The Bishop's Blog

When a new pastor arrives: Five essential keys to beginning a relationship

The Bishop's Blog


This week a number of men and women have left a community and a congregation and have traveled to begin a new ministry. This process is physically, emotionally and spiritually challenging. The appointive cabinet’s role in reflecting on the gifts of clergy and sending them to assignments began in December and continued through the middle of April. Our work included prayer, consultation with laity and clergy and listening. In the end, the appointments were affirmed at the Florida Annual ...

Bishop Carter’s reflections on AC 2017

The Bishop's Blog


In reflecting on our gathering in Orlando, I give thanks for the laity and clergy of our Annual Conference. These are the images that remain with me, a few days later: Tammy Pawloski’s call to our local churches to intervene in the lives of children at risk, and the testimony of her own adopted son. Hundreds of people kneeling at the altar at the invitation of Bishop Pereira of the Methodist Church of Cuba. Jorge Acevedo and Alice Williams embracing after their witness, which included a ...

Bishop Carter's 2017 Ordination Sermon: Bridges

The Bishop's Blog


Florida is a beautiful state, a long peninsula situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is also covered with bodies of water, lakes, rivers and inter coastal waterways. We were attracted to this place because of water and nearness to it. We have called this a fountain of life. The tradition of American evangelicalism is closely aligned with camp meetings and arbors that were located near sources of water, perhaps for baptism. And, farther back, the holiest sites of our own ...

How We Got To Where We Are: A Brief Overview of United Methodism in 2017

The Bishop's Blog


(Note: For those who want to dive in deeply into what is happening in United Methodism in the present moment, I recommend the abundance of statements and interpretations that are easily accessible via the web. I am speaking in reference to the Called General Conference, the Judicial Council and the Commission on a Way Forward. This is something different—a brief overview of events that have led to where we find ourselves that can be read in 5-7 minutes.) 1. American Methodism began and ...

Continuity and Change: Florida Conference approaches 2025

The Bishop's Blog


"The most effective leadership anchors change in the values, competencies and strategic orientations that should endure in the organization."  Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Martin Linsky, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership Without change, we are stuck in the status quo. Without continuity, we are disoriented, in chaos. Without change, we live in a stagnant pool of water. Without continuity, we are in permanent white water, without a paddle or a raft. Not Either/Or, but Both/And The ...

Subtraction: Lent and the art of learning to say no

The Bishop's Blog


A sermon taken from Matthew 4. 1-11 and preached at Duke University Chapel on March 5, 2017, and Bethune-Cookman University Chapel on March 8, 2017, by Bishop Ken Carter. When I was in the eighth grade I was a sports fanatic. Not much has changed! As a kid I played the three sports that were common in South Georgia culture: Basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring, football in the fall.  We did not have year round sports. Year round sports are unnatural, but that is another story.  So, ...

A Brief Report to the people of the Florida Conference on the Work of the Commission on a Way Forward

The Bishop's Blog


We concluded our second meeting yesterday, having met at the Board of Global Ministries in Atlanta. We are thirty-two people from four continents, and we reflect the global and theological tapestry that is the United Methodist Church. And within these men and women are a profound diversity of gifts (1 Corinthians 12). A few thoughts: We are grateful for the prayer and support of many of you! I hear this over and over again as I travel, preach and listen in the churches across our state. The work...

Faithful discipleship in a time of turbulence

The Bishop's Blog


The core of the teaching of Jesus Christ is the Beatitudes. At the heart of these words, which frame the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), is a reversal of the world’s values. To be a disciple of Jesus is not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12).

A Fractured Denomination

The Bishop's Blog


In "The Fractured Republic," Yuval Levin writes: “The promise of this era, in cultural terms just as in economic terms, is the promise of diversity and choice. The danger of this era, in cultural just as is in economic terms, is the danger of polarization and division. And the work of maximizing the promise while minimizing the danger—of enabling more of our fellow citizens to live out their own American dreams without losing the essential unifying power of a commonly held American Dream—is a ...

Just Resolution as an Expression of Restorative Justice

The Bishop's Blog


When a violation of the Book of Discipline occurs, related to overlapping marks of LGBTQ and Christian (United Methodist) community and identity, we might begin with a question: Who has been harmed?

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