Rev. Dr. Belton Joyner, chair of the Conference Episcopal Candidacy
Steering Team, shared some of the thoughts that the team had about their “sacred responsibilities” as they prayerfully considered who the NC Conference delegation would put forward as an episcopal candidate.
They wanted someone who understood the work of the local
church and knew the challenges and opportunities in churches of
various sizes. Yet they also wanted the candidate to be someone
with district and conference level experience as well as General
Church experience. As the discussions began to center on one person who had all of these, Rev. Edith Gleaves, they realized
she was also one who lived her life asking, “What would Jesus Christ want to happen? Then, that is the decision I will make.”
Gleaves humbly accepted the nomination and shared her
gratitude for the endorsement and prayers of her conference
and the call from God “for such a time as this.” Bishop Fairley
said, “When you have a gift, you share it. So, we are going to share
you with the whole church.” The election of bishops will take place
at Jurisdictional Conference in November 2022.
Mark Hicks invited churches to actively participate in Cross and
Key Ministries and the sharing of Disciple Bible Study in prisons.
The ministry focuses on both mercy and justice and “responds
to Christ’s call to visit those in prison.” Churches who do not
have a prison ministry can reach out to Hicks and his team for
assistance. Churches can support this ministry through a special
offering on August 28.
Dail Ballard, Director of NC Camp and Retreat Ministries, shared how our three camps creatively met the challenges of a pandemic and helped kids unplug, de-stress, and enjoy God’s creation for the past two summers. The camps used cohorts of small group ministry, social distancing, and drive-through testing to make sure staff and campers stayed healthy. Then, one of the favorite times of Annual
Conference occurred as Ballard invited the body to fly the toy
airplanes which had been placed around the convention center
during the lunch break.