Happy New Year from Interim Bishop Sally Dyck

June 30, 2022 | by Bishop Sally Dyck

Happy New Year from Interim Bishop Sally Dyck

 Happy new year! For United Methodist clergy and churches, July 1 is really the start of a new year!

Some clergy are officially moving to a new appointment. Others continue an appointment started in years past. But all of us have this sense of rhythm that July 1 is a new beginning. Literally or metaphorically, we’re all called to a new beginning of ministry as clergy and laity together.

If it is a new relationship between clergy and a congregation, begin by truly listening to each other and seeking to understand one another. Every congregation is different in its traditions and personality. I’ve always told clergy that they need to get a vision of a church through one’s ears! Listen, listen, and listen to who this congregation is in all its multiplicity of stories, hopes and fears. And laity: you’ll be better served if you seek to get to know your new pastor and what his or her gifts are that will lead you into the future.

If it is a continuing relationship between clergy and a congregation, clergy may need to spend some time meditating, rethinking and potentially resetting priorities to match what is needed now in order to help the congregation grow, heal, flourish, and be faithful. What’s one thing that needs to be done differently in order to help the. Ministry of the church flourish. Again, spend some time listening. And laity: how can you be a better support for the success of your pastor? More encouragement? Better feedback? A little TLC?

I particularly like this verse of the hymn, This Is A Day of New Beginnings:

Christ is alive, and goes before us

to show and share what love can do.

This is a day of new beginnings;

our God is making all things new.


July 1 is a day of new beginnings. Literally or metaphorically, may it be so!

Bishop Sally Dyck is currently serving the California-Nevada conference as Interim Bishop and as the Ecumenical Officer for the Council of Bishops. She is a retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2004-2020.