Bishop’s Letter on Prayer for General Conference 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In May, United Methodists from all over the world will come together in Portland, Oregon, for our General Conference.  This quadrennial (once every four years) gathering is a time for Christian conferencing, policy making, and advancement of the Church’s mission.  I, and my colleagues on the Council of Bishops, ask you to join us in preparing through prayer for this May 10 to 20, 2016 meeting.

Your Bishops will be praying, and we ask you to join us in a continual prayer vigil for the 131 days leading to General Conference.

Why 131 days?  General Conference 2016 begins 131 days after the New Year.  By coincidence, there are 131 annual conferences in The United Methodist Church around the world.

Each annual conference has been invited to host a 24-hour prayer effort on a specific date, with the intent of creating a shower of prayer in the days leading up to the General Conference.  The California-Nevada Conference has been asked to hold its 24-hour prayer vigil on Saturday, January 2.

I am calling upon each of our United Methodist congregations, with their 78,000 members and friends throughout Northern California, and Northern Nevada, to participate in this prayer vigil on January 2.  Please pray for our United Methodist Church, all of its ministries around the world, and all of its leaders, especially the delegates to General Conference.   Pray for the delegates elected from our annual conference (Jeffrey Kuan, Greg Bergquist, Karen Oliveto, Emily Allen, Burt Yin, and Randy Miller).   I also ask you to pray for me when I as President of the Council of Bishops convene the General Conference.  I will preach in the opening worship, and preside during the first plenary session.

When we gather in Portland, my wife Minnie and I, along with other Bishops and spouses, will be there participating in a round-the-clock prayer vigil that begins on the opening day of General Conference and continues through the closing session.


May God bless, guide, and sustain, all of us.

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”(Matthew 21:22)

Grace and Peace,

Warner H. Brown, Jr.
Resident Bishop


  1. Judy Matzen says

    Dear Bishop Brown,

    Thanks so much for your call to prayer and for all the prayers you, your wife Minnie, and fellow leaders have made for this year’s conference and the future of the Methodist Church around the world. We will not be able to attend the conference, but you will all be in our prayers this week.

    We’ll be praying along the lines of Jesus’ primary teachings

    1) That we will love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds–and love our neighbors are ourselves. (Mt. 22:37-39, Mk 12:30-31 and Lk 10:27); That this will be a primary focus in our preaching.

    2) That we will be willing to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus. (Mt. 16:24-26, Mk. 8:34-37, Lk 14:25-27, Jn. 12:23-25.); That this this will be a primary focus in our preaching.

    Thanks for all you’re doing in Jesus’ Name!

    Judy and Greg Matzen

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