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Bishop Trimble's Thoughts on Gratefulness, Thanksgiving and Having a Cheerful Disposition
Episode 37Bonus Episode23rd November 2022 • Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble • Bishop Julius C. Trimble
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Bishop Julius C. Trimble is the Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Trimble has the personal mission to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential. It is his commitment to his personal mission that led Bishop Trimble to create the “To Be Encouraged” Podcast along with co-host Rev.Dr. Brad MIller.

Bishop Trimble says, “I am compelled by Jesus to share with you an encouraging word or two about Jesus, theology, the Bible, the pandemic, the environment, racism, voting rights, human sexuality, and the state of the United Methodist Church.”

To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble is to be published weekly and is available at www.tobeencouraged.com and all the podcast directories.

https://www.inumc.org/bishop/office-of-the-bishop/

Transcripts

Speaker:

Hello good people. Welcome to the to be in courage podcast with Bishop Julius C. Treble. I'm your co host, Reverend Dr. Brad Miller. This is the podcast where we seek to offer an encouraging word to an often discouraged world. And we'd love to talk to Bishop Trump about what's going on in his heart. Bishop. Welcome to our podcast today.

Speaker:

Thank you Dr. Brand. It's good to see you good to hear your your voice. And it's good to have an opportunity to plant some seeds and spread words of encouragement across the universe.

Speaker:

Yeah, absolutely. And that's exactly what we're about. And encouraging word to an often discouraged world and but one part of encouragement is a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. Certainly a theme throughout the Bible with everything else is going on. I think we're in a season here and, and the holiday season and November, December, we have a few things to be thankful for. And to have put a framework around some of the some of the things that are a little bit distressing in our world, we do have a lot to be thankful for. So, Michelle, what's on your heart today as we have this episode regarding thanks, thankfulness and gratefulness? What are you grateful for today?

Speaker:

Well, I have I have tons of things that I'm grateful for. But I'm grateful also for the Word of God and the message that comes through us through the Bible. Old and New Testament, I think of a text from Proverbs. Eugene's Peterson's version from Proverbs 1722 A cheerful disposition is good for your health. Hear me, Brad. A cheerful disposition is good for your health. gloom and doom leave you bone tired.

Speaker:

So your attitude? Your attitude matters, doesn't it? It does.

Speaker:

And so having a having an attitude of gratitude, and sometimes, you know, everyday is not a good day, and I've been married a long time we both been married and my wife. Imagine your day, your good day might not match up with my good day. But hopefully one of us is having a good day all the time. So you go, we do this podcast and park read, because we know that people need to hear words of encouragement. Yes, they have eluded and rooted in a sense of faith, the grounding of prayer, and the Word of God and real life experiences. A lot has happened just in my world in terms of United Methodist Church in recent weeks. Let me start with Africa University. Yes. Was

Speaker:

you were able to travel there recently, and I know you want to share and tell us what you experienced and what it's all about?

Speaker:

Well, I travel there and in October, latter part of October to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Africa University, a University started by the United Methodist Church. And it was actually initiated by African bishops from the United Methodist Church who said we need to invest in education on the continent of Africa. As United Methodist, we have a long history of supporting colleges and, and schools and seminaries here in the United States and other places. And Africa University was an initiative from the United Methodist Church supported endorsed by the General Conference, and now has educated and graduated over 10,000 students who have graduated from African University since 1992. And it's phenomenal I, I was there just several weeks ago for the installation and inauguration of the fifth Vice Chancellor, we would probably call that person the president here. Yes, but it's the Vice Chancellor who's the head administrator for the university, the professor Dr. Peter magotteaux. And Brad he happens to be have two degrees from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. So the new the new vice chancellor at African University is also a graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. But it's a great university. He's following leaders who have been brought up to that point, and to be there and to hear this phenomenal Africa University Choir with students from over 20 Different countries who are in the choir. They have students from over 28 African countries who are attending this university in Zimbabwe, so it's truly a Pan African university. Many of these students are United Methodists. And almost, yeah, the vast majority of these students would not be able to attend college. We're not for scholarship support, or the fact that this university is, is supported by the United Methodist Church. It was just a phenomenal experience. I also was there with a classmate of ours. Yes. Alliance Namo Minh Bureau and I

Speaker:

was wondering I was going to ask you about the alias Namo.

Speaker:

He came the last day he was there at the inauguration but I didn't see him the crowd was A big several, several 1000 people there. But But afterwards we had a chance to, to share after lunch on on the, on the closing closing day that we were there. And so it was great to see him and his wife, actually not the first time I went to Africa, Africa and the first time I went to Zimbabwe was in 1991. And it was in part at his invitation, ribbon Elias Nam Oman bureau. And so at that time, there was just a big billboard. That said the future side of Africa University were no no dormitories, no classroom, buildings had been built. And the very next year, the first class of students started at Africa University.

Speaker:

And just Bishop just put in context a little bit you may or may not know this did you may not know that. Elias Barrow. He is actually not only to get it together, he and I went to undergrad together at Evans, I did not know that. Yeah, so I've known him for some time, we were undergraduate classmates and classmates at Guaranty of evangelical but the point, the point I wanted to make about that, and he went on to become, I forgot his title. He was an administrator. They were at Africa University of some sort, right? Isn't it right?

Speaker:

Where he was, when I went there, he was a district superintendent for the area, but he was one of the original people that signed the papers, for the property, the land and so forth. Because

Speaker:

the what the cadets I want to give you was that when I first met him, you know, Zimbabwe was Rhodesia. And it was an apartheid country, and he had to flee for his own life. And he was separated from his wife and children for years. Because racism did do so quite a story there. But my point is to show the end, he actually I think he had a brother, a relative who was killed in the apartheid situation, and just, he had to flee for his life, he had to flee for his life and was separated for a number of years, two or three years from his wife and young children. Why he went to college and seminary then went back by point when it's shared with you. And the thing to be thankful for, is what has God done in a place like Rhodesia to transform apartheid, to now have an opportunity for have African university there for education to take place? And that's a miracle, isn't it? There's a miracle going on right there. And it's an amazing thing and, and to see what's going on Africa University, and how United Methodist churches all over the world have supported that happening. And maybe there's some way we could see that replicated again, in some other places in the world, perhaps. But

Speaker:

Well, I'll tell you what has happened as a result of African university. Many other universities have started in Africa, just because graduates from African University, and now any of them are leading other institution, particularly in countries where they're a United Methodist, African bishops who have started colleges or universities or seminaries, or Bible colleges, to help train their clergy, as well as their late leadership 90% of I think it's over 90% of the graduates of African University, stay on the continent of Africa. And of course, the other 10% are all over the world, including here in Indiana, we have sure pastors who are serving churches in Indiana who are graduates of African university, so for anyone who has any Methodist roots, they also have a strong connection now with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa, and their persons who are not who are not Methodist, who are who've been there who supported that university. So it's a good news story for the

Speaker:

church. And we are thankful we are grateful. We're thankful for what God has done and for what God is doing, and will continue to do under the leadership of the of the new vice chancellor there. And we hope to have him on our podcast here sometime in the future. But there's other things that are I know that you are thinking about and praying about that. Are you just saying, Man, God's done a good thing here? I'm so grateful. Well, what are some of the

Speaker:

ones? Yeah, I have a lot. One of them is I got a little book that I had published. And I'm using it to support African University. It's entitled 10 reasons. I'm a Methodist.

Speaker:

We'll hold it still for this video eventually, as well, Bishop just hold it right in front of your face or just for a moment there. There you go. There you go. That's good. So people can see that it will. And it's the name of it again, is I IN 10 reasons. I'm a Methodist. Okay.

Speaker:

I'm a Methodist. And one of the one of the little chapters in the book is Africa University. We just got to talking about that. Sure. One of the reasons and I'm unapologetically committed to that to the church at the lat the last page of the book I write I am a United Methodist, because I don't all I don't need all people to agree on all things. Yes, yeah, you and I probably don't agree on all things. We probably agree on a lot of things but I'm United Methodist, not because I have quarrels with other religions, or churches, but for me and millions of others, the United Methodist Church represents the best of all Protestant possibilities. So people asked me about this church, that church, or the global church, and I said, I'm not an expert on any of those churches. I don't have I don't, I don't have time or energy to knock other religions. Or I said, because I've been spending a long, long lot of time and I'm over 60. Now.

Speaker:

Plus, you and I both are friends. So. So I'm still trying

Speaker:

to be a good Christian, and try to be a good Methodist. I'm United Methodist, because I fell in love with the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and discovered myself in the United Methodist Church. So that's, that's so I'm thankful. I'm thankful for the church with all of its warts and pimples, and imperfections. I love

Speaker:

that statement, because it emphasizes, I think, what I'm reading into that, and you help me out here is the primacy of grace, that we really lift up and we just amplified grace as the place to be. And so therefore, if you have grace, then you can deal with some of the discouragement you can deal with even with some judgment. Sometimes you can even deal with some animosity and anger. But if you have grace, that means you have forgiveness. And you are grateful for what you have not only for what not only agonizing for what you have not

Speaker:

a man, amen. And as to the United Methodist Church, Indiana, just a little more than a week ago, it may have been more than a week ago now. We hosted what we call an ARB denomination jurisdictional conference. Yes. So the Midwest area, I call it the Midwest, the North Central Jurisdiction. We hosted that in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And it was my first time actually for spin spinning a weekend, basically spent a whole week in Fort Wayne, I've been to Fort Wayne many times. Yes. But first time I actually had a chance to spin actually I stayed and went to church on the Sunday after and your conference in Fort Wayne and it's the second largest city in Indiana. So spread, you probably have a little more familiarity having having lived here most of your life. But we hosted the jurisdictional conference. And we made it we made a point that we wanted people to experience Hoosier hospitality, at its highest form. We wanted people to become the come to Indiana, and with all of the schism and, and ism and racism and all of the exclusion and fears and, and the political environment that we're living in right now. Yes, with so much division we wanted to, we really wanted to emphasize worship, and hospitality, even though we knew we had there's a there's a political process to electing bishops. Let's go. Let's not be naive about that.

Speaker:

Well, there is that purpose there. But why can't you do that and be really celebratory and worshipful and, and, you know, let's this be the church at its best even in even in such an event as jurisdictional conference. So tell us what moved your heart there. And I was particularly would like for you to touch for just during our podcast a little bit about the sermon that you gave on the leaf is November Friday,

Speaker:

Friday? Yes. Yeah. Well, let me let me say, there are some things I had never seen happen before, and jurisdictional conference. All I think at one point, there was nine candidates for Bishop. They all came before the conference has one body and read a litany, I guess it was a covenant literally statement of how they were extending grace to one another no matter who won or loss. And they wanted to send a message to the church of what you'd mentioned earlier bread about the primacy of grace, at a time like this in our world, that the United Methodist Church needed to demonstrate to the world that the love of Jesus Christ was was was an instrument for healing, and feeding and breathing, breathing new life into communities. And I've never seen that happen before. And you know, where all of the people who were before we, I think maybe we hadn't even taken the first ballot. They want to express this covenant that they had been in prayer for one another for like, a month before the conference. And I had never seen something like that happen because you know, you really stand standing next to your competitor, you in some sense, because everybody's elected Bishop, but that was very moving. To me that pointed to

Speaker:

so I take it that was you. You've been to lots of jurisdictional conferences and lots of general conferences and so on. I take it that was somewhat distinctive from your prior experiences is that Can you say, okay,

Speaker:

yeah, it was very distinctive from my prayers. It's not that there had been animosity so much. But I never seen people who were, if you want to say vying for the same position, yes. Speak, speak with one voice to the church, about our rootedness in Christ and Christ's love for for everyone. And that came across it. It was very moving. You could we were the bishops, the bishops were sitting up on the stage, you could, you could literally see how the body of the of the conference was, was moved by this expression of those persons who were offering themselves to the church in service. So I had a great deal of respect for all they were saying, fine, fine, that's awesome.

Speaker:

Because it given the the competitive and siloed nature of our body politic and theological stances of many organizations and churches and so on. That is, unfortunately, not what many people are experiencing these days. So yay, God, that you had that experience, it can be shared with others. Thank you for that.

Speaker:

We elected three bishops in our jurisdiction, and I think 123 13 bishops across the church, three bits, three bishops in the North Central Jurisdiction. And I think there'll be five bishops, they're coming into a very challenging time. And, and this kind of this kind of marks the big early transition period, transition period for me, I'll be retiring, and 2024 Okay, so I still have, I still have a lot of months left to where I can do ascending curves.

Speaker:

You can still do so good for the kingdom, and do some damage damage to the evil one and that whole time. Yeah, there you go. That's right.

Speaker:

We can still praise the Lord and and speak to their seasons. They need Thanksgiving, it will be celebrated next week, I guess, will it from from when we're doing this? recording this?

Speaker:

Yes. And we'll release it probably on Thanksgiving Day or there abouts? Yes, yeah.

Speaker:

And I consider this whole season, right up to the end of the year as a season of Thanksgiving, even as we enter into Advent, and preparation for the coming of the Christ child, that this is a season of Thanksgiving, thanksgiving for life, Thanksgiving, for love, Thanksgiving, for the power of forgiveness. And one of the messages I think we really need to amplify is that the need to forgive ourselves, and the need to, to help people understand that their lives matter. So many people are contemplating or attempting to take their lives or have been successful. Yes, that people need to constantly hear that message. You are loved. And you your life matters. And you're if your worst day, should not be your last day should never be your last day. Because God may have something in store for you, in fact, does have something in store for you. Right around the corner. And I just wanted to say that that's that's on my heart. Because you're I know when the seasons changed, you know, they talk about this seasonal effect of you know, the seasonal change. Well,

Speaker:

we've we've talked that we're talking he's encouraging and he's thankful sides. But we also know that's in juxtaposition to people who are experiencing stress. There is a lot of anger, there's a lot of animosity, there's a lot of things going on out there that we need to address. And sometimes it does get reflected in some very serious ramifications, acoustically suicidal tendencies and lashing out in anger. And we've seen violence happen and all kinds of things happen. And this doesn't have to be, it doesn't have to me and the church and individual Christians and clergy and dedicated lay lay ministers and lay folks can't speak into that. And so what are you seeing right now bishop in? You mentioned this particular situation about suicide and so on. But what do you see in our churches, in our clergy, in our programs, in what's going on in our church life? That is something that really to say, Yay, God, praise God, that we are speaking to a hurting world. We are speaking to a world that has a lot of brokenness in it. What do we need to be celebrating here today?

Speaker:

I think the work of the local church is still powerful. At jurisdictional conference, we heard several testimonies and one was a ministry that's that house and faith United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana Arts Arts Academy school, and it's it's a relatively young man who's been leading this school where they bring students together to really build on them build their educational capacity and their artistic capacity and instill in them the sense that they're the They can be whoever they want to be. And excel as persons who are well learned, well versed, well traveled, well spoken, well dressed. I'm using some of their litany of other arts academy there in Fort Wayne. Just a phenomenal thing and to hear from one of our deacons, Angelo Monte talk about gun violence and a program that's happening in Southside High School there of creating peacemakers with high school students. So it's not these aren't, you know, you we get on the news about people going and shooting up high schools are a mess. But we don't hear about peacemakers persons who are learning the art and science of being leaders, and being peacemakers. So these are things that people only think of the church, and rightfully so as places of worship, where we baptize, and we say goodbye and memorialize those who have gone on to heaven. But we also are part of our ministry and part of our mantra, and our mission, is the transformation of the world. Yeah,

Speaker:

moving along, we can learn so much, and folks like this. And I think one of the opportunities for us and things we'd be thankful for, but also opportunities to challenge those a little bit, is how do we take transfer that type of program, for instance, and multiply it and amplify it in other places, and lets us take, I think that's what the church can do best if we use our network of resources and to get the good, good word out there? Well, let's just touch on one or two other things, and then well let you go on this Thanksgiving time. What do you think are some of the foundational scriptures that boy you or give you this sense of thankfulness and gratitude that can might be helpful to that clergy or to that person out there may be helpful to you, as a foundation, the biblical Christian foundation for being thankful here?

Speaker:

Well, I think, you know, when I, when I turned to the, when I turned to the Psalms, I'm I'm always inspired by, by what's what's what's what the Psalm has have to say. But most recently, you asked me to also to refer refer to a sermon that I do, oh, yes, please, please, please preached it. And so that was rooted in Luke four. And actually it was, Jesus picks up the scroll is given the scroll from the prophet Isaiah, where it says, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, and recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free. And my message on that Friday was, we need to encourage one another, as, as you wouldn't be surprised, I was the best. And we need to, we need to stand up for the gospel with the gospel, and not be timid about it. So we need to, we need to have a pastoral word, but also a prophetic word. And so when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, the Bible says, As he stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. And he found a place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor, sent me to proclaim released to the captain's recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free to proclaim the year the Lord's favor, to bring good news to the poor. And, and the Greek word actually that translates poor, really, for first century the for the first century Roman, anything that anything that diminished the person. So whether it was this, this religious status, whether it was their poverty, whether it was their gender, whether it was their their their location, whether there was a tribal anything that the minister person made them less than yes, Jesus is saying that the message, the good news, the message, the Gospel itself, should be good news. it uplifts everybody, especially those persons that have been marginalized, or those who have been stigmatized, those who have been ostracized. And so my message that we need to stand up for the gospel with the gospel is because we can't defeat racism by dreaming it away, or hoping it away we can't defeat, exclusion or homophobia, homophobia. Simply by talking these things away. We really have to apply the Good News of the Gospel, the leveling plate, the leveling, the leveling experience of Jesus's love for everybody. Because it was affect Jesus got in trouble because he said that this message is also for the Gentiles. Yes, sir. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Now we are all doing just fine with those You already in the church now you want to start opening the church to everybody. Yeah. So

Speaker:

when you say stand up for the gospel, but with the gospel, to me, that also says to us, okay, the opposite of that is to kind of go sit in the corner in the dark, or pull the covers up and to hide, and to hide. And to me, Bishop, what you're sharing with us here today is not to be thankful for who we are and what we are as Christians as United Methodist Christians. But to stand up for what is right for what is good, what is true, what is pure, and to be an example of God in this world. And I want to thank you for doing that. I want to say a thank thanks to you, on this Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving time for sharing of your heart and your mind and your time with the folks here on the hair on the podcast, to be encouraged podcast. And just to share that good word and to have that passion to be an encouraging word. Because indeed, as we'd like to say, it there's a lot of discouraging things in the world, but to be consistent, and persistent and give me that encouraging word. And so I'd like to give you the last word today, on this Thanksgiving episode of The to be a courage podcast, to speak to any person, any situation you want to do, to try to lift them up to be encouraging to them, Clergy Laity, any folks who may be out there and end up maybe closest with a prayer. Can you do that? My friend?

Speaker:

Absolutely. Psalm 92. Psalm 92, is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name. Oh most high, to declare your steadfast love in the morning. And your faithfulness by night. Everybody needs a song to sing bread. And if you don't have a song to sing, maybe you can't sing. You know, I'm not the best of singers. But I love music. You need a song that you can play a song that can play to your heart, a song that can make your heart dance. It is good to give thanks to the Lord to sing praises to your name. Almost Hi. To declare your steadfast love in the morning. And your faithfulness. Bad night. God is a good God. Because God does not skip over some people to love other people. Yes, awesome. God loves you. God loves meat, as we used to say it at our dinner table. God loves everybody. And so I want to say this in closing in prayer, gracious, loving God. We know that faith is not a plaything. It's real. Help us oh god to grow in our faith in our faith experience. Help us to be the medicine that the world needs. The medicine of hope and the medicine of compassion, the medicine of kindness, grace and forgiveness. Thank you for loving us and helping us to love others. In the name of Jesus Christ. All praises speak to you. Amen.

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