I really don’t want to know. And most likely you don’t want me to want to know because one thing the folks of West have appreciated over the years is that we “think and let think.” We expect and hope our politicians will be people of integrity, but past that – we do not as a church engage in political discussions because when we say “all means all” – it covers the gamut of everything.

Yet there is an election next week that I ask you to be in deep prayer for.

By the way, while I still have you – – – my work phone has changed now.

My new number is 704.240.0966. Please put this in your phone and use it to contact me. After 25 years the 6074 number is gone.

Anyway – back to the story . . .

We are a United Methodist Church and next week the Southeastern Jurisdiction, 14 different annual conferences will gather at Lake Junaluska to do the work of the church, which will include electing 3 bishops. Rev. Amy Coles is our episcopal (bishop) candidate for the Western North Carolina Annual Conference.

I have the unique privilege of being Amy’s “handler” for the day.

Well, not really a handler, but it is fun to think of it that way.

I have the privilege of introducing Amy to the delegation of each of the Annual Conferences in breakout sessions. I have 1 min and 30 seconds to introduce her and then the delegation from that Annual Conference will have a set amount of time to ask her any questions they choose and she will answer.

After each session, she/I will do a quick debrief and move to the next session.

I’m already quite nervous about it for her (and me that I don’t misrepresent her or not represent her well). So, if I’m this nervous, I can only imagine what she must feel like.

I want to be prepared for this honor and not just fly by the seat of my jeans with holes in them. Thus, I have been listening to the intros and speeches of each bishop candidate, taking notes, and trying to see where they are in congruence with Amy and the mission/vision of the church and where they may differ. I imagine it will be important to have that rolling around in my mind as I formulate the introductions for the different groups of people. They are from areas ranging from Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, etc., so you can imagine they will have different perspectives on the issues.

It’s been so interesting. Upon listening to one candidate, I thought maybe I was on the wrong website completely, that maybe I’d clicked something different on YouTube.  I gave up, honestly, after 6 minutes and not knowing what I was listening to. Others were so clear and passionate about their purpose. It was very clear what they were for and how they would lead us as United Methodists forward.

It caused me to think about us.

When folks try to figure out who you/we are, do they know what we are “for?” Or do they only know what we are against?

Please, please be in prayer for Amy and our delegation next week. I know Amy will say she only wants the will of God to be done.

Selfishly, I am hoping the will of God is that Amy will be elected bishop because she “gets it.” She loves all people, cares for the margins in all areas, and is not a politician. She is a Jesus follower and consistently sacrifices herself for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. I hope by next week this time she will be moving towards “Bishop Coles” . . . but if not, we do know she will continue to make a huge impact in our denomination and the world.

If you want to check out the bishop candidates, it is worth your time.