Every four years we experience many things: presidential elections, leap year, the Olympics, and General Conference. General Conference is a gathering of representatives from United Methodist Churches from around the world. It is the only time that the United Methodist Church gathers from all across the world in one single location, like one large family reunion. They gather together to worship, celebrate what God is doing throughout the world, to discern how God is calling the United Methodist Church, and to make changes to the Book of Discipline. This month, General Conference will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20.
So what does this mean for you?
First, I ask you to join in praying for General Conference and for our delegates from the California-Nevada Annual conference (Jeffery Kuan, Greg Bergquist, Karen Oliveto, Randy Miller, Burt Yin, and Emily Allen). General Conference is a time of wonderful celebration, like this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the ordination of female pastors in the UMC. But it also is a time of struggle and challenge as we once again discuss questions of deep disagreement, like the United Methodist Church’s position on welcoming and including LGBT people. Please join me in praying for the Holy Spirit to move and be felt at this General Conference.
Second, if you are interested in learning more about the proposed major legislative issues you can read more about it at http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/general-conference-2016-major-legislative-issues There are several proposals that would directly affect the local church.
Finally, General Conference reminds us of our shared mission as United Methodists, to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” How are being called to grow in faith and be agents of God’s transformation here in Livermore?