Bishop Ward gives thanks for the welcome and hospitality congregations offer their clergy leader, particularly by offering clergy housing.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
In the last week, some of you have experienced the transition of pastoral leadership. You have welcomed a new pastor and on Sunday you probably heard this person preach for the first time in your worship space.
One of the ways in which you offer hospitality to clergy like myself is the offering of housing – parsonages or housing allowances – and on behalf of the entire connection of The United Methodist people, I thank the laity for this great gift.
My own family has lived in six houses offered generously by congregations. In two places, we have been offered housing allowances. No matter how the housing is offered, we who are clergy receive it gratefully, realizing that it is your offering to God offered to us for a season as we live and serve among you. Together, we are Christ’s servants. Each of us has an important and unique role in the building up of all God’s people and the strengthening of our church.
Let us pray this day for laity and for clergy across The North Carolina Annual Conference.