Here we are at the beginning of a new calendar year; 2020. For some, we have made commitments for better health, a deeper spiritual relationship, and hopes of becoming a valued contributor to the world.

As I took twelve days of needed rest away from the rigors of work, I had the space and time to reflect on the year 2019 and set my intentions for the New Year. It was during this time of journaling that the question continued to come to mind, “what will be different?” Knowing myself and the many great intentions that begin the start of the New Year, and by the third week of January, I have reverted back to the old ways of being and doing. But this year of 2020, I am committed to changing that narrative by creating new rhythms and truths.

As I continue to have this question before me, and will keep it in front of me throughout 2020, I raise the question for consideration of all United Methodists in the Central District; what will be different in 2020? What will be different in our personal discipleship? How will we learn and grow as faithful Christ-followers? How will our witness be witnessed? What will be different in the ways our congregations live out the mission of making disciples and manifest our vision of being Christ-Centered, Community-Connected, and Missionally-Centric? This is the question I will continue to ask through this year, and I have already been made aware of one difference a Central District congregation has made during this Christmas Season.

Upon my re-engagement from the holiday break, I was able to celebrate a text message received from Rev. Dr. Matthew Stultz and the Acton UMC congregation via this news story: Acton Church Donations Will Erase Two Million in Medical Debt. I applaud the ways the Acton congregation strategically considered that gift-giving is not only in the coats, food, and toys, but it is about creating an opportunity to liberate others to begin a different life story freer from the burdens of debt. Friends, this is what we as the Body of Christ are called to do…make a difference; perhaps it takes different methods, but ultimately it points back to our commitment to make Christ known in our everyday living and being.

So, Central District United Methodists, in the word from the prophet Isaiah, “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1) In this New Year, let us see the UNITED difference our collective LIGHT can make in 2020!

Cheers for a Blessed and Fruitful 2020!

Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright
Conference Superintendent serving Central District

– Also remember Staff-Pastor Parish Relations Training. Please be sure that your S/PPRC team is present to learn greater insights regarding the role and responsibilities for S/PPRC Committees. Please contact Greg at for more information or to RSVP.