Welcome to the Roanoke District!
Roanoke District Office
From the District Superintendent
Bittersweet .... Bittersweet, the orange marmalade label caught my eye as I scurried down the grocery store aisle late on a May afternoon. In the moment the glass jar was off the shelf and in my hand as I placed it in the cart, I thought to myself, "bittersweet, well that's appropriate!" Bittersweet describes much of this season for me. On Mothers' Days in 1980 and 1983 I celebrated my college and seminary graduations. But in 2003 my mother's funeral was held on May 11th, Mother's Day. This year Mother's Day fell on May 8th, the 13th anniversary of her death. Bittersweet. Thirty years ago on May 10th Harold and I were married in a joyous service. But shadows also fell across that day, his mother had died suddenly and unexpectedly that January. In April my father had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer, neither he nor my mother were able to be with us that day; He would die in mid-August. I remember standing with friends in my parsonage study weeping after talking with both my parents on the phone and then, with a glad heart, gathering everything I needed to take to the church. Bittersweet. In 2009 our anniversary fell on Mother's Day, we spent the day together in the hospital with Harold's father who, at age 96, was in the end stage of heart disease. We were with him at his home when he died 6 days later, laying hold of the promise of resurrection. Bittersweet. Bittersweet: captures my sense of sense of General Conference: one in Christ, united in mission-polarized on many issues. Bittersweet: marks each annual conference, the passing of the mantle from those entering retirement to those newly ordained, commissioned, and licensed; the solemn naming during the memorial service; renewing friendships, aware of the void left by those no longer attending. Bittersweet: congregational farewells to moving clergy and welcomes to those entering into new appointments; clergy completing ministry in one setting and beginning anew in another; clergy families leaving homes, schools, and jobs to relocate once again; Bittersweet: Prayerfully blessing Bishop Cho as he enters into retirement and prayerfully anticipating the bishop who will next lead us. The Lord will protect you on your journeys-whether going or coming- from now until forever from now.(Psalm 121:8, CEV)