Posted by: morgan1965 | July 14, 2009

Gifts for a New District Superintendent

On Sunday, July 12, 2009, the laity and clergy of the Mon Valley District gathered to participate in a welcome celebration for their new district superintendent, The Rev. Ellis Conley and his wife, Julie. The service was held at the Avery United Methodist Church in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The scenic view and location atop a beautiful hill, the wonderful summer weather, and the quiet peace of the Sabbath Day all combined to mark the joy of God’s fresh beginning.

To be sure, this is a fresh beginning for Ellis, who is a veteran pastoral leader, and it is a new beginning for the Mon Valley District. Let us keep them in our prayers.

While introducing and presenting Ellis to the district in an “official” way, I had the opportunity to present three gifts to him. The first gift was a bible, which always will remind him that his ministry must remain routed and grounded in God’s word. We are standing on the promises of Jesus, in the best of times and the worst of times.

The second gift was a copy of “The Book of Discipline.” I reminded him that the “Discipline” is more than a book of church law. This book contains the covenants by which we have agreed to live by as United Methodist people.

The third gift was a gavel. Now a gavel perhaps is the tool that a presiding officer uses to call a meeting to order and to maintain order during the course of a meeting. I reminded Ellis that if he has to use his gavel in the midst of a meeting, he already has lost control of the meeting. On the other hand, the gavel symbolizes the authority that the Church has place in him as a district superintendent. Authority is couched in mutual respect and love, and it is linked to service and partnership in ministry.


  1. I pray that God will guide and bless Rev. Conley’s efforts.

  2. My prayers and best wishes go with Rev. Conley as he moves into a new and wonderful ministry. May God bless you and your family always.

    Rev. Dennis Saunders

  3. I have just taken the time to read this review of Ellis and his family taking the office of District Superintendent. I am in a Church right now that Ellis pastored in the past. I am sure that if you do half as good as a District Superintendent as you have pastoring you will be a great leader. Julie has made his ministry successful in her own way. God bless you and your family as you continue to fulfill His call in you lives.

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