Prepared for Service

A service celebrating the assignment of Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe was held March 17 in Lubbock.
     Bledsoe was assigned to the New Mexico/Northwest Texas Episcopal Area effective Jan. 1.
     Clergy and laity from both conferences gathered at First UMC in Lubbock to celebrate the Bishop’s service and welcome him and his wife, Leslie, to the area. The service included a time of prayer and scripture and introduction. The Bishop was presented with the following signs of the episcopal office:
               
               Pastoral Staff – to be upheld and sustained by Christ the Good Shepherd and exercise the ministry of a shepherd
               Bible – to proclaim the Word
               Water – to be renewed in baptism
               Bread and Cup – to be kept in communion with Christ and His church
               Towel and Basin – to be as one who serves
               Stole – to be pastor, preacher and teacher and encourage and support all baptized people and be in prayer for them
              Book of Discipline – to guard the faith, seek unity, exercise the discipline of the church and supervise the church’s life, work and mission
              Gavel – to preside at Annual Conferences, appoint pastors and assign diaconal ministers and guide the Conference
     
     Bishop Bledsoe introduced members of his family attending the ceremony and spoke to those gathered of his ministry and belief that “when we make a decision to trust, serve and love Jesus Christ, we will be able to transform the world.”
     A reception followed the ceremony.
    The bishop is working with the New Mexico and Northwest Texas cabinets on appointments and settling into his new home.

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