Saturday, February 14, 2015

Press Release:

The Connectional Table Joins Standing Committee at Historic First Joint Meeting in Mozambique


Maputo, Mozambique – Monday, February 9 marked the first joint meeting of the Connectional Table and the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters in Maputo, Mozambique. The two bodies met to share strategies toward strengthening the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

“The Standing Committee and the Connectional Table met together to learn about the ways we are both working for a stronger worldwide connection of The United Methodist Church,” said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, chair of the CT. “As The UMC grows around the world, we are blessed with the need to engage in fostering and nurturing relationships and deepening conversations such as the ones we had at this meeting.”

Their first day together was spent in worship and cultural celebrations with the people of The UMC in Mozambique.  Bishop Joaquina Nhanala’s team hosted the groups in congregations throughout Maputo.  The afternoon culmination was a celebration of the multiple cultures of Mozambique.

The Connectional Table has prioritized improving collaborative efforts with other church entities and building bridges across the connection.  This joint meeting focused on ways in which both groups are responding to the 2012 Report to General Conference submitted by the 2009-2012 Worldwide Nature Study Committee.  The Connectional Table was tasked with connecting efforts of several recommendations related to the church’s worldwide nature including revising the social principles to be more relevant globally, creating global apportionments, and organizing for serving the mission around the world.  The Standing Committee was charged by General Conference to “bring recommendations to the 2016 General Conference as to which parts and paragraphs in Part VI of the Book of Discipline are not adaptable.”

“Experiencing a microcosm of General Conference in a celebratory, worship-centered way was such a gift!” said Amy Valdez Barker, executive secretary of the Connectional Table.  About half of the members present were from central conferences with the other half from the United States.

Highlights of the meeting included: learning about the Standing Committee’s work on the Global (General) Book of Discipline; a progress report on global apportionments by Rick King of General Council on Finance and Administration; and updates from leaders of the Vital Congregations Collaboration Group of the CT and COB.  CT and StC-CCM Members gained a deeper understanding of what it means to focus on the United Methodist mission in different cultures around the world.

“I can really appreciate the challenges our central conference members experience traveling to the U.S. on such a regular basis,” commented Josephine Deere, a CT Member from Oklahoma talking about the distance required to travel to the joint meeting.