
  68. The ministry of executing the stations of the Cross
  69. Innovation that helps us to worship with people from all over the globe
  70. The core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church
  71. Graduation
  72. Experimenting with new church partnerships
  73. First time appointment stories
  74. Ministries of recovery
  75. Where we are, where we've been and where God is leading
  76. Greater emphasis on mental health
  77. Resourceful Communities that focus on environmental stewardship, social justice and sustainable economic development across rural NC
  78. Safe, stable homes where children can thrive and live to their full, God-given potential
  79. How faith, community and technology intersect for teens
  80. House Church Networks
  81. Great leadership in politically divided times
  82. Partnerships between our church and the local schools in our area
  83. Campus ministers and their ministry
  84. Dinner Church
  85. Launching a new worship service
  86. Creating spaces for stillness, hope and even sadness in the midst of the Christmas season
  87. The seasons of Life, Love and Ministry
  88. That in my weakness God is Strong
  89. The guidance of the Fruitful clergy leadership model
  90. Breakthroughs in therapy
  91. Coaching in ministry
  92. Boundaries in ministry
  93. The freedom to fail in ministry and learn from those failures
  94. My family’s full recovery from Covid-19 and MISC
  95. The generosity of our community partners
  96. The call to pastoral ministry
  97. The opportunities to grow in preaching throughout the years]
  98. Opportunities to learn through the resistance that comes from change. 
  99. The faithful service of the UMC Disaster Ministries
  100. Last, but certainly not least, the faithful readers of the eLead Newsletter! 
Leadership Development