The title gives it away: I’m new and have to introduce myself. I’m Gray Southern, the new Capital District Superintendent. Actually, I’m Harvey Gray Southern but “Harvey” is a name I rarely use; it was my father’s, and its use always makes me wait a moment for him to answer.
That fact is something that you probably don’t know about me, but it is also an insight into what a district and DS do together. We explore how we are connected and learn from and about each other. I hope in our ministry together we come to see all the ways that God gives us each other to build connection and community, to be the church God is using to build the Kingdom.
There are lots of unknowns in our life right now. But I ask us to look at what we do know: the love of God for us in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. That power knits us together and makes us into the redemptive community the world cries out to see.
I am deeply honored by Bishop Ward’s gift of this ministry and deeply indebted to my two immediate predecessors, Bishop Fairley and Jon Strother, along with the lay and clergy members of our district who have already welcomed me. I am thankful for Claire and her grace to me from the start of our work this week. And I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with you. The Apostle Paul talks about our partnership in the Gospel in Philippians 1. That biblical model is one I use in ministry; it is the one I look forward to living out with you.
We will learn about each other as we work together. Who knew my first name? But more than learning of each other, in and through our connection we learn of God’s grace. May we learn more and more of it. Please pray that we do. I will be praying for that blessing and working with you to receive it.
Hello from (Harvey) Gray Southern.
Grace and peace,
If you would like to print or share this message from our DS, you are encouraged to do so with this pdf: Hello from Harvey