Bishop Ward gives us a brief synopsis of what will be included in the 2020 virtual Annual Conference on June 18.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Your leadership and participation as lay and clergy members of the Annual Conference is a continued gift as together we seek to live faithfully into our mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in every place in eastern North Carolina through effective leadership, healthy congregations, working for racial equity, caring for the needs of children through Congregations for Children and United Methodists Advocating for Public Schools and living toward the unity that Christ gives. We continue to press on in our mission embracing, and strengthening, and deepening our work in each of these areas of focus.
The hymn for Methodist conferencing, And Are We Yet Alive, resounds in our hearts as we gather – And are we yet alive and see each other’s face. Glory and thanks to Jesus give for his Almighty grace. We will not be able to greet one another as we normally do; rather we will engage in a virtual conference. However, we will care for the essential business of the Annual Conference. We will worship. We will care for the election of lay and clergy leadership. We will set appointments for the coming year and we will care for the resourcing of our ministries. However, all these decisions are for the undergirding of the truly essential mission of the Annual Conference, that of making disciples. As we worship, we will gather as the first believers did, on Pentecost and after. In Acts 2 it says “clearly that they gathered from house to house and ate with hearts that were full of simplicity and generosity and the love of God.”
Please prepare for a love feast in your home as we worship together. Please prepare also for the Annual Conference offering which is designated for our COVID-19 response fund.
Thank you for your response to the Summons to witness, to protest, and to promise. Hundreds of signatures have been added and as in the book of Acts, they are “increasing day by day.”
I look forward to gathering with you on Thursday, June 18, for our Annual Conference session.