Junaluska Reflections

I told you last week that I was travelling to Lake Junaluska, NC for the yearly meeting of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. That’s an official sounding mouthful.

A couple of conference highlights:

  • Good Shepherd’s own Rich Tuttle was “commissioned” as a probationary elder in the Methodist Church. Don’t worry . . . in this case, probation is a good thing. It simply means that he is on the way to ordination and tenure as a pastor in our denomination.
  • Good Shepherd is currently the third largest church in the WNCC in terms of average Sunday attendance. In 2007, only Christ UMC in Hickory (2098 average attendance) and Matthews UMC in Matthews (1697) were larger than Good Shepherd (1475).

But the most interesting moment came when Rev. Hubert Clinard won the Harry Denman Award For Excellence in Evangelism. The Conference gives that award each year to a pastor who has done innovative work in sharing faith and growing churches.

Yet Hubert Clinard is 83. Turns out he has taken over 50 mission trips to Costa Rica alone in the course of his ministry. I cannot think of a more deserving winner. You can read more about it on page 3 of this Conference Update.

It got me thinking . . . do I have enough zeal for God still to be doing His work at that age? Or will I be winding down, figuring that the work of the gospel is for only for the young?

Thanks Hubert. I want to be like you when I grow up.