Showing posts from March, 2012

An Open Letter to the 2012 General Conference Delegates

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, along with 85 other United Methodist pastors, issued an open letter to the 2102 General Conference delegates expressing their support for the Connectional Table legislation stemming from the recommendations of the Call to Action work. They invite United Methodist clergy and laity to read and sign the letter also.

The letter begins: “We are local church pastors and leaders in the United Methodist Church writing in support of the legislation being proposed by the Connectional Table related to the Call to Action. We love the church and want her to have a “future with hope.” We believe that the downward trends in church membership, attendance and giving will accelerate in the years ahead. If we do nothing, our church will be half the size she is today in twenty years. Now is the time for action.”To date, the letter has so far garnered more than 1,700 signatures. We invite you to read this letter and consider signing it.

Read and Sign the Letter

Remember the Future: 30 Days of Preparation

In a little more than three weeks, United Methodists around the world will gather together in Tampa, Fla. for the 2012 General Conference. It has been quite a journey to get to this point in our collective history. I would like to recommend a new resource by Bishop Robert Schnase, "Remember the Future: 30 Days of Preparation" as we prepare to engage in holy conferencing to address the challenging issues facing our denomination. According to the blog, "these daily meditations explore the hope, purpose, leadership and making of disciples of Jesus Christ. "

Click here to sign up for these 30 days of inspirational messages.

Bishop Robert Schnase reminds us that General Conference is only one mechanism to help us reach our true destination, one with no walls. It's a spiritual destination where we have more profound connections with God and build up vital congregations to minister to a hurting world.

Excerpt from March 27, 2012: "The mission is not ours; it…

A Future With Hope

A commentary by the Rev. Deborah McLeod, senior pastor of Mandarin United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Florida and a member of the Connectional Table.

Jeremiah is one of my go-to books when I get depressed about our beloved United Methodist Church. Jeremiah has a tough job. He tries to hold God’s people accountable but they do not want to listen.

There are days when we also find ourselves carrying in our hearts the failures and missed opportunities of our people. That’s when I find Jeremiah helpful. He is called to tell it to God’s people straight, no matter how unpopular the message. Sometimes we are called to the same tough task.

Our theme for General Conference 2008 was taken from Jeremiah 29: 11, “A Future with Hope.” Jeremiah tells us "For surely I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope…” We need to remember that these words were spoken to the well-off, better educated leaders of Judah who had been ripped from…

Pre-General Conference Briefings In the Central Conferences

We asked Tim Tanton of United Methodist Communications to give us an update on the briefings held in Manila and Harare this past February. Tim was the lead organizer of these events.

This spring, nearly 1,000 decision makers from around the world will meet in Tampa to set policy and direction for The United Methodist Church for the next four years. To help central conference delegates prepare for the legislative gathering, the Connectional Table sponsored two pre-General Conference briefings in the Philippines and Africa in February.

The events were designed to give delegates an understanding of how General Conference works, logistical information related to their trip, and a working knowledge of some of the major issues that they will encounter when the legislative assembly meets in Tampa, Florida, April 24-May 4.

Bishop John L. Hopkins, Resident Bishop of East Ohio and Chair, The Connectional Table and Ruth John Lamurde, laywoman, Northern Conference, Nigeria serving communion

The brie…