In this video, Bishop Hope shares the vision for the Conference and the local church in the coming year. Learn more about the vision by following the links in the transcript below.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. As we enter into this fall season in our local churches, I give thanks to each of you for your leadership.
The life of your congregation is making a difference in your community, and in the wider world. Together, we are a connectional people. We share a life with one another across the expanse of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
In the weeks after the 2014 Annual Conference, the superintendents and I spent a day apart thinking and evaluating and praying. What have we seen continually emerging in our life? What’s most important for us to pay attention to at this time in our life together?
Five things emerged that day. Our continued emphasis on Effective Leadership. Our continued emphasis on Healthy Congregations. Our continued work with children in every community through Congregations for Children. Our continued work in partnership with all United Methodist people to eradicate malaria from sub Saharan Africa through Imagine No Malaria, and our desires at Annual Conference, so beautifully demonstrated by overwhelming vote, that we remain United.
The cabinet has embraced these 5 touchstones for this Conference year. These are not new ideas to us. We have been speaking of these things for some time, but at this particular time, we are aligned around this particular call to ministry in this Conference year.
Each superintendent will be working these 5 areas of ministry through the year with you. The Connectional table affirmed them this week at their meeting in Garner. At the charge conferences, every church will be called to pay attention, to focus, to engage, in these 5 ways, and when the pastor parish committees meet with clergy this fall, these questions will be raised as we evaluate our shared ministry.
All this is done in an effort to be attentive to the place that God is calling us. We give thanks for the way the Spirit is moving and we look forward to our life together as we grow in leadership, as we become healthier in every congregation, as we work with children in our public schools through church school partnerships called Congregations for Children, as we offer generosity to eradicate malaria through the Imagine No Malaria campaign in The United Methodist Church, and as we live in beautiful and wonderful, challenging and yet victorious, unity together.
Indeed, may the peace of Christ be with you this day.