My last annual conference?

By this time next year, Lord willing, I will be commissioned as a Probationary Elder by the Southwest Texas Annual Conference, my home conference.  So, most likely, this week I attended what should be my last annual conference meeting as part of the North Texas Annual Conference.  Let me say it was one I will probably recall for some time. As far as meetings go this year's conference was pretty run of the mill. There were no pressing issues or dogfights. What?  Oh, you're church never has issues, right?

It was an election year.  This was the bulk of our work together.  We electronically voted for delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference.  If you're not quite sure what those conferences are you can find some information here.  Every four years we elect delegates to these conferences, and I sure hope SWTX has already converted to electronic ballots! 

There were two comments that made an impression on me.  The first was by Bishop Bledsoe.  He said, "There are two things every Christian should be ready to do.  They should always be ready to die and ready to pray."  Luckily, no one was put on the spot to kick the bucket, but he did call on various members of the conference to pray before each delegate election.  I have already made use of this comment to our church in promoting and encouraging an upcoming congregational prayer initiative, of which I will let you know about soon.

The second comment was made by the conference Lay Leader, Richard Hearne.  His statement was actually a confession.  He said, "I am a great United Methodist Christian.  I am a lousy disciple of Christ."  This powerful statement was part of his response to evaluating the church's decline, claiming full responsibility as a member of the church.  It was a great reminder of what we are supposed to be.  We are called by Christ to be his disciples first, disciples that will live lives that look like his; our denominational choices, most often, represent more about us than God.

Also, the memorial service was inspiring.  I did not know any of the clergy persons or spouses who passed away, but the manner in which they were remembered and connected to God's light and God's story was an overwhelming experience.  It was at that service that I learned this song: With You, O Lord

The lyrics we sang were:
With you O Lord
is life in all it's fullness,
and in your light
we shall see true light.

I cannot express what a deep sense of worship I experienced with those words, and I cannot wait to incorporate them into Oak Haven's worship experiences.

So, if this is indeed my last annual conference here in the Dallas area it will be one I remember for some time. Thank you North Texas sisters and brothers.  What about you? Do you have any annual conference moments to share?  Have you been lately?  Hopefully, you understand annual conference to be more than a meeting.

Oh, and I did not even mention some of the funny moments!  Most of them had something to do with video equipment and/or presentation.  Here is one I think you will appreciate: North Texas Conference Video

Stay blessed...john

0 Responses :