Tuesday, March 20, 2007

General Conference Tuesday

(200 posts - woohooo!!)

General Conference Tuesday - DRUMC Style

Dear Del Rosa Family,

Spring is definitely in the air, and it has come early. Another element to the rhythms of United Methodist life is General Conference. General Conference comes every four years (Presidential Election years to be exact) and 2008 is to be the next. You may ask why I would start talking about General Conference so soon, and to be honest I am as surprised as you are that I am, yet things are already afoot.

General Conference is the official governing body of the United Methodist Church, and is the time when the Book of Resolutions has added documents, and the Book of Discipline gets its revisions and changes. When General Conference goes well it shapes the church for the coming quadrennium. The hopes and agendas of the church are carried out during this 2 week conference of United Methodists from around the world.

Some idea of what was happening at General Conference is recounted here. One item was the limitation of the Central Conferences in their ability to send delegates. This was to ensure the United States had the majority power for a little while longer. The are more insidious and more amenable understandings of each action General Conference makes. A few years ago (1996) the General Conference changed the way ordination would take place, and in 2004 we changed who counted as clergy. Mind you, these are the items that caught my attention.

I mention this entire affair as a way of reminding you that if you are interested in the issues that will shape the next four years in the United Methodist Church now is the time. Check out the Book of Resolutions and the Book of Discipline as a way of educating yourself about the form and function of the United Methodist Church. Each of these books are available in the office and can be checked out for your reading.

If you have an issue you want us to discuss more directly the United Methodist Church provides for direct action by use of petition. You can, whether you are a delegate to General Conference or not, write a petition that will be considered on the floor of General Conference. This can address concerns or additions of the Discipline. The petition can also create a new resolution for the church, which helps direct the manner in which we spend our money and resources and the issues facing the nation and world in which we live.

Now is also the time to consider who you might want to represent you at General Conference, whether it is specific clergy or laity who are delegates to Annual Conference, or particular types of persons, young, old, representing particular issues or agencies of the church, or types of theological outlook. If you have persons you would like us to consider, please share those with Walda Gorian, Harry Ulmer or myself. We are the representatives from Del Rosa UMC and will have voice and vote at the next Annual Conference. While we do maintain the right and privilege to vote our conscience, it is helpful for us to know where you would like to have the church headed and what is important to you.

May you use this time to be in prayer for our delegates to Annual Conference, to General Conference, and Jurisdictional Conference (the gathering of the United Methodist Church for the Conferences in the Western Jurisdiction, which includes the Western States). Be in prayer for the vision and hope of the United Methodist Church. And most especially be in prayer that God will continue to shape this church as an active and vital part of the entire United Methodist Connection.


Pastor David



At March 22, 2007, Blogger gavin richardson said...

200 a milestone!! yeah!!

i'd say, vote gavin.. but yall can't, bummer

At March 22, 2007, Blogger David said...

You know I would too, Gavin.

And at the risk of divulging state secrets the Cal-Pac young adult clergy are trying to form support behind a single candidate - who is yet TBD.


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