In a service that mirrors the service of ordination, jurisdictional delegates, friends and family filled the sanctuary. Two others were also being consecrated, Rev. Ruben Saenz, Jr. from the Rio Conference and Rev. Jimmy Nunn from the Northwest Texas Conference.
All three were presented by Bishop Michael McKee, president of the South Central Jurisdiction’s College of Bishop.
“Do you trust that they are worthy, by God’s grace, to be consecrated bishops?” Bishop McKee asked. “We do! Thanks be to God!” the congregation replied.
“Will you uphold them in their ministry?” Bishop McKee asked. “With God’s help, we will!” the congregation responded.
The sermon was by Bishop Robert Hayes, who had just retired from the Oklahoma Conference. He preached about the story of Joseph, which he said has every element of the human condition in it, including compassion, jealously and love.
“It spans 10 chapters in Genesis, chapters 37 to 47, but I don’t have to go through all of that because you all know the story,” Hayes said. “There are some advantages to preaching to the choir now and then. Services can be a lot shorter when you know the story.”
The story advises to carry a little healing balm and honey to make things easier along the way. Bishop Hayes said it is still good advice, especially for pastors and Bishops.
“We are all going back to people with great anxiety about our church and its future,” Hayes said. “As we return to our places of service, we need to have a little balm. A little balm of healing restoration for the people called United Methodist. We need to build bridges instead of walls, provide hope instead of despair, provide love instead of hate.”