February 23-26 are the dates of the long-awaited called General Conference for United Methodists. The meeting will happen in St. Louis, MO, but because of technology, we’ll be able to stream the sessions and find updates and summaries through our own United Methodist Communications. Many of are anxious about the outcomes, yet our faith is in God reminds us to trust in the Holy Spirit’s movement. As the time nears, let us continue to pray all the delegates will be open to the Spirit.
We’ve had some congregational discussions about the options, plans and hopes. These are too many to name in this space, yet I can send you information if you’d like to know more. There is also a chance that no plan will get the majority vote. That doesn’t necessarily mean nothing will happen, but we will have to be ready to for things to change in ways we don’t expect. There may be people, pastors and/or churches that leave the denomination. There may be many unchurched folks excited about a new direction for the UMC and want to join us. We won’t know all of this on Feb 27th, but on that day a video blog will be released with a summary of the Conference. To help us understand and begin to process the outcomes, Bishop Wallace-Padgett has called a meeting on Saturday, March 2 at Clear Branch UMC. The morning session is for clergy, and there will be an afternoon session for pastors and church leaders. In turn, we’ll share with our congregation at Woodlawn in a variety of ways.
Please let me know if you have concerns, questions, hopes, etc. I will try to have the latest information to address your needs.