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Starkville, MS 39759
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Monday         8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday        8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday   8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursday       8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Friday           CLOSED

"New Thing Sunday"

June 05 2023

April 24, 2023

Hello Mississippi Conference,
This is Bishop Sharma D. Lewis. You have no idea how much I have enjoyed traveling around the state of Mississippi and meeting you at the Chat and Chews. 
I am learning so much about you during our candid conversations. I’ve received a lot of great questions that have encouraged my thinking for the future of the Mississippi Conference. As I shared in my installation service, I have one challenge for the United Methodists of Mississippi and that is to “take Jesus to the streets.” I deeply believe that people still need Jesus, and I believe we are the people to share the Gospel message. 

One question that has been on your hearts and minds consistently is – "How do we reach new people for Jesus Christ?" The response I offer to this burning question is found in the term "innovation" – be willing to try something new.

Isaiah 43:19 states, “behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” I’m inviting you to do something new, creative and innovative on the last Sunday in June, as we celebrate “New Thing Sunday.”

Sunday, June 25 will be a special transition Sunday between our official “Clergy Move Day,” and the start of annual conference session on June 27. I am intentionally asking all pastors, those who are returning and even those new pastors who will have just moved into your community, to take this Sunday as a Sabbath with family. Therefore, I am asking your lay leadership to use this Sunday as an opportunity to reaffirm everyone’s commitment to “taking Jesus to the streets” in new and exciting ways and prepare for the celebration of ministry that will come for all Mississippi United Methodist churches on July 2, 2023. This first Sunday of July will be the first official Sunday for returning and new clergy.    
I want to challenge every local church in Mississippi to reclaim their God-given creativity and be innovative during the Sunday morning worship experience. Have you ever asked a youth or layperson to deliver the Sunday message? Have you ever had a moment of testimonies to share the love of Jesus Christ in the congregation? Have you ever had a Methodist Love Feast? Allow the members of your congregation to engage their communities and circles of influence.

Look for reminders and more details in the future and prayerfully consider how God is calling you to be creative, innovative and to allow God to do a “new thing” in your midst. I look forward to hearing your ideas at the conference.

Peace and blessings,

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Bishop in Residence, Mississippi Episcopal Area