Resting In God

August 24 completed the 14th move of my life as a United Methodist living in the parsonage. Every move has been an adventure. Every move has its unique challenges and grand surprises. Lynn and I are grateful for the good work of all those who labored to make ready the Episcopal Residence. Especially, we want to thank Joye Chamness and Michele Morton, along all those who labored to make our home ready and for making preparations to create a warm and comfortable place for us to live.


Bishop McAlilly meeting with the Memphis Conference staff in Jackson, TN on September 6, 2012

More than that, I want to thank Bishop Ben Chamness for his leadership among the people of the Nashville Area, as he has led you these last 12 months. What a great gift he has been to you, and how great it is that he has prepared the way for this new beginning in our lives. We are thankful and humbled by this opportunity to serve among you.

Over the last almost 12 months, one constant in my life has been Psalm 62. Good old number 62. It is unclear precisely what the Psalmist is addressing when he pens these words, “My soul finds rest in God alone, the rock of my salvation.” Whatever he was facing, whatever was causing him difficulty, he understood soulful rest was only in God.

During the last months as Lynn and I prepared for the dangerous opportunity that was ours in this less than perfect process of electing persons for the office of Bishop in our church, we turned here to Psalm 62. It is a word from scripture that, I suspect, will sustain us in the days ahead in ways that I never imagined.

My soul finds rest.
My soul finds rest in God.
My soul finds rest in God alone.
My soul finds rest in God alone, the rock.
My soul finds rest in God alone, the rock of my salvation.

I pray this prayer for my father and mother.
I pray this prayer for my children, for their spouses, for  our grandson.
I pray this prayer for my sister, for my brother; for their spouses and for their children and their children’s children.


TN Conference staff lay hands on Bishop McAlilly and pray over his appointment to the Nashville Area Episcopal UMC as he will lead the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences the next four years.

I pray this prayer for the people of the Nashville area of the United Methodist Church.
I pray this prayer for the District Superintendents in the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences.
I pray this prayer for those whose names I have read but whose faces I have yet to meet.
I pray this prayer for clergy whose lives are broken from pain, suffering, disappointment, and grief.
I pray this prayer for laity whose confidence has been shaken.
I pray this prayer for this new beginning.

I pray this prayer because more than any other thing, more than vision, more than structure, more than hard work, more than anything I know, until my soul rests in God, the rock of my salvation, my life will remain in a constant state of anxiety and frustration. In God alone, my soul finds rest.

If there is a word the Church needs today, it is this.  The Church finds rest in God alone, the rock of her salvation;  a fortress strong against her foes and she will not be shaken.

It’s a prayer worthy praying today and often.

My soul finds rest in God alone, the rock of my salvation.

33 Comments on “Resting In God”

  1. Porfirio says:

    I treasure the knowledge on your site. Thanks for your

  2. Bishop, I found peace today in reading your expressions of “rest.” Thank you, because truly my soul need and needed rest today.

  3. Eleanor Kendall says:

    Bishop McAlilly, I am not an Ordained Minister of the Conference, but I am UM and an Ordained Minister at Wesley UMC in Jackson TN. I look forward to meeting you. I read your blogs and get great strength from reading…all the way back to what you did as a child. Thanks for sharing! Reverend Eleanor Kendall – Associate Minister @ Wesley UMC in Jackson TN

  4. Jerry B. Carr says:

    We’re off to a good start! Thank you, Bishop McAlilly.
    Jerry B. Carr, Memphis Conference member, retired, living in Franklin.
    Interim Pastor at Brentwood, summer of 2000, on staff part-time 2000-2008.

  5. Betsy Pickens says:

    Enjoyed meeting you at Benton UMC last Wednesday! Your message was exciting and what we need to hear at Broadway UMC in Paducah! Look forward to seeing you in Paducah!

  6. Bishop McAlilly…we were truly moved the night it was announced that you were appointed Bishop for our TN Conference. The online statement you made, that stood out in our minds and lifted us, was the one entitled “Trust. It’s a simple word.” You went on to quote John 14:12, “If you place your trust in me, greater things will you do than I have done.” Thank you for accentuating on Thursday that trust in God is the way for us to do the will of God and for the church to be healed. We are proud that you were named our Bishop, for you and your wife are spiritual people and it will only be the spirituality of Jesus Christ, the holy, the sacred, and the mysticism that will bring the Methodist Church back to the state of intriguing people to be disciples for Christ, as we have been called to be. From our hearts, we simply say thank you to God for sending us a spiritual Bishop who can draw everyone to the message of our Lord. You can be sure that your spirit will prevail at Saint Joseph UMC. We are bouncing with joy and the energy of the bounce will be shared with all our people! In the spirit of Christ Jesus, we pray “Thank You, Lord. Amen.” Frank & Linda Hagan

    • wtmcalilly says:

      Frank and Linda,
      You are kind to offer this affirmation and Lynn and I are grateful.
      We look forward to following Jesus on the Way!


  7. Bobbie Martin says:

    Dearest Bishop, It was truly a pleasure to meet you and your wife during your visit to the Pulaski District. I was inspired, encouraged, and challenged by the message you brought forth. I have the privilege of pastoring 3 small country churches. So often we feel overwhelmed by the need of the community around us verses the number of hands in our congregations. However, your message reminded us that it is not the limited number of hellping hands that matters, instead it is our faith, reliance, and obedience in and to our mighty God for whom nothing is impossible. Through Christ we can and will do “greater things.” There is no limit with God! God Bless you and Lynn as you continue to serve God as you serve in our conferences. You will be in my prayers daily.

  8. James Chandler says:

    I enjoyed meeting you and getting to hear your words of encouragement at Lexington FUMC.
    God’s peace be with you.

  9. Kay Dotson says:

    I enjoyed meeting you and Lynn. I look forward to following your ministry on the blogs. You are in my prayers and thank-you for serving our King Jesus Christ.
    The Love of Christ Be with You,
    Kay Dotson

  10. Jeff Rudy says:

    Thanks for this word, Bishop! In reflecting on this post, I’m reminded of St. Augustine’s prayer, which John & Charles Wesley used frequently, “Thou has made us for thyself, and our heart cannot rest till it rests in Thee.” Grace and peace!

  11. Liz Hansen says:

    Look forward to keeping up with your blog and the encouragement (and challenges) it will bring! So wonderful to meet you and Lynn, and we look forward to be in ministry with you!

    Liz Hansen

  12. Reverend Eleanor Kendall says:

    Bishop McAlilly, I have not had the opportunity to meet you, but I do look forward to meeting you. I am an Associate at Wesley Chapel United Methodist in Jackson, where Reverend Sharon Lewis-Karamoko is the Appointed Pastor. I am Reverend Eleanor Kendall. I would welcome the opportunity to sit and talk with you and share my journey with you. I have been in Ministry for 36 years and have had a lot of ups and downs and I embrace the 62nd Psalm; along with many other Psalms. Psalm 139 is another that I embrace. May God bless you and Mrs. McAlilly as we journey in the Tennessee and Memphis Districts.

    In His Service,

    Eleanor Kendall

  13. Thanks for doing this, Bishop!

  14. Ruthie Elliott says:

    Welcome! Come see us at Broadway United Methodist in Paducah!

  15. Thank you Bishop for your blog, your “meditation” this morning, your spirit, your wife Lynn, and most of all for your faithfulness

  16. Roshella Jackson says:

    Thank you for sharing your excitement and encouraging attitude. Thank you for using your precious time to come and want to meet us, so that you may know better who WE are and where WE are excelling and struggling. It was a true joy and an immediate feeling of comfort to meet you and Lynn when you visited the Paris District. My short time in your presence has sparked a much needed renewal in my attitude. There is a mighty and awesome power in “WE” and Greater Things can and should be happening!

  17. Jerry Jeffords says:

    I, too, will find my rest in the words of this Psalm!

  18. Kathleen K Masters says:

    Thanks, Bishop! I am a Deacon in full connection with Memphis AC and appointed to GBGM in New York. I am encouraged by those words and the Spirit which lifts those words in prayer and meditation. God bless you!

  19. John Daniels says:

    Sincerest blessings to you and your family. Please know you are genuinely bathed in prayer. Thanks for being faithful to the Call