OHIO VALLEY DISTRICT
“Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia!”
In a few short months, Lynelle and I will be headed north to Mayfield, back to ministry in a local church. Particularly in this season of Holy Week and Easter, I realize how much I miss serving as pastor, leading a congregation through the seasons of the Christian year – and seasons of life as Christian people. I know for sure my experience here in the Ohio Valley will be an enormous resource as I focus once again on one “mission outpost” connected with 715 other mission outposts serving the cause of the Risen Christ here in East Ohio.
The reality of Easter – Christ the Lord is risen indeed! – fills me with faith, hope and love for each of us and for our beloved United Methodist Church. Paul poses the question in 1 Corinthians 15, “Where, O death, is your victory?” The biblical answer is powerful and clear: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” What does this mean for us as followers of Jesus? “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:55-58). Our faith, hope and love will not disappoint us!
A man named Joseph Williams heard Charles Wesley preach in Bristol: “I found him standing on a table-board, in an erect posture, surrounded by, I guess, more than a thousand people, some of them fashionable persons, but most of the lower rank of mankind. He prayed with uncommon fervency and then preached in such a manner as I have scarce ever heard any man preach … Backed up with many texts of Scripture, which he explained and illustrated, and then by a variety of the most forcible motives, arguments, and expostulation, did he invite, allure, quicken, and labor, if it were possible, to compel all, and every of his hearers, to believe in Christ for salvation.” May we all pray and preach with this conviction!
One of the most exuberant of Charles Wesley’s hymns expresses the amazing truth of Easter: “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! … Love’s redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won, death in vain forbids Him rise, Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!” So we proclaim, testify, speak the truth!
With Easter resonating through each of us, our Ohio Valley SPRING DISTRICT CONFERENCE will be held on April 21 from
9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Scott Memorial UMC in Cadiz. Our theme will be Bearing Fruit that Lasts – Called, with Rev.
Dr. Gary George bringing the key note address. Char Messenger, Regional Coordinator of Young People’s Ministries of the East Ohio Conference, will address all of our Ohio Valley pastors in a break-out session on how to reach young adults for Christ.There will also be break-out sessions for local church lay leaders (led by district lay leaders Doug Arbaugh and Dan Smallwood), Trustees (led by Rev. Dr. George) and SPR Committees (led by Rev. Jim Winkler).
My expectation is that all Ohio Valley pastors and leaders, along with all members who want to bear fruit that lasts, will attend this spring district conference. Please send ASAP to the district office the enclosed registration sheet. During the conference, we will welcome with open arms the new Ohio Valley District Superintendent, Rev. Bruce & Melissa Hitchcock; celebrate the tireless, winsome and capable service of retiring District Administrative Assistant Gay Warren; and offer words of blessing to Rev. Jim & Lynelle Winkler as they venture forth to serve the cause of Christ in the Western Reserve District.
Lynelle and I have three short months remaining in our time here in the Ohio Valley. We desire to bless you in every way we know how as together we worship and serve our Risen Lord!
Best of All Is God Is With Us,
Ohio Valley District Office:
Rev. James Winkler
352 Canton Rd.
Wintersville, OH 43953
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Summer Hours beginning June 21
Monday thru Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
©2016 EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.