We are excited to have a video from a new contributor for today.
Elizabeth Hurd is a Provisional Elder in the Michigan Conference, serving at Caledonia UMC in Caledonia, MI. She's from Port Huron, MI and grew up in Port Huron First UMC. She loves hiking with her dog, Lucy, going to any of the Great Lakes, any form of comedy, and camp ministry.
Today we have a special guest devotion being offered by the Bishop of the Michigan Area UMC, David Alan Bard. We are so thankful to Bishop Bard for taking the time to share with us today.
The devotional video is offered below and here is a little info and background from Bishop Bard as provided on
Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Area. Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within both the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church.
Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.
Within the Minnesota Conference, Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team, and he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.
Within the General Church, Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.
Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph. D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics
Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.
We are happy to have a new contributor sharing with us today, Pastor Eric Falker. He will be taking a look at Joshua 5:13-6:5 in his devotion that is below.
I am serving in St. Ignace, Michigan, currently, and start a new appointment in Houghton, MI, in July (Grace and Painesdale UMC's). I am a local pastor, but will be commissioned at the next annual conference.
I really missed singing during the quarantine. Although I recorded some songs with my family, it wasn't the same as playing with the praise band and singing with the congregation.
I am originally from East Tawas, MI. I worked as a civil engineer and youth minister before becoming a full-time pastor. I am married to Katja, and we have three children. My hobbies include wind surfing, jogging, cross-country skiing, and playing piano.
We have a special guest lined up for today, Rev. Elizabeth Hill who currently serves as the District Superintendent for the Heritage District. For those of you who don't know her she has provided a brief biography below and her devotion is beneath that.
My husband, Dick and I just celebrated forty-five years of marriage. We are the proud parents of Melissa Hill Benson and Jason Hill. We also are the grandparents to four of the most amazing grandchildren: Ellie, Natalie, Fen and Ira. My home church is Detroit, Metropolitan, where God was always stretching me to use my gifts as I had many opportunities to be in ministry with youth, children and the community. I was a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing for many years. After recognizing God’s call on my life at Annual Conference, I attended MTSO where I received my MDIV. I loved serving as pastor of several churches in Birmingham, Royal Oak and Gladstone prior to being appointed as a District Superintendent. My life has been blessed by all the laity and clergy I have worked with over the past years. I am retiring the end of June and am looking forward to time with my husband and all our family.
Our devotion today is being provided by Susan Hitts.
Susan currently serves at Harbor Springs United Methodist Church where she has been since 2016. This is a congregation that received their sister church, Alanson United Methodist Church, through a merger in December 2019.
During this time of social distancing, both pastor and congregation are missing the relationship connections made at our weekly church gatherings. Those moments before service, when everyone is smiling, laughing, and talking until the church bell rings (with the sunshine pouring in through the sanctuary stained glass windows) are sorely missed!
Susan completed her MDiv at United Theological Seminary in 2019 and anticipates her upcoming 2020 commissioning as a Provisional Elder in the Michigan Area UMC with much joy.
We are so thankful to have Susan providing today's devotion and grateful to have her as a part of our connection.
We are blessed to have Robert Blanchard sharing with us today. Here is a little info about him and his devotion for us is below.
Currently Serving: Clinton UMC
One thing I’ve missed most because of social distancing:
Getting together with friends for dinner and board games.
I found my calling into ministry due to a passion to see the world become a more just and compassionate place. I graduated from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2018 with a Master’s of Divinity specializing in Biblical Languages and Texts as well as a Masters of Theological Studies specializing in in Church History. As a pastor it has been a joy to help people ask good questions about their faith that have made us all better disciples. I have been married to my wife Keri since 2012 and we have one dog named Loki.