"Leading From the Heart" A Conversation with Iowa Conference Bishop Laurie Haller (Part 1)
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.
Special Guest in Episode 038 is Iowa Annual Conference Bishop Laurie Haller
Bishop Laurie Haller was elected on ballot 13 at the 2016 North Central Jurisdictional Conference on Thursday, July 14, 2016.
Bishop Laurie Haller served in the Michigan area from 1982 to 2016. She was serving as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham in the Detroit Annual Conference when she was elected to the Episcopacy on July 14.
Bishop Haller is a prolific writer whose essays and articles have appeared in the Michigan Christian Advocate, Worship Arts, United Methodist Reporter, Ministry Matters, UM Insight, the United Methodist News Service Daily Digest, MIConnect, and Faith in Action.
Her blog "Leading from the Heart" is available here: https://www.lauriehaller.org/
Bishop Haller is married to Rev. Gary Haller, retired senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Michigan. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Bishop Haller’s 2015 book, Recess; Rediscovering Play and Purpose, is available through Cass Community Publishing House, (https://tictail.com/s/ccpublishinghouse).
Bishop Haller published a second book in 2020 called Wandering into Grace; A Journey of Discovery and Hope. It is published by Abingdon Press and is available from Cokesbury. (www.cokesbury.com)
Part 2 of this interview with Bishop Laurie Haller will be available at this link: https://tobeencouraged.com/episode/039
Hello good people and welcome to the to be encouraged podcast with Bishop Julius C. Trimble. I'm your co host Reverend Dr. Brad Miller. This is the podcast where we look to give an encouraging word to a discouraged world. Our special guest today is a Bishop Laurie Haller. She is the Episcopal leader of the Iowa annual conference. She came in to become a bishop in 2016, after serving a number of years in Michigan and in the Detroit annual conference and in the West Michigan Annual Conference, where she served in many capacities in several churches and on the cabinet there. And she comes to us here today to share some thoughts as she transitions into some new phases in life for herself. And so words of words of wisdom and to share with us a bishop treble would you help us welcome Bishop Heller to our podcast?Bishop Julius Trimble:
Especially Welcome to Bishop Laurie Haller, I count her a friend and a colleague and a and a wise counselor and preacher and an inspiration to both lay and clergy, both in the North Central Jurisdiction and across the across the denomination so glad to have you, particularly since it's the Advent, the first week of Advent, we're kind of journeying journeying our way towards the birth of Christ. So welcome. Welcome to the podcast.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Bishop. Trimble. It's wonderful to be with you today.Brad Miller:
Right?. I'm sorry. Go ahead, please.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Advent is a time of, of great joy for me. And so it's a particular delight to be here I'm sitting in front of my front of a window, looking out to the West. I see no leaves anymore on the trees. But I see, I see that the shedding is is in due time going to produce great hope. And, and I am eager to see where God is leading me next.Brad Miller:
But that leads us the Advent this new new season of new things and you're in some transition yourself. But Bishop Haller one of the things we really like to do is here on hear a little bit about your faith story. And we know you're in some transitions, you'll say more about that. But tell someone about how you came to Christ in the first place. And how your journey of faith led you to where we're at right now as a bishop in the church making some transitions yourself.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Sure, thank thank you very much. I had the great privilege of growing up in a Christian family. And my my grandmother's both taught me about Jesus. I went to church with with one of my grandmother's at one when grandmother was Church of the Brethren and the other was was Mennonite and and I grew up as, as a Mennonite. I, I loved going to church as a child, I love learning about Jesus, I just couldn't get enough of it. And I'm so deeply, deeply grateful for, for that congregation. And for people who influenced me and guided me and nurtured me and encouraged me in my faith was through my, my church in Pennsylvania, that that I decided after going to college to study music, I decided that God was was calling me into the ministry. And so with the advice of different folks, some of which told me pretty clearly that women weren't weren't supposed to be ordained to go to Yale Divinity School, where I studied music, got a master Music Degree in organ performance, which was my undergraduate degree as well. And then I went, I went on to to Yale Divinity School after that received a MDiv degree and in knowing that God was really calling me into to ministry, I ended up being ordained in the General Conference Mennonite Church as one of the first women in the country to be trained. But about my career was spent in the United Methodist Church because I met my husband, Gary. And he was a United Methodist going and heading toward toward ordained ministry as well at Yale Divinity School, and so, so I cherish him My Mennonite identity, but might have loved the United Methodist Church for the past 41 years that I've been in ministry. And in particular, this is a sweet time for me. Because I'm going to be retiring it at the end of the year after, after 41 years, and I'm looking forward to what God has in store for me next. And so this advant time of preparation in the church is, is very meaningful to me as I prepare my own heart and soul for what God has next for me.Brad Miller:
Bishop Trimble I know that you have a great appreciation for Bishop Haller and for what she is added in for about her writing and music and other things as well. I know you had some things in your mind that you wanted to be in conversation with her about.Bishop Julius Trimble:
Well, she's already kind of started. I'm learning things even now. the first ordain in the Mennonite Church and praise be to God for your trailblazing leadership. I want you to reflect a little how music has influenced your ministry Even going as a bishop. How does it mean particularly I think about I think about the Advent season and the seasons not not separated from someone said that I theology brand is best, best expression or hidden music. So I'm always I'm always intrigued by preachers who are also trained musician. My mother is a trained musician. She she didn't she trained in piano, but she taught herself to play and volunteered at our home church to help substitute as an organist but, but I'm always intrigued to hear how music never never really leaves a person who's who's that's been such a big part of their life. When you think about leading a cabinet or leading a conference or, or a church that's been in so much turmoil. Does music have any impact on your own spiritual journey and your leadership?Bishop Laurie Haller:
Thank you so much for for your question. music has been a great part of my life. Since I was a little girl. My father was a musician. He played the trumpet. When when he was in, in high school, and he was an amazing singer. He was a My father was a baritone soloist. In the Mennonite church we attended, he was in the choir for, I think, 60 some years. And he was just a fabulous musician. And so so he taught me about music. And both my mother and father, love to sing hymns. And, and I think that that what especially attracted me to music was was was not only the organ, but the fact that was in the church. I was I was not interested so much in secular music, but then put in church music can in the four years that I was a choir director and organist at a United Methodist Church in Stratford, Connecticut, while I was at Yale, School of Music in Yale Divinity School, I've learned so much about how important music is in in the life of the church. One of the traditions that I started from the very beginning of my preaching was that before the sermon right before the sermon, I would pray, but my prayer would be a song. So I would sing a stanza of him, and that would be my opening prayer. And then I would also sing the closing prayer, as well. And, and that is, that's been really important. For me. My both of my parents loved loved music, and, and I have taken that with me throughout my whole life and in the cabinet. I don't know how other cabinets are but, but in Iowa, we've, we have a Molson and we sing. And so when you sing you pray twice. And I I just love our United Methodist tradition of singing and and that is just simply a part of who I am.Bishop Julius Trimble:
Thank you. Thank you. So thank you so very much. Any reflections to on On I know it may have been a few years ago, when I was watching some of the leadership themes coming out of Iowa, you're, you're one of the things you would charge people to lay and clergy and everyone to, is to pick up the mantle of being difference makers. When we think about the Advent season, all of that was actually begin with John the Baptist, preparing for the coming of the credit for the coming of the Christ child. And we are not really expected just to be observers of Advent, but also to be in a period of preparation ourselves, so that I'd be able to introduce the Christ Child, as well. And I was wondering, the theme difference makers, is that something that you was how were you inspired by that or do is that core to your theology that we are all called to be in some way difference makers.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Being being different peacemakers has been really important for us in the Iowa annual conference, it was kind of a theme that we had for a year, and we've just continued, we've continued doing that. Our, our, our calling, is not only to be difference makers, but to create difference makers. And so all of our local churches have been encouraged to, you know, to think about, you know, not not only Okay, how are we going to survive? How are we going to make our budget, but But how are we going to go out into the world, and, and make a difference. And, and so, in a conference like Iowa, most of our churches are rural, they're, they're out in the country, they're, they're small. You have hundreds of churches scattered throughout the state. And that means that that, I suspect that United Methodists have more influence in the state of Iowa than, than any other religious groups simply because we have so many of us and we are in diverse places. We're not only in the big cities, we're in the large towns, we're in the small towns where, you know, we're in the four corners, places. You know, we're all over and, and no matter where we live, we are called to make a difference that we are calling to look at our context where God has placed us and then how are we going to reflect the love of Jesus, and reach out to communities that are hurting, and that need to hear the gospel story and need to have us reach out to them with hope and grace? And love?Bishop Julius Trimble:
Praise be to God praise. Brad. I don't know if you have some some questions. I know we've had conversations around the challenges were faced with in the United Methodist Church and the Christian church. I just was reading something just since I've been here share family, Virginia, around the continuing decline in people connecting with formalized religion.Brad Miller:
Well, I was fascinated. I was fascinated by a blog post that you wrote, called The Great letting go, that I just found really awesome. And apparently, it's a reflection of a blog post she wrote a few years ago that you revisited in this season of our church and our world and with yourself, particularly. But I just wonder if you could say a word about what you mean, by the great letting go for you personally, and for our church and for the context of what we're going on in our world right now.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Thank you very much. The the reason that I use my blog post twice over these last two years, I've been doing my blogs ever since actually since 2006, is when I started writing my my weekly blogs and so I've done hundreds of them, good passes. I'm living in Michigan, at the time, and actually, I had just become a superintendent in 2006. And, and I was I distinctly remember taking a walk one day, you know, like, it was like on the day or the day or before, or a couple of days before I started as a superintendent, I tried to figure out how am I going to communicate with, with my people with the people that are in the district that I'm going to serve? What can I do to make sure they know that I care about them that I loved and then I'm going to be encouraging them continually. And I came up with this idea. I'm just gonna write a I'm gonna write a blog. I'm gonna for the first time I you know, I didn't know how to do that and and certainly had conference helped to, to actually Send the blog out but but the memory is still vivid with me today. And I decided to name it leading leading from the heart. And, and so from that day on, with the exception of times in the summer, I would take a couple months off, but every every week, every Monday morning, I'd be sending out a post and, and I have spent hundreds of hours over those those years writing these blocks, because writing doesn't come easily to me, maybe it does to some people, but I and I gotta go over and over and things, I want to make sure that they're right. But But my hope was that I could share with the folks that I serve who I am, and, and how I see Christ working in my own life, and how I see my own call to reach out as a leader in the United Methodist Church to bring hope and grace and love to our world, as well as the conference that I'm serving at the time. And I just had a fabulous time in writing. And so I and most of my blogs, I hardly ever repeated one. But when I came back from my medical leave, in October, I decided I decided that maybe maybe I'm going to recycle some of these blocks and tweak them a little bit. Some of my blogs in the fall. But but others of them I've decided to, to redo because they were particular favorites of mine. And I felt that they would be applicable at a certain time for for the conference. And it has been a great joy to, to write and to receive responses from others and have dialogue with people who, who at times disagree with what I might write. But but but all in all our My goal has always been to communicate God's grace and love through Jesus Christ. And how each one of us is called to lead from our heart. Not just from our mind, but it's from our heart. Because Jesus is Jesus loves me this I know what the Bible tells me soBrad Miller:
and it seems like in this particular blog, Bishop Heller, you really touched on some of the transitions that are happening when you're talking about like nature, I'm dying to live a great letting go you talk a little bit about the fall season and so on. But I got a site's I got a sense funder, your article from from the blog posts that also get you rich kind of say a little something about what's going on in our, our church and maybe some personal transitions? And is there any relationship to what's going on in our church these days of tribes of letting go of some of the things that have been an issue and to move forward to something new?Bishop Laurie Haller:
All right. Um, yes, I think there's certainly a lot of things about letting go that are black or applicable. Right now. You know, one is my own personal letting go of, of being inactive ministry after the end of of this year and being in in retirement. And that's something that that I'm looking forward to, I'm open to wherever God leads me next. But I also know that the letting go is, is I think, a significant part of what has happened over these last three years of COVID. We have all had to reinvent ourselves, particularly those of us in ministry have to figure out, you know, how are we going to preach? How are we going to reach out to our congregations? How are we going to, you know, to keep everybody spirits alive, how we're going to move forward. And, and for me, the time of fall, and I'm sitting right now, in my office, and right outside my office is a big tree. And so every year, I watch the letting go. And I experienced that letting go of the leaves for something new to emerge, something always has to let go. And and that is a process for us in the United Methodist Church right now. Because our reality is that our future is not going to be the same as our past. Because we're in a different world. We live in a different world right now. And so that means that, that our faith needs to be different and the way that we connect with others, our neighbors and our communities, that's going to be different. We can't keep doing the same old, same old anymore. It's not going to work. And so, so that The for letting go of the leaves and shedding the things that we had we'd held on to, but we have to let go of. There's a sense in which it can be depressing, but it can also be very liberating. And we have to have the courage as individuals to let go, whenever we need to let go off.Brad Miller:
What do you what's your reflections with this have you know one of the things she says in her blog is a longing for you have a longing for you mentioned that several times, and have a longing for the way things were and yet to look forward as well, the visual tremble woods, how's your reflection with Bishop ah, holler about this area of, of letting go?Bishop Julius Trimble:
I think I think she's spot on as usual. And I think it has wide implications for, for how we move forward in a healthier way. As opposed to, you know, having this I think unhealthy appetite for things returning to some, some, some imagined past that might have been not nearly as great as we'd like to, like, remember it as being. So I think there are a lot of things that we need to let go of i Some years ago, I remember seeing posting, I think on Facebook or Twitter, you know, that I decided I don't have energy to hate anybody, or to be to be anger, angry with anybody for any period of time. And I know I had I have been holding in my own heart, some unforgiveness, you know, some, some inability to forgive even some of my own family members and things that were you know, miniscule. And I just said, you know, I this time to let go, it's time to let go of things that really don't matter as much. I just watched a movie I recommended for you to on Netflix, while it was here in Virginia, called the swimmers. And it's about two sisters who had Syrian sisters who become refugees, who were swimmers. And on seeing a trend to see it, it has, it has lots of implications. But at the end of the movie, it talks about how many refugees they are in the world. And, you know, and I think about things like that I say, you know, we want to fight over who's right or wrong, who's who's the most conservative and most progressive. And we got, you know, millions of people who are living outside of the country, not because of their own choice. So I think he's spot on, I'd be interested in hearing, you know, given we all we don't get, we don't get me and Brad and Laurie Laurie to stay at Mama, I used to say that, and some people don't like that. They used to say, you know, Julius, we don't come here to stay, you know, we've come here for a period of time. So, you know, what did we want to what do we want to? What did we want to give, as followers of Christ in that time? And, and I really, I really want to see, you know, that song we all know, we are Christian, by Allah by Allah. And I think those are just not just pie in the sky, you know? You know, from from words, I think, I think there's a depth to that. And we saw that, saw that and see that in the witness of Jesus Christ. I'd be interested in hearing. I, I'm interested in the, in the future, the present in the future, I'd be interested in hearing it, Laurie what what is one or two hopes you have for our church and for the for the Christian witness, going forward?Bishop Laurie Haller:
My hope is that we won't give up. My hope is that we will keep on keeping on because I know times are are tough in many of our churches, many of our, our smaller churches are finding it more difficult to to be able to sustain themselves. And that's the same in all of our medium sized churches, large churches, we all have our we all have our issues that we're dealing with, but but if if, if we, if we can simply choose to be positive, and choose to, to go out of our churches, to see what's happening in our communities, and discover ways in which we can witness to Christ law, ways in which we can help those who need a hand up and ways in which we can cultivate relationships. That's how we are going to grow as churches. We can't just hide in our buildings. We can't just lament what is happening in our world. Olden in, in our country in Iowa, in a non local church, you know, God is with us, and we have to do understand is, you know I method is that God is with us and Jesus is walking beside us every day, encouraging them to look around us. And and and discover where the needs are, and find a way to figure out how we can come alongside and help them move forward. I just saw that in a mighty way, here and here in Iowa, and I'm sure in all of our conferences during COVID. In some some ways, it was depressing for all of us, because we couldn't go anywhere, we couldn't do anything. And yet at the same time, there was incredible creativity. As, as our as our congregations figured out how to do worship online, that I mean, that in itself, was a phenomenal feat. You know, how can we keep connected with our parishioners who aren't, are able to come in person to worship? Well, we had to figure that out. And we didn't, we did. And many of our churches today still have online worship, although it's still in person. And I suspect that's probably going to be a part of who we are. From now on, people have gotten into different habits and say, Well, we're just gonna, we're just gonna go to online worship. Now. That's certainly not my hope. Because being with one another in the flesh is incredibly important, as we reach out to our communities, as well, but but if we if we think about how much we have actually learned, and how the Holy Spirit has posted, so many of our congregations, to be determined and dog ID, it's in staying together and finding ways to be God's people. It's, it's incredible. Now, we don't know what it's going to look like a year from now. You know, what, what are the impacts? The long term impact is going to be? Because of COVID? I don't know. But I do know that there are still hundreds of people in the United Methodist Church 1000s of people that are feeling the call to ministry. I mean, that's, that's, that's the truth. There's so many that are that are saying, Yes, I'm, I'm called, I want to be, I want to be a preacher. What can I do next? How do I get started? The Holy Spirit is not done with us by any stretch of the imagination. And I am amazed at the number of people, not just young people, but but other folks who are in their 20s, or their 30s or 40s, who are feeling that call to ministry, right in the middle of one of the worst times that we can think of in our lifetimes. As far as COVID goes, and yet, look at the look at the sprouts that are coming out. Look at the fruit that has been generated,Bishop Julius Trimble:
or the godBrad Miller:
I thank you for sharing that part of what our conversation is. I'm interested in those people you just mentioned, hear those new people being called into ministry. And I'd be interested, you know, your transition, and maybe you can say more about what's next for you. But I'm interested in what you have gleaned from your life of ministry, that can be helpful, or perhaps a encouragement to particular these folks being called in, in the ministry, because many of us who've been around for a while. You know, you said don't give up? Well, I think you're also folks who have given up be honest with you. I think there's a people are pretty cynical and pretty wore out and that type of thing, then that's something we have to deal with in our churches, among our clergy. But speaking to those new people call to ministry, what are some lessons learned from your experience that can be helpful to them moving forward?Bishop Laurie Haller:
Well, I think that that the most important thing that we can do is encourage those that we see potential and those who we think might have a call that we have as clergy in the United Methodist Church, need to be continually talking with our laity. We need to be continually encouraging folks to be part of Bible studies. And, and and lay ministry courses, ways in which they can learn what ministry is all about. And, and that's something that's being done in wonderful ways. And, and and it's it's only been increased during this time of COVID as We've all had to try to come together and encourage one another. And, and, you know, form these phone trees and make sure that everybody is calling every everybody is, is included and that no one is lost. That's, that's what has started happening and needs to continue to happen to happen, as we discern the call to ministry that some, some have been feeling in this, particularly in this time of COVID. But they just need someone to, to reach out to them, and say, Hey, come on, come with me, let's go here, let's, let's go there. Let's try this. Let's try that. To me, it seems as if the fields are ripe for the harvest and, and folks are open to, to hearing not only the good news of Jesus Christ, but but needing to find a way to respond. And so that's what I would hope for, for our clergy, is they they will be particularly mindful right now of how our laity need to be a part of our ministry, in a in a new and deeper way. And that only will feed, feed the need for clergy, in the United Methodist Church, I think it's going to happen new people are being called to ministry all the time. And, and and it's particularly in times of crisis, that we are most open to hearing those those calls in our life. And so that would be one of my primary hopes for the United Methodist Church as we move forward that we as clergy, we as leaders in the church, and lay leaders will always be on the lookout for those who want to come to church and, and I just need to tell you about a little story about a boy that I got to meet. And in the course of my ministry, and and how I had the chance to encourage him, I was in one of our churches and, and just hearing from him recently, and just saying, wow, wow, God is still working in this little boy who's no longer a little boy. And there's gonna be a great future for whatever he ends up doing. And being and becoming. It's because somebody else encouraged him. And so, Bishop tremble. That's why so many of us admire your mission, statement of encouragement and the way in which you emphasize that because that's what's going to help all of us is if we keep encouraging one another, during not only during the good, the good times, but especially during the tough times. We're all in this together, whether we like it or not. And, and and it's our it's our job as the church as disciples of Jesus Christ to embody that calling in ourselves and to and to reach out to others who are just waiting for someone to encourage them.Brad Miller:
That's awesome. I know you and Bishop Haller, were part of this transition is going on among the among the bishops and so on as we move forward. And I would just like to and I know that bishop howler, you are moving forward here, but I'd be interested to see both your take on kind of the state of the Episcopal see in this transition. And then hello, I really would like to hear what's next for you. I haven't heard that yet. I'd really love to hear what's next.Bishop Julius Trimble:
where we had a we had a meeting today where we were welcoming new newly elected bishops on zoom on Zoom. And I thought it was just incredibly refreshing. The first jurisdiction conference I went to was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which was, and we just hosted the most recent one in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I went there I was a new new district superintendent and we had a couple of people who were candidates for bishop who were not elected. And so I thought I should go and to jurisdictional conferences in Fort Wayne, Indiana was in Ohio at the time. It was 1996. And they were elected four bishops. All of them were men. Three were Anglo and one was African American. They all were men. And if you go back to if you could find a picture of the Council of Bishops in 1946 1976, and even 1996. You will see how drastically different and how much more. The Council of Bishops reflects the global church. emerged in the global society in terms of racial, ethnic diversity, even age and gender. And so I just find that to be just encouraging in and of itself, that change doesn't often happen fast. I think it's been God's plan that it does happen. There is a progression, there is a progression towards a more excellent way. I meant there was no knock on the bishops that we've elected in the past, or those that will be elected after we're long gone. But I just praise God, and I'm praying for the bishops that, that we just elected. I do know, something that I've learned from Bishop Heller and others, but some of the way in which we've been doing ministry is not sustainable. It's just not physically sustainable. And we've got to find a way to share the load with the laity. One of the good things that I'll end with this spread. One of the good things that has come out of this crisis COVID crisis is I think, we no longer have to be defined by our buildings. Four or five years ago, a lot of a lot of in Indiana, this, a lot of the people's pride was in their in their church buildings. And what the ministry that emanated from those buildings. Now, I think, because we were so forced not to be in our buildings, that people understand the churches really is the song we used to sing and camping, and VBS Vacation Bible School, the churches, the people. And so we have to really continue to learn to be the church, more so than just to get people to go to church. So I'm encouraged, I'm encouraged. I'm encouraged by the diversity I see in the count of the new Council of Bishops. But I didn't know we not only it's not only good to have a different painting and picture, but I do and continue to do ministry the way we've done in the past, you know, elevate people to these roles and just hey, go dude, do go do as much work as you can until you can't do it anymore., how about you're kind of taking the Pisco spicier as you transition to something new? And then maybe tell us a little bit about what is next for you?Unknown:
Well, thank you, I guess first of all, I would agree with Bishop Trimble completely, that this morning's Zoom meeting with our new Episcopal leaders was incredibly inspiring. What diversity the I'm convinced the most diverse group of new political leaders that we've ever had, I just came away with that ecstatic and just saying, Wow, well, you know, for, for us old, worn out bishops who are, you know, who are about ready to retire, you know, all of all of the New Energy, and the ideas and, and the, just the fact that they, they knowing where the United Methodist Church is, offered themselves to, to be a part of that process of of electing Episcopal leaders, you know, that, for me was just just the best, just the best. I also think that that as far as, as my own future goes, I have a clean slate. Right now. I haven't made any decisions about anything other than the fact that I'm going to be retired and I'm going to be a grandmother, and I'm going to be able to live close enough to my grandchildren. So then I'm going to be able to be a part of their lives. And so that's my that's my priority right now. And then then we'll see. We'll see what happens. After that.Bishop Julius Trimble:
You know something about being a grant grandparent, we talked about that.Brad Miller:
Yeah, we do. In fact, one of my main jobs is to the giggle coach from my two granddaughters. That's my title giggle coach. So yeah, well, that's an honorable thing. Wonderful thing and and I just want to say a word of thanks to both Bishop tremble and Bishop Heller for your service, but particularly to base your power as you complete your time in the Episcopal see and you know, I know some clergy friends in Iowa and they have enjoyed your leadership as well as yours visual travelers. You've run Iowa before you came to Indiana. And I just want to say a big thank you from one from one elder. From my perspective and Bishop treble. Do you have any words of closure that you may want to bring or any words of thanks to Bishop paler or any other encouraging words that you would like to bring here today? Yeah,Bishop Julius Trimble:
I just want to thank Bishop Laurie Hallett for her leadership not only again, like I said, not only in Iowa but in the Council of Bishops and for her for her consistent witness. Do want to share a couple of screen appears as we close when they had been seasoned Romans 15 Five. And think about some of our conversation today, Romans 15, five May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus attitude that's from the Common English Bible, Romans 12 And verse 12, Chapter 12, verse two, be happy in your hope. Stand in your stand your ground when you're in trouble. And Devote yourselves to prayer. And we heard those things today, you know, hope is, hope is a good thing. And when we are in trouble, and we will experience trouble and trials, and Jesus says this in the Gospel of John, but, but we should stand our ground, and we should devote ourselves always, to prayer. And so I'm thankful and will continue to be in prayer for my friend and colleague, Laurie. Hello, Bishop glory Heller. And Brad, as you know, you, you continue to be in my prayers, always, as a colleague, and now a new friend. And we just want people to know whether you're United Methodist or not, God loves you. There's nothing you can do about it. Except it think it was telling some I hope I'm not misquoting Paul Tillich. But you know, that faith is accepting that you already had been accepted. There's something to that effect. I really liked that. You know, if people can accept the fact that they've already been accepted by God, all the judgment that we do really, really amounts to a little bit of nothing. So thanks be to God for he had been journey. And for this time together on the podcast.Brad Miller:
gave you the last word of any word of encouragement you want to share with anybody listening to us here today that basically trouble if you're closest with prayer, we'd appreciate it.Bishop Laurie Haller:
Thank you, Brad. It has been a joy and a privilege to be a part of this podcast today. Thank you to Bishop Trimble for him not only for his leadership, not only for this podcast, but but also just for who you are. And I have been so honored to be a part of the Episcopal see in the United Methodist Church, during this season of Advent. As we prepare the way of the Lord, I know that God is also preparing hearts and minds of those who are in distress, those who are suffering, those who are ill, those who aren't sure where to turn to next. I pray for all those who are on the margins. And and during this Advent season, May each one of us do all we can to prepare the way of the Lord and a world filled with hope and grace and peace and light. Thank you.Brad Miller:
Thank you, Bishop Trimble. Would you lead us in prayer, please? Sure.Bishop Julius Trimble:
Grace is loving God, we thank you for waking us up this morning. And we thank you for allowing the sun to shine across the globe. We ask that you bless us to be a blessing and even as we journey this season, in preparation of the celebration of Christmas, let us not miss the trees that are in front of us are the leaves that are no longer before us. Let us not miss the little things that are all around us that give us signs of hope. blesses us Oh God as we wake up and as we go to bed at night. We thank you oh god, prepare us to be servants in Jesus name. Amen.