Understanding the Global Issue of the UMC

“Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ!”

That is the typical greeting that we find throughout the New Testament.  It serves as a word of blessing that is often directed to an individual but is also shared with entire groups of people.  The blessing is one that invites a response.  People hear those words and want to respond with a similar blessing.

The Apostle Paul used various forms of the same greeting to open his New Testament letters and to provide a word of hope for his readers.  He used it as a way to move into the topic at hand from the framework of faith.

So today, I greet you and invite you to enter into a conversation with me and with the church.  In this case, when I say ‘church’ I am really meaning something larger than our own congregation.  I am thinking about our global United Methodist denomination!  As you have heard, our General Conference session will be held this spring during the month of May.  For 10 days in May almost 1000 delegates from all around the world will gather in Portland to have important conversations and to make significant decisions.

Some of those decisions will be mundane and typical. Others will be unique and one of a kind.  Still other decisions have the potential of shaking the windows, rattling the walls, and even creating uproar for the foundations of our church.  If that is the case, the General Conference members will need our prayers.  In fact, that is exactly what we want to give them as a remarkable gift.  We want to lift the members of the General Conference in prayer.

Please mark the dates May 10-20 on your calendar with a special reminder to pray!

Meanwhile, we will spend some time together doing our best to understand how the global church actually works.  We will dig into the structure of the General Conference, uncover some of the key issues, hear from the personal experience of previous delegates, and learn how the activity of the General Conference could impact our congregation here in Parker.

I hope you will join us for four Wednesday evening Town Hall gatherings that will focus on the church that we all love.  The Town Hall events will begin the Wednesday after Easter on March 30 at 6:00.  Our meetings will be interactive.  They will be scheduled for one hour and will feature child care.  I hope you will join us for these fun and informative conversations.

We will count on the grace and peace of Christ to lead the way!

As always, we are always excited to see you on Sunday!  Come early and stay late!  Blessings!

Randy Jessen


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