GRACE

10/18/2019

GRACE

A few folks that are into apocalyptic bible study teach that the number five (5) is the Biblical number for grace. I’m not so sure, but for the purpose of this month’s article, I’ll agree.
 
I do know that grace is God’s unmerited favor offered to each of us. The Greek word for grace literally means “GIFT.” Grace is God’s free gift offered to us with no strings attached.
 
I love the acronym often used for GRACE: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! As people of faith let us never forget how blessed we are. We are the recipients of God’s amazing grace and steadfast love offered and provided for us in Jesus Christ.
 
As we enter this season of Thanksgiving allow me to share five things that I am grateful and thankful for:
  1. The IGRC Annual Conference. I am so blessed to have been assigned to serve this area. I love it here!
  2. Hard working pastors and laity that love Jesus and love the United Methodist Church and remain committed to making a difference in the world.
  3. The commitment of the IGRC to engage in ministries that start in Illinois and reach around the globe.
  4. An EXCELLENT Service Center Staff led by our exciting team of directors; Paul Black (Communications), Curtis Brown (Connectional Ministries), Mike Potts (Finance and Administration), and Jan Griffith (Executive Assistant to the Bishop). These folks mostly work “behind the scenes,” but they are the ones that enable us to work together as an Annual Conference.
  5. Generous Cheerful Givers. We are so blessed to have a culture of generosity in the IGRC. Your generous giving and faithful stewardship make it possible for us to touch and change lives as we offer God’s amazing grace to all.
It does not seem like I’ve completed three years of my four-year appointment. You all have been so GRACIOUS and accepting. Your graciousness encourages me to yearn to return for another four years.
 
New episcopal assignments will be announced at the conclusion of the Jurisdictional Conference in July 2020. I plan on remaining in the IGRC. I am thankful and blessed to be your Bishop.
 
Thanks for extending the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to me and to Melissa. We love you all and pray that as you offer “thanksgiving” you will share God’s amazing grace with others.
 
The heart of the gospel is extending the love and the grace of Jesus. Thanks again for helping me to “count my blessings.”
 
God bless,
Bishop Beard