Mark Statler's Farewell
Friends in the Southwest District,
As I make the handoff to Alice Fowler, I have been reflecting on our ministry together. It’s been great to work with pastors and laity of our churches.
I have tried all along to keep in mind the great privilege that’s mine to serve among you and represent you at the cabinet. I also have striven not to take myself too seriously, keeping the authority of the office in balance, preferring to work together and give churches and pastors space, encouragement and resources to be healthy, mission-oriented ministries. I hope that’s your experience of me in our time together and I would ask your forgiveness if it hasn’t been.
For your part, you’ve been creative, encouraging and very supportive! When we’ve been in disagreement or in challenging or difficult situations, you’ve been gracious and we’ve continued to work for the mission of Jesus.
I am indescribably grateful to Rebecca and Susan for six years of life and work together. I am fortunate to have worked with such committed, dedicated, and trustworthy people who saved me from mistakes more times than I can count.
From the greatest celebrations (several come to mind) to the most gut-wrenching moments (there have been some) to the innovative, trail-blazing changes, to the unchanging routines, I have found purpose and joy in this ministry. And through it all, and in great part because of your faith and hope, I have grown more dependent on the grace of Jesus and fallen in greater love with His church.
As Alice and Lauren come into the office, the District will continue to have a great team! I’m anxious to see the development of the technological side of ministry with Lauren’s contributions. Alice brings so many gifts and deep faith to this work. You will be blessed, I’m confident!
My family and I thank you for your prayers, support and love. Our blessings to you and yours.