Bishop Ward opened the session by reflecting upon how we, as baptized Christians, are called to live deep, fruitful, and healthy lives in order to craft disciples and communities. She explained that we as United Methodists have a good heritage and a broken history that we continue to strive to reconcile. Part of our well-crafted lives demands that we learn deeply from this tradition and create welcoming congregations across our annual conference. She commended to us Crafting Lives by Catherine Bishir.
We are called to live forward in faithfulness and strength by creating community in every place. We have a heritage we bear into the world—personal holiness and social holiness held in blessed tension as we craft the amazing congregations to which we are appointed.
David Brownlee spoke of the importance of spiritual direction related to vocational ministry. A spiritual director helps lay and clergy alike discern “what’s next?” in spiritual lives.
Chairman Rev. Ned Hill presented the report of the Board of Ordained Ministry. The report will be available in its entirety at the end of annual conference.
The NCCUMC welcomed two new Deacons in Full Connection and fourteen new Elders in Full Connection along with provisional members and local pastors. The bishop commented on the important work being done across our connection by part-time local pastors who allow us to continue to do ministry in congregations across the conference.
The session closed with a report from Partners in Caring celebrating the retirement of Henry Lovelace, the long-time treasurer. In addition to receiving checks, they will now be able to process electronic transfers and automatic drafts to make it easier for more clergy to participate.