Bishop Ward introduces the scriptural theme for Annual Conference 2021 and gives details about the agenda.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Hear these words from Isaiah: 58, “The Lord will guide you continually. The Lord will satisfy your needs in parched places. You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail.” This text has found its way deep into our hearts and into our shared life as an Annual Conference family. We centered upon this text during the season of Lent. It’s an Easter text, taking us again to the watered garden where Jesus is alive forevermore and it will be our focus text for the Annual Conference session in June [June 16-19]. We will gather virtually for Annual Conference. This year, we will have an interactive platform.
On Wednesday, the clergy session will be held at 10 a.m. and the laity will gather in the afternoon. On Thursday, all lay and clergy members will gather. We will begin our Annual Conference session with a service of worship and we will remember with thanksgiving to God, all clergy, and spouses who have died in the last two years. As we move on through the session of Annual Conference, we will celebrate our shared ministry through this time of pandemic. We will give thanks to God for the ways that we are engaging in ministry in the world at this time, increasing our attention day by day to anti-racism and to the welcome of all people into Christ’s ministry.
We look forward to ordination services configured safely outside under a tent on Friday and Saturday. These will be held at Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church for those who were approved for ordination over the past two years.
Thank you for your shared ministry, for your constant prayers, and for all our life together.