|Worship Service at the Gladstone church||8:30 AM|
|Worship Service at the Biggsville church||9:45 AM|
|Worship Service at the Oquawka church||11:00 AM|
|Bible Study @ Biggsville||6:30 PM|
Bishop Palmer's Letter
Beloved in Christ Jesus:
I trust that this note finds you well and thriving in ministry. To say
that a day brings about a change is more than understatement especially
in light of the grizzly tragedy in Aurora, Colo. Thank you for your
prayers and support for the families and communities affected. This
includes your community as well as mine.
While most of us have not been directly affected by unexplained
violence on this scale we do know of tragic violence in every community.
This most recent event which is holding us glued to news sources is a call
to remember who we follow and serve and how Jesus Christ has invited us to
live our lives. We are indeed called to be peacemakers, healers and
reconcilers whether or not that is our first impulse. But the other
thing that is tugging at me in the face of the Colorado tragedy is the
question of mental illness and what role it may have played.
On another matter in the area of change, I want to give you a huge
shout out for the generous and thoughtful outpouring of love, kudos,
affection and so much more that has been directed toward me and Cynthia.
We have had a blast here and leave quite naturally with feelings of
incompleteness. But if the truth be told, I leave every setting with
that sense. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to move the ball
down the field so to speak. During a short watch I believe that all of
us pulling together got a lot done. Perhaps more than any of us
Whatever was accomplished during these last four years was built upon
the strong foundation that I inherited. I followed a superb visionary
and strategic leader in Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher. I have been
privileged to work with a strong capable staff in the Episcopal Office
and the Conference and I have partnered with diligent, knowledgeable
and passionate superintendents. All of you -- the lay and clergy of this
conference -- have been warm, generous and responsive to me and my
ministry initiatives. You are a grace-filled, leader-full people. What
more could I have asked for? You have everything you need to keep on
keeping on for God.
Speaking of the incompleteness, if I had one wish it would be to know
on my last day as your bishop that we had reached or exceeded the goal we
have been moving toward for Imagine No Malaria.
I am so pleased that I will be handing the proverbial baton to Bishop
Jonathan D. Keaton. He is a good leader, strong preacher and passionate
proponent of the mission of the church and missional outreach. He is an
out there with the people kind of bishop. I know him as friend,
colleague and for four years, he was my bishop. I am confident that you
will embrace him and his family and receive the gifts for ministry that
they bring. Lots of important transitional work is underway and our
staff leaders are functioning at a high level to assist the Keatons and
the conference to get off to a smashing start.
Now I know some are wondering what happened. Why is the bishop leaving
after only four years? These are understandable questions for which the
only answer is: nothing happened. Put another way: the process worked.
All bishops are assigned for four years at a time and all assignments
are reviewed every four years. Bishops, like other pastors, move for a
variety of reasons to help assist the mission of the church. A number
of factors are always at work as in the appointive process in the Annual
Conference. We had strong leaders on the Jurisdictional Episcopacy
Committee from IGRC. And the whole committee (made up of one lay and
one clergy member from every conference) has to work together to serve the
best interest of the parts AND the whole jurisdiction.
Cynthia and I have had an awesome ministry experience here. We have
been challenged to grow and blessed beyond measure. Thank you. We embrace
the next chapter in ministry with faith and joy. Thank you for allowing us
to move forward in this spirit. As always I am,
Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Gregory Vaughn Palmer
Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
1 Timothy 1:20 (KJV)
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
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