“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”

Isaiah 35: 1-2a

The month of February seems so very long, and grey. But now everywhere I see signs that Winter is almost over. Crocuses popping up, with their cheery yellow and purple blooms. Welcome, Spring!

We have come through a long dark season of the Church. With General Conference just a few weeks off, we ponder what will the new season bring? How does the United Methodist Church move forward into the future? How do we prepare? Certainly, each of us can prepare by learning as much as we can about the issues delegates to General Conference will address. UM News is a great source for information; I would encourage subscribing to receive regular updates at umnews.org. After General Conference, the district will host an information session, “What Just Happened”. Throughout this time of preparation and conferencing, please pray for the delegates.

We are called to be in ministry, both clergy and laity, and this will be ever more important in this new season of the Church. Our roles may be unique, our gifts and talents differing. There are upcoming opportunities to explore those roles, gifts, and talents. On April 12th and 13 th the district will offer our next Lay Servant Academy, with wonderful classes to strengthen and deepen our leadership skills. This is open to all laity, not just those participating in the Lay Servant or Lay Speaker programs.

Are you feeling called to reach out to people in your community, to share the message of the Love of God? We are developing a new initiative called Go!, which will train and equip you to go into your community and spread the Good News. An information session will be upcoming.

This new season is not without sorrow. We must bid our District Superintendent Rev. Sarah Calvert “goodbye”. Let’s celebrate her ministry with us! Join the District in wishing her well and thanking her for all she has shared with us.

Spring is here, and with it comes change. And new growth.

Karen McElfish, District Lay Leader