A busy Saturday, May 4th, began in San Marcos and the SWTexas Synod assembly. After 18 years, Bishop Ray Tiemann is retiring. I was invited to bring greetings from the people of #NTNL and observed the first/nominating ballot for Bishop.
Then I hopped into the Bishop-mobile and drove back to the Metroplex. After playing in the yard for a bit with my kiddos, we were off to the Briarwood Retreat Center Fiesta. This annual fundraiser is vital to the life of our ministry. This year, we also were particularly honoring the Rev. Phil Geleske, who retired from this ministry in the spring of 2018. In his honor, in my remarks, I recalled a sermon illustration he had once used regarding “keeping his fork.” He recalled that as a child when the host of the meal would, at the end, tell him to “keep his fork,” that meant good things yet were to come. I reminded him that we are grateful for his work but that he needed to “keep his fork,” as there are still good things to come for him in ministry and for Briarwood. I had a special fork made for him engraved with his name to remind him of our gratitude for his work.
We are grateful for all the generous supporters of #Briarwood. We also honored St. Matthew, Waco (Pastor Paul Krupicka), the Rev. Jane and Dan Mar, the Rev. Mel and Hattie Hammer, and Greg Getting and Bruce Haugene (members of Faith, Flower Mound) for their volunteer and advocacy support. Over 150 folks attended the gala, which raised a record amount for the ministry! Good news as it was reported that early camp registrations are up 75% this year over 2017.
While we were celebrating, we were also praying for the people of the SWTexas Synod. As expected, when a bishop is retiring, the election went to five ballots, with the Rev. Sue Briner (Bishop’s Assistant, SWTexas Synod) being elected on the final ballot. I am grateful to our Bishop’s Associate, the Rev. Kris Totzke, for attending and being present on my behalf at the election time.
I look forward to working with Bishop-elect Briner, who will be installed on Sept. 1, 2018 (which also will be her first official day in office). #Briarwood #SWTSynod #NTNL #InMissionTogether