Peace be with you.

And also with you.

Those words comprise a blessing, a dream and a hope that was shared over and over at Annual Conference this year.  As my friend, the Rev. James Grubb stated, “There’s lots of sides of lots of things for people to be on, but I want to build bridges.”  We were tender and respectful with each other at Annual Conference this year, admitting the rawness of the disappointment some still carried from General Conference.


We were also joyful!   The South Carolina Conference of the UMC has done some amazing things this year.  We celebrated professions of faith, baptisms, new ministries and the continued gift of HOPE from God.   We remembered those who have died and celebrated their lives together. We prayed for the sick, especially the lady who had a stroke on the floor of the Conference.  (She is recovering nicely.) We saw old friends and made new friends. We helped some celebrate their retirements and blessed others to begin lives in ministry. And we celebrated ordination, specifically Pastor Laura’s!


There will be more information coming to you, and the Conference website www.umcsc.organd social media are full of reports.  For today, let me share with you some of what we saw:

Laura before the clergy session.   


Mrs. Nancy and me after Ordination.


Surfside friends after Ordination.  There are more, but I don’t have pictures.   Thank you for coming, for watching and for supporting!


The clergy choir.


Bishop Holston


Spontaneous song on the floor of the Annual Conference!


The altar dressed for worship.


At the last worship service, called the Fixing of the Appointments.


The altar dressed for worship.



Salkehatchie crosses – one from each camp, arranged on a map of South Carolina on the floor.


Laura reading scripture.


Finally, while at Conference, we paused to remember D-Day.   June 6, 1944.


It is important to remember the bravery and the sacrifice of that day, and to pray even now for the coming Kingdom of God, when there shall be war no more.  Every year on D Day, I remember the men I have known over the years who landed on Normandy’s shores, and I pray for them and their families and give thanks to God for them.


For the last few days, Mr. Jack has been on my mind.  He lived in Hartsville and he was a gifted storyteller.  He intuitively knew the art of weaving colorful vocabulary and expressive tone together to make people hang on every word.  He could make anything into a story, even a trip to the mailbox when he saw a white squirrel. The one story he would never tell though, was the story of D Day.  He locked those memories deep in his memory, and very quietly, he would say, “We don’t need to talk about that.”


He had to have been barely 18 when he fought his way ashore.  He spent the rest of his life, fighting to keep the memories from tearing him apart.  The sacrifice and fight were not for one day.

He lived, but in some deep ways, he gave his life.   We must not forget.



Pastor Scarlett