August 23, 2016

What a summer. Let's recap. Our June issue brought you news from General Conference session in Portland, Oregon, and left you with a “To be continued.” Delegates asked the Council of Bishops to organize a process for working on issues related to human sexuality prior to the next General Conference session. The July issue brought you back home to Missouri to our Annual Conference Session, our 12th and final Annual Conference Session with Bishop Robert Schnase. The August issue took you to Wichita, Kansas, with news of the election of Bishop Bob Farr and his assignment back to Missouri, which officially begins on September 1. 
    
That’s a lot of conferencing in a few months’ time. Churches, families and employers had to give up their people so they could participate in days that started with a breakfast meeting and ended with a session that didn’t close until late in the evening. We had a dozen voting members at General Conference and twice that at Jurisdictional Conference, plus alternates. That’s a lot of people power being put to the purpose of conferencing. 
    
Then, suddenly it was over, and it was time to get back to business. Note, I didn’t say business as usual. With new leaders and new direction, everyone is excited about what’s to come. 
    
Jurisdictional Conference pushed the August issue a week late. The day I sent that issue to press, I loaded up the family for a hiking/camping trip to destinations west. It’s the 100th Anniversary of the National Park system, and we made it to four of them (Badlands, Wind Cave, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone). A little less than two weeks later, I arrived back home to hundreds of emails and about a week to pull together this September issue. 
    
That explains why this issue may feel a little lighter than normal. I was tempted to round up to our usual 32 pages with a “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay and pictures, but I’ll spare you that. And since the June issue ran 44 pages, and the July ran 60 pages, it makes some sense to dial this one back a little to bring that average down. My fear is that several people told me the July issue was their favorite one yet – I hope that’s not just because it was our biggest issue because that would make this September issue their least favorite. 
    
I hope you enjoy Tony Campolo. If you don’t, just skip pages 4 – 7 and catch up on the rest of the Missouri Conference news.