A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Episcopal Address Urges Innovation: June 5, 2017
Bishop Michael McKee encourages Annual Conference members to embrace newness and innovation.
By SHERON C. PATTERSON
North Texas Connection Editor
In his Monday morning Episcopal Address on June 5, 2017, Bishop Michael McKee encouraged the members of the North Texas Annual Conference to embrace newness and innovation.
“We are about creating new things. We must move from death to resurrection,” he said. “We must move our concerns to those outside the church instead of those inside the church.
“How do we move from what has been to what can be?” he rhetorically asked. “Take the chances,” he answered. “It is not about size, but mission with passion.”
Among the examples of innovation from around the North Texas Conference, Bishop McKee cited Christ UMC in Plano which for the past 13 years constructs one house on the corner of their parking lot called House on the Corner (HOTC). The HOTC is given to a low-income family. One young man whose family received the first house recently graduated from high school. The young man was supported and mentored by members of Christ UMC through most of his life and credited them for his success.
Another example of innovation cited by Bishop McKee are the ministries at White Rock UMC in Dallas. The Bishop confessed that years ago he doubted that young adult pastor Mitchell Boone could revitalize the dying church. His cabinet members urged him to “take a chance.”
In 2016, the church opened a 14,000-square-foot unused basement to businesses in need as an incubator, called “The Mix.” Also, the church transformed a back parking lot into a community garden and location for Tai Chi classes.
“Take bold risks,” Bishop McKee urged. “Some will fail, but some will produce fruit. We can do this. It is deep work. Let’s be willing to let the old models die, so new models can come about. Let’s be tied to missions of Christ, not models from the 1950s and 1960s. God wants us to meet people who are very different than we are. I hope people come to our churches, not because of the building, but because of who comes out of the building.”