This may be one of the last articles I will write as the general secretary of the commission. As you may know, I had planned to retire this fall, but there are some additional tasks that I feel I need to complete prior to retiring. I am still hoping my original schedule will work; but I am also committed to “ending well.”
There is a limit to the number of years you can serve in this position, and there is also an age limit. I reach both right after the first of 2022, but I wanted to leave this fall so my replacement would have plenty of time on the job before the next General Conference.
Sher and I will be staying in the Nashville area. We bought a home for “the long run” and it is close to the lake (for my kayak) and close to the airport (to see our son and his family) and is the right configuration for us at this time and in the future.
I have been reminded that this journey started in the early 1990s when I was elected president of the Texas Conference UM Men. My first trips to Nashville, predate the 1996 creation of the commission.
I have had great company on this journey, and I am forever blessed to be part of this movement.
I want you to know that I am particularly thankful to you for the last 12 years. You have been very patient with me, and very generous with the way you have helped me lead this vital agency forward to expand men’s and scouting ministries.
I am thankful for every member of the staff who has been part of this journey. Each is a great individual, but collectively they are amazing. We have the best, most imaginative staff of any place I know. I am better at what I did because they each made me better.
I am especially thankful for those who have served as volunteer leaders of the UM Men Foundation, the National Association of Conference Presidents, and the General Commission on UM Men. I personally know of the time you have spent away from family and work to complete the work of this commission. There were costs of time and resources. You took on homework and countless meetings. You changed your schedules to meet ours and had to explain to others at work and at home.
Thank you for your gifts of personal time, talent, and treasure.
Through this journey, your support has been inspirational. Even when hard decisions were made due to budget constraints, you supported the direction we were going. You were patient with me when you heard me say, “Let’s try this . . .”
You embraced my excitement over:
- Class Meetings on Zoom
- Use of deployed staff
- Virtual meetings (even before the pandemic)
- Reaching out to Pan Methodists and leaders of denominations
- New materials accessible on computers
- The creation of Give Day
- The challenge of asking “good men” to change the culture that promotes violence against women
- Welcoming effective affiliates to better serve your local church, district, and conference.
Your skills and grace have been key to the successes we have had over the last 12 years. It has been my honor to serve with you as we collectively serve God.
Thank you, as you continue to be available to God’s leading in these transformational ministries.
Please continue your efforts so that the youth we serve, and the men we serve, will have an on-growing relationship with Jesus Christ.