Be Strong. Take Heart. Hope in the Lord!

by Rev. Kerry Smith

I spent three days this week at Annual Conference, the yearly gathering of United Methodists in North Texas. The theme came from Psalm 27:14 “Be strong. Take heart. Hope in the Lord!” I felt a spirit at this year’s Annual Conference focused on moving forward to share the love of Jesus Christ with all people.

Annual Conference is a business meeting where an equal number of clergy and lay members of local churches meet to hear from leaders in ministry, we worship together, and we proclaim what it means to truly be the church. We heard from our new Bishop, Ruben Saenz, who said wonderful nuggets like, “Any world that includes the annihilation of the other is not the reign of God.”

My favorite moment was during opening worship when I realized that a little boy was playing the drums. He was in front of 1,000 people keeping the rhythm for worship. He absolutely rocked it. It was a reminder that “a little child shall lead them” and it is our job to trust and empower children (Isaiah 11:6).

In the United Methodist Church we are appointed as pastors. At Annual Conference every year the Bishop assigns each pastor and the pastor commits to go and serve where they are sent.  The hope is that the gifts and graces of the pastor will be matched with the needs of a particular church. The different pastors a church has helps form and develop ministries in the church and community.

A year ago I was sent to White Rock UMC to be your Senior Pastor. What joy it has been to get to know you and to hear how God has been moving in your lives. My prayer for the last year has been that White Rock would grow and that we would embrace the children and youth of this community. I believe that children and babies belong in church because Jesus says to “let the little children come to me” (Mark 10:16, Matthew 19:14, Luke 18:16). The sounds from children are my favorite.

Growing up, the church was a refuge for me, and it was a place where I felt loved, accepted, and called. I want all people, especially the youth and children, White Rock to know that they can come to White Rock and learn about a God who loves them and challenges them to make this world better.

Today may you “Be strong. Take heart. Hope in the Lord!”

I am blessed to be your pastor.
God‘s blessings, Kerry


Lorna - June 15th, 2023 at 12:52pm

We are also blessed to have you as our pastor. Your love of God shows in all that you do. May the Lord continue to bless you and us 💜

Suzanne Snow - June 15th, 2023 at 1:24pm

Thank you, Kerry. Suzanne

Betty Rice - June 15th, 2023 at 4:20pm

So thankful we have you as our pastor. You are everything we need and your love of God shows in all you do.