On Sunday, March 14, we did the annual ritual of observing Daylight Savings Time. It is during this time, that our minds and bodies must get adjusted to “losing an hour” of our day, while also appreciating the extended hours of daylight. To embrace this time to Spring Forward, is to remember where we were about one year ago (March 2020). It was approximately one year ago, we were under the mandate from the Governor and supported by Bishop Trimble to discontinue our in-person gathering experiences for the safety of all. I would suggest, we were all under the impression that the mandate would simply last a few weeks, and we would be “back to normal”. Well, here we are, one year later, and while there are some advancements, we should continue to adhere to precautions; for the safety of all.

But, in this understanding to Spring Forward, this is more than an annual ritual for me this year. To Spring Forward, is to understand that, what we have formerly labeled as “normal” is no longer the norm. I believe, we must purpose in our minds and hearts, that while things are different, we will never return back to “normal”. The normal we once knew is now gone, because as we have navigated these ever-evolving times, we have begun to normalize many things along the way. So, what will we do with this opportunity?

To Spring Forward, is a shift of mind that looks at what is ahead, and not look back. To Spring Forward, is to know there is grief in letting go of the familiar, but there is also freedom in trusting God in our faithful steps forward. To Spring Forward is to celebrate those who have been vaccinated and wait with those who continue to gain access to their “shot”. To Spring Forward is to not lose sight for WHO we are in Christ and WHOSE we are as God’s Beloved! To Spring Forward, is to not continue rehearsing the song of old, “well, before COVID, we did…”, but looking at the limitless possibilities that suggest, “because of COVID, we are now reaching more than we have ever reached, we are ensuring that all are welcome and safe in our buildings, and we are reintroducing the message of Jesus to those who may have lost hope.” To Spring Forward, is the live out the words from Philippians 3:13b-14, “…I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.” Our re-engaging is not just for us, and our needs. However, it is for us to witness the embodiment of physical community and being more equipped for the work of ministry, as we share the LIGHT of Christ in our everyday living and being.

I invite us all to Spring Forward, in discussion and discovering what is it that we need to stop doing, so that we can spend our energies in those matters that contribute to expanding God’s Kin-dom.

Friends, it is time to SPRING FORWARD!

In Humble Service,

Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright
Conference Superintendent serving Central and West Districts