Bishop Ward shares about the important work we are called to as a church after Annual Conference.
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who makes us strong.
On Saturday morning, we concluded the 2014 session of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
As we concluded the business of the conference, we fixed the clergy appointments and sang over and over again, a chorus, “Be brave, be strong, for the Lord, your God is with you.” This is our prayer for you this day, United Methodist laity and clergy.
It is our prayer that every congregation of the North Carolina Annual Conference will grow from strength to strength, without fear, standing strong, being brave in every community, reaching our arms out in love and service to the world, gathering all people.
This is the mission of our church – to make disciples of all people for the transformation of the world.
As we go forth, we look forward to a marvelous witness of radiant light in the months and the year ahead. I ask you for two particular things. First, become a congregation for children. Connect with an elementary or middle or high school near you, and extend the love of Christ to children in your community, in your public schools.
And second, think of creative ways so that great generosity may flow through your church in Imagine No Malaria, a campaign of the entire United Methodist Church, to eradicate malaria from the face of the earth.
Hundreds of thousands of people continue to die each year from malaria, and most of these people who die are children under the age of five. Let us renew our commitment to love children just as Jesus loved them.
May you be blessed in these ministries and in all that you do in the name of Jesus Christ. Be brave. Be strong and know the Lord, our God, is with you.