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A fresh start

A fresh start
Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

By Jessica Brodie

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”— 2 Corinthians 5:17

It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been out of school—I still celebrate back-to-school season. There’s something about the freshly gleaming pads of paper and neat little boxes of pencils at Target stacked carefully next to rows of neon-colored highlighters and binders that make my heart go pitter-patter.

At meet-the-teacher night at my kids’ elementary school, I was just as excited as my children—OK, maybe just a teensy bit more—to walk through the hallways once again, smiling at friendly faces, the scent of just-washed linoleum and just-copied welcome-back handouts wafting through the air. I think I might even have skipped down the hall once. Or twice.

Forget New Year’s Day or spring flowers. For me, fall is the fresh-start season. And it’s perfectly fitting that this month, we get to announce some exciting new opportunities for South Carolina United Methodists on our front page.

Bishop Jonathan Holston is getting ready to kick off his fall/winter Bishop’s Forward Focus Tour, where he’ll travel to all 12 districts once again, this time armed with great new information about a revitalization program for local churches. That’s right—a fresh-start kind of program, where churches get to brush off the old and take a look at new ways they can reach out to their communities and serve in a way that is uniquely them. Add some brand-new spiral notebooks and just-sharpened pencils to the equation and, well, let’s just say you’ll have a happy Advocate editor.

Not just that, but we’re also learning about two new mission initiatives we’re helping as we gear up for our 2017 Annual Conference: collecting bicycles for Bikes for the World and raising funds to build a handful of houses for homeless families in the Upstate.

It’s an exciting time for this conference, an exciting time to be a Christian and an exciting time to share the Good News and embrace the gifts and graces God grants us daily, big and small.

So celebrate with me, friends, as we kick off a fall filled with mission opportunities, learning programs and countless other ways to “be Jesus” to the world. It’s our privilege to do His work, and I look forward to sharing the experience with you.

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