Last night in Oklahoma City, Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey was appointed as the new Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Louisiana. I am excited!

Former Bishop Hutchinson will always be remembered for setting a very high bar with his strong support our ministry to children, youth and families in Louisiana. After meeting Bishop Harvey, I believe we will be equally blessed in the future.

Here’s why. In Louisiana we all live in a state of disaster anticipation. In south Louisiana, every hurricane season is a reminder that disasters are a part of life. People are prepared. In north Louisiana, we are constantly prepared to open our doors and host evacuees. We remain prepared to send relief south. In recent days, we’ve learned that in addition to natural disasters like hurricanes and man-made disasters like oil spills, there are financial disasters that ravage how we care for our citizens physical and behavioral health needs.

Bishop Harvey is coming to Louisiana directly from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). She has served as the deputy general secretary of UMCOR since May of 2010. Bishop Harvey understands disaster preparations and disaster responses.

Bishop Harvey served as executive pastor of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, and mobilized that congregations response to Louisiana’s Hurricane Katrina evacuees. She also has experience in healthcare initiatives in Cote d’Ivoire. She will find much in Louisiana that will allow her to use the skills she has acquired during her ministry.

I was very pleased to welcome her this morning as the newest member of our Board of Directors. Please pray for Bishop Harvey and her family as they move to Louisiana and she begins her ministry among us.

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