Bishop Ward welcomes persons to the 2015 Annual Conference in Wilmington by sharing some of the many inspiring highlights.
Grace and peace to you, United Methodist friends in the North Carolina Annual Conference.
Tomorrow, the Annual Conference session convenes and it is a family reunion, a great in-gathering, friends old and new, gather as lay and clergy members, not delegates, but members of the Annual Conference. We belong together. We “member” this body as we celebrate, as we worship, as we learn, as we discern together, and as we go forth into mission. We indeed are members of the body of Christ together as we convene.
On Thursday evening, we have a wonderful offering for the entire community. You’re invited to come. Sarah Groves, a contemporary Christian artist, will present a concert. Sarah’s music is very missional, and you will leave singing her songs, humming her tunes, delighted to be alive into Christ’s mission in the world. An offering for Imagine No Malaria will be received at that open concert, as well as earlier in the Annual Conference formally. It’ll also be received in your contributions online or through texting. Our generosity together will surprise us I believe, as God leads us to give in amazing ways to end malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On Saturday morning, Annual Conference will conclude with the ordering of ministry, as we bless lay Hispanic missioners and local pastors and those who will be commissioned and ordained, and as we all go forth to live the gospel in the communities in which we are planted for this season of our lives.
Thank you for your partnership in every good work and for a grand time together next week in unity, in joy, in the Spirit.