"Becoming faithful followers of Jesus is our calling" - Bishop Trimble's Episcopal Addess

June 08, 2013

“Becoming faithful followers of Jesus is our one calling.,” said Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he began his Episcopal Address to the 2013 Iowa Annual Conference.  A montage of images of ministries preceded his Address across the conference “for which we can say thank you.”

Bishop Trimble invited the Conference to “Imagine a faithful church and a healthy world.  Imagine us living up to our kingdom potential as we embrace the mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’” 

“As we gather at this conference,” he said “we can claim a vision for a season of resurrection, which means new life, new leaders for God’s transforming work, new engagement in prayer and small groups and communities of faith.  Disciples nurtured, connected and unleashed for God’s miracle working mission of saving lives is something to get excited about.”  He described vision as “the ability to see what the future looks like before you get there; a mental picture of a positive future.”

Bishop Trimble described some of the symbols that are important to him.  The first was prayer shawls that were draped over the prayer kneeler.  “I have received many prayer shawls since 2008.  I am grateful for every single one.  They are for me, reminders of how lives are saved and blessed by prayer and love.  One of my first was a prayer shawl from Early UMC, Pastor Dee Ann Klapp – NW District visit.  A second prayer shawl from Women at the Well – “This item was made for you from the Women at the Well UMC, Mitchellville.  The third was a prayer shawl from Malvern UMC, with an attached message, ‘As you lead us, we are praying for you and to imagine a world without Malaria.’”

His second symbol is the crozier, a pastoral staff that symbolizes the shepherd role of a bishop.  “It is pointed toward the world outside the church where as your bishop, I intend to lead us!  Yes to the margins, yes to world as our parish.  You cannot lead without community; and I celebrate the power of our connection as community.”

After talking about the three elements of the proposed Strategic Priorities Bishop Trimble asked, “Do you believe in miracles?  I say yes of course, but I believe in big miracles, not small ones… I believe in miracles, because I believe in God and I believe in God, because I am constantly seeing ordinary people do extraordinary things!  Wherever God call us to go, God is already there.”