A Letter From the Bishop


The United Methodist Church
Bishop John Schol
Eastern Pennsylvania & Greater New Jersey

Be transformed by the renewing of your mindset. - Romans 12:2

The birth of Jesus was a transformational moment in history, pure and simple. God did a new thing.

Change, shift, renewal, conversion was what God was up to through the birth of Jesus Christ. God has never stopped this deep call and expectation of humanity and the church. We are called to transform, first ourselves and the church and then the world. The birth story of Jesus is all about people who changed. The magi changed direction, the fear of the shepherds was transformed into belief and Mary let go of her childhood. God was transforming them through the birth of Christ.

Today, our purpose is to recruit and develop transformational leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ and grow vital congregations for the transformation of the world. Our purpose statement uses the word transformation twice. We cannot expect the world to believe and change unless we change ourselves. The first principle in changing others, the world, is to first change ourselves. Jesus was a change in God's engagement with the world. God created a new way of connecting with us through Jesus the Christ.

We have seen a lot of change in the world, ourselves, our families, and the church in the last decade. Often it has been hard change and even forced change because it is coming from outside of us rather than transformational change that occurs within us. Transformational change renews, rekindles God's possibility through in and through us. Most of the change has been imposed change because of what is occurring in the world. It comes from outside of us. God's transformation is a renewal.

I invite you to pray and ponder how Christ is renewing your mind, your mindset. Our mindset is how we think and feel about ourselves, others, and the world. Christmas transformation begins with the renewing of our mindset.

As our mindset changes, it opens the opportunity to transform our collective selves, the body of Christ, the church.

Recently I listened to a powerful story of how the church is transforming. I believe it is a call to the church for how to create new small groups or start new congregations or transform existing congregations. You may find it on our website here.

God wants to and is ready to transform your life and others through you. It is your Christmas gift from God. My prayers continue for you and your family and congregation this Christmas.

May your joy be full and your hope eternal this Christmas.

Bishop John Schol
The United Methodists of
Greater New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

BishopJohnSchol@epaumc.church | 484-474-0939
BishopJohnSchol@gnjumc.org | 732-359-1010

New Jersey Annual Conference
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