Grand Traverse District

West Michigan Conference

United Methodist Church


Rev. Anita Hahn, District Superintendent

Apr 29
Vital Church Initiative Informational Meeting
Cadillac UMC
6:30 p.m.

Apr 29
Grand Traverse District Leadership Council
Traverse City: Central UMC
2:00 p.m.

May 6
District Superintendency Committee
Traverse City: Christ UMC
6:00 p.m.

May 7
District Committee on Clergy/Laity Support & Development
Traverse City: Central UMC
1:00 p.m.


Lenten Revelations: I can hardly believe it, but saw my first robins last week! I hadn't even begun to think about them yet, but driving on South Hannah Street on the campus of Albion College, I looked out my car window - and there they were! In the midst of snow and sleet and howling wind, a group of robins sat huddled together on top of a snowdrift! Six, fluffed up symbols of spring!

Now - even though meteorologists say we are only about three weeks away from the official start of Spring, it certainly doesn't feel or look like it! I think we can all agree ... it has been a long, cold, snowy winter.

And - even though I'm always disappointed in the month of March (because no, it's not spring, yet!) ... And - even though I know we'll still see more snow ... Even with all these things in mind - I know spring is near.

Faith is a strange thing:

It sometimes stands in direct opposition to what seems realistic.

It shouts "YES!" in the face of a host of "NOs!".

It believes in goodness when all around is wickedness.

It sings of life in the midst of death.

So, yes, even in the midst of what still feels like the depths of winter, I believe Spring is about to be revealed. I believe in spring. Just as I believe in new life, new hope, new dreams.

That's what faith is all about.

Let me share with you one of my favorite scripture passages: Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. I John 3:2a

One of the reasons I like this passage so well is that I find it incredibly hopeful. Our lives are journeys - of faith, of wisdom, of experience. And along that journey we are constantly learning - and re-learning - what it is God is calling us to do and be. It's a journey of revelation.

We want to do the right thing, but we still make mistakes. We try, but we still fall short. We listen, but we still misunderstand.

And then we read these words: Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.

Rather than getting discouraged, the author of I John is reminding us that we are still in the process of becoming the kind of people God wants us to be. With each new day we discover more about God, more about ourselves, and more about our relationship with God.

What we will be has not yet been revealed.

And thank goodness.

Friends, we are just beginning the Holy Season of Lent. For many, this is a time when they consider "giving up something" for Lent. For others, it is the reminder that winter is losing its grip and spring is just over the horizon. For others Lent has little meaning until Easter itself, with its Easter baskets and new clothes for church.

But this season ought to be a time of revealing - of revelation.

A time of walking alongside Christ through the final Holy days of his life;

A time in which we experience what he experienced - hatred, misunderstanding, betrayal, and death;

A time that ends on a cross in Jerusalem.

It's a difficult journey, and yet one we walk in complete faith ... because it is through this journey that we find revealed all the goodness, all the hope, all the possibilities of what God sees - within us, for us, and for our world.

So yes, it may still feel like winter - both in our world and within our hearts. But we know that if we open ourselves to message revealed in this season of Lent, God can reveal the hope that lies before us - and within us, and we can move ever closer to becoming the people God calls us to be.

Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.

With you in the work of Christ,

Bishop Deb
Camping: Wow! Spring weather is finally arriving. The sun is stronger, the breezes are getting warmer, and we can feel the excitement of a new season coming. As I think of the new seasons arriving I cannot help but think about CAMPING. The summer camp booklets are out, and the camping office is receiving registrations daily. Have you considered sending a child to camp this summer? Now is the time to sign up. The winter seemed to drag on this year, but when summer comes we will be ready to have some fun and share the love and Gospel of Christ. I hope you will be able to send a child to one of our summer camps this year.
"Ahh," you may say... "I do not have children at home any more." That doesn't have to stop you. My wife and I are in the same period in our life. We are sending one of our neighbor's children to camp this summer. Maybe you know of a child who might like to go... a grandchild, or child from the neighborhood. Camp is a way to give a child a gift they will never forget... an experience that may change their life!
If you would like more information please feel free to contact us via e-mail or phone.
(Go to; or email; or call 1-888-217-1905)

Did you know that our United Methodist camps have campgrounds for campers, tents, RV's and Fifth Wheels? If you want to try a new, safe, Christ-centered campground, why not give one of the following camps a call or check them out on the internet.
- Lakeview Campground: 855-352-6896 or
- Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center: 231-869-5317 or
- Albright Park Camp: 231-832-9094 or

Prayer changes things! Camping is a special ministry opportunity offered by the United Methodist Church in Michigan. Through the Christian camping experience lives are changed and hearts are touched with Christ. As we prepare to host those whom God will send to our camps and campgrounds this summer we ask for your help. Would you be willing to be a prayer warrior for Camping Ministries? We know that prayer changes things, and we need your prayer support. Thank you, for taking time to pray for the camping ministries of our church.
Blessings, Rev. George Ayoub

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