Why do we have a General Conference every three years? “We come first of all to worship and to pray. We come to inspire involvement and build momentum in our movement. We come to teach leaders and influencers. We come to build relationships. We come to celebrate our accomplishments and our diversity as a movement. And then there are some business matters to attend to.” – From Bishop Keith’s GC 2014 video. To view the entire video click here.
This year’s theme, “We Have Everything We Need?!” was inspired by 2 Peter 1:3, “3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Will Willimon. He is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as the dean of Duke Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He was also the UMC Bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Dr. Willimon is the author of 60 books with more than a million copies sold.
One of the core values of the FMCiC is connection. As Dan Sheffield, Director of Intercultural and Global Ministries, told me, “We want to create “intentional-people-together-times.” Regional Gatherings, Network Meetings and General Conference provide opportunities to foster connection and build relationships. I think he means let’s talk to each other when at conference.
On that note, Kim Henderson, Director of Personnel, suggested that newcomers attend the Newcomer Orientation hosted by Bishop Keith as it is a great way to get the lay of the General Conference land and meet some other new folks.
Kim also told me, “Come prepared. Read all the documentation ahead of time. Bring the documentation in printed form or downloaded on your tablet or laptop – whatever you are comfortable with, but come prepared.”
Marc McAlister, Director of Church Health, offered me this gem, “Don’t wear your bathing suit to the restaurant.” Hopefully this is common sense for most of us Marc – but thanks for putting it out there.
Who’s that annoying girl popping up everywhere shooting video and taking photos? Yeah, that’s me. Be kind – they make me do it!
If you are not attending General Conference you can follow all the action on Facebook, Twitter and the Live Stream from the main page of FMCiC website.
And the #1 thing you need to know about General Conference is that we need you to pray. Pray for those attending General Conference. Pray for the connection piece. Pray for the business of the church piece. Pray that the Holy Spirit would be present throughout General Conference and that those in attendance would pause and acknowledge God’s presence.