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"Hope Caked with Mud" A Conversation with Michigan Bishop David Bard and Bishop Julius C. Trimble About the Future of the UMC - Part 2
Episode 256th September 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.

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

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/


BISHOP DAVID ALAN BARD


https://bishop.michiganumc.org/


Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Bard also shepherds the Minnesota Annual Conference as interim bishop until 2022 and serves as President of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops.


Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016, at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and has served in many roles within the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church.


Bishop Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.


Within the Minnesota Conference, Bishop Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team. He served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.


Within the General Church, Bishop Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.


Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics


Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.


https://bishop.michiganumc.org/

Part 1 of this two-part Episode featuring Bishop David Bard was published on August 30, 2022, and is available at this link:

https://tobeencouraged.com/episode/024

Transcripts

Bishop Bard:

I just got back from a trip to Europe, I went with a tour, we saw the passion played over Amer Gow. And then also we're in a few of the city, few cities in Europe. And it I was really struck by the they sort of the history of the church, you know, the the Oberammergau play focuses on the story of Jesus and Jesus was not powerful in terms of the world, he wouldn't have been on any list of emperors. You know, there's an interesting contrast between the Imperial authorities in Jesus that you see in the Oberammergau play and see in the Gospels. And then we went to some of these ornate cathedrals, we were in one church where it was filled with statues of Habsburg leaders. And I was reminded that the church is a very human institution, and we've gotten it wrong before. And in the midst of that the church is also a place where God's grace can be experienced and conveyed. Genuine good can be done, justice can be done. And we just have to figure out our way to lean into being loving lean in to doing justice lean in to eradicating some of the harms of our own history, and we'll find our way forward.

Brad Miller:

Are you seeing some examples, Bishop Bard are in big trouble of congregations, or maybe clergy groups or Lady groups that are doing this successfully. You know, we hear we hear a lot about those, you know, conflicts and those antagonist. But give us an example, if you will, in Michigan or someplace else, have somebody who's making some effort to work through this process.

Bishop Bard:

I agree with something Bishop Trimble said a while back there. There are a lot of churches where issues around disaffiliation are not the top issues in the congregation, where they're really focused on trying to live out God's love in Jesus Christ as a congregation. And in in mission in the world and in multiple ways. There was a church in in Michigan, last spring, I preached for their their service. They had done a whole weekend on dealing with with racism, and, you know, trying to train as a congregation, predominantly predominantly Caucasian congregation, white congregation, you know, trying to understand how it is our history of racialized thinking and racism still has an impact in the world around us. And they, you know, they people spent a lot of time working on that. And they were looking at their ministry in some some new ways. And and they're really trying to live out God's love in Jesus Christ. You know, this Christ who breaks down dividing walls and what does it mean that that's, that's we talk about his Lord and Savior, this Jesus who breaks down dividing walls, you know, so that's an example of a church focusing on the mission and ministry of the church in the midst of all all that all the other things that are going on in our denomination.

Brad Miller:

They're kind of like keeping the main thing, the main thing,

Bishop Bard:

keeping the main thing, the main thing.

Brad Miller:

I know Bucha of trouble likes to share that. I like that quite a lot. Yeah,

Bishop Bard:

we still cause us to ministry in Jesus Christ, even in the midst of everything that's going on.

Brad Miller:

In Mr. Trimble. I know that you've shared some important scriptures that you've shared in the past on some of these issues, but it is Bishop Archbishop job, I'd be interested any scriptural foundation or scriptural thread running through some of these conversation we're having about the church being primary and focused on Grace and on hope and things of this nature, as opposed to division or division or this disciple things.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

With my mother's 100th birthday party, my youngest son asked to share a scripture and he shared from First Corinthians the 12 chapter, you know, there are many parts of the body but but but we're really part of one body. And and I think about that, what does it mean for us to be part of the body of Christ? What does it mean for us? You know, what does it mean for the for the arm not to say to the knee that I don't need you? So this notion that we don't need each other is one that really has to be dismissed? I said, when I met with on Thursday with most of the clergy but the Clergy Laity has said, you know, my hope is that even those who may be disaffiliated that are common him will be making disciples of Jesus Christ, so that we will still sing that same common hymn of making disciples of Jesus Christ because ultimately, if we are part of the body of Christ, we are still part of part of one body. And, and I keep hearing, it's not uncommon for me, as was the case yesterday in church, for me to meet some young people, and some not so young people who are still answering the call the ministry, and I met a young lady who's who I knew her father from the Soho conference. And she's now she went to Purdue and got a graduate degree at Purdue and is worshiping at a United Methodist Church in Indiana. And I said, I remember you remember, as a child of a new a newer parents knew her. But God is still calling people to the ministry. And we still, you know, sometimes we have to really pay attention to what we say all the time, looking for glory sightings, as opposed to, you know, our next problem or our neutral complaint that we have to address.

Bishop Bard:

When I get asked to preach at places for for particular occasion. I always go to the lectionary to see what the lectionary scripture might be to see if it it fits the occasion. And sometimes it maybe doesn't, but often it does. And not long ago, I preached at a churches anniversary 100th 100th anniversary 150th anniversary, I believe, anyway, this the scripture was the parable of the Good Samaritan. And I thought what better way to talk about moving into the future as a church than to use that that text in the midst of all of the laws and commandments, what's important, that's what Jesus is that the conversation is about? Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. And, you know, the lawyer is tries to be evasive, but his question it can be also be an honest question, you know, who's my neighbor? And what does it mean to love? The questions are still there, but you have to grapple with them. And then figure out how in the midst of that God is calling us to love to make disciples to love the world, to transform the world, in the name and Spirit of Jesus. And there's other the Psalms, the Psalms often speak, you know, the I love the Psalms were there with their deep honesty about those days when it's just really hard. And you feel like you're kind of just hanging over the pit and kind of wondering if God's forgotten about you. And then there's always those echoes of joy and trust

Brad Miller:

through three words that kind of align what you just said, they're the grappling part, and they lead into joy and trust. I don't think you could really get to true joy and true trust without grappling you know, without give and take and maybe even some anxiety and and that type of thing is good, a good friendship, a good marriage, a good church relationship, good pastor people relationship means you deal with difficult things. And that's, that's at hand here. Bishop, Bishop trouble. What else do you want to ask Bishop Bard, before we have our closing about encouragement,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

I want to take this opportunity up. And I learned this from when I started doing work with Africa University, thank people seven times for a gift. So I want to thank thank David Bishop, bar, McCauley good friend for taking his time. We were teasing a little bit when we began, because I know we're having counsel the bishops this week. And we all have been, he just came back into to the country. So I want to just thank him for giving his time because you could have easily said no, it probably your administrative assistant probably tried to tell you, I'll do it. But he but but he went ahead, and he made the time. And so I would just want to thank Bishop bar, be glad to have him back another time because he can get it, we can dig deeper into just some of the ethical ethics that we're, we're facing with him. I know he's a big, a big scholar related to Christian ethics. But the other thing I wanted to say, a brand before we run out of time is that persons who listened to the podcast, you know, sometimes you looking for a sign or confirmation. And I want to say this, no, all three of us can confirm this, that God loves you. And there's nothing you have to do to earn that. We don't have to take a vote. You don't have to wait for a general conference or your state legislature or your school board to vote on it. God loves you, you know, and and it's already been settled. That's not something subject to debate. And there are people who I know, the last couple of years because of the pandemic. You've been watching churches online and listening to more podcasts and radio. And sometimes there's someone out there that just needs to know that God loves them. That's already a settled matter. And we can confirm that. Well,

Brad Miller:

thank you for sharing that bishop tremble and Bishop bar, we just want to give you one last word, the theme of our podcast is to be encouraged. And so just like to hear a word from you, what is encouraging to you right now in either in your life or in the church around the world? Well, what is an encouraging word Did you can give our, our listing saying,

Bishop Bard:

thanks. So somewhere along the line, I heard someone use the phrase hope caked with mud. And I really love that love that phrase. Yeah, because, you know, we can't minimize some of the difficulty, the challenge, the pain, it's happening in the church. It's happening in our in our society, who would have thought we would have been talking about a war happening in, in Europe, in in most of our lifetimes, you know, there's really difficult, difficult things out there like that. And then you see those those moments. When people inspired by by their faith, reach out to love, reach out, reach out to care. You know, natural disasters happen in the churches, they're to respond. We've raised millions of dollars for Ukraine as the United Methodist Church. We heard this morning, and people are responding to floods in the in the south and awful floods in Kentucky. You know, all of those small things, I encourage people to not miss those those moments. Sometimes they're quiet, they're not going to be the lead story on the nightly news. But look for those moments of kindness, of love, of beauty, because God's grace continues to break in. God's love cannot be defeated. It's there. It's there to wrap us in kindness. It's there to give us the courage to do what we need to do in life. And so I am encouraged. I love when Bishop Trimble encourages us to be encouraged. So thanks so much for the time and it's always a joy to be with you with Bishop Trimble. And perhaps it's nice to be with you again.

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