There are myriad emotions and thoughts coursing through [and concerning] our denomination following the special session of the General Conference last week. A version of the Traditional Plan was passed, though parts of it are presently deemed unconstitutional and need additional review and work. As the Conference closed, I was reminded of how far we are from perfection. But, the truth is, we have never been perfect as a people called Methodists, as we share the human condition with all others.
Nonetheless, we uphold the distinctive that through our faith in Christ, we are on a path toward perfection, though one that is not without struggle. In the midst of our struggle, and especially in the wake of the General Conference, with confusion, hurt, disappointment, and other feelings, our mission remains. It is a reminder that our faith is not in ourselves, nor our institutions, but in Christ. There is our hope and faith, as God's grace will continue to move us toward the image of Christ. I believe that. While we are not even close to perfection, our struggle enlivens my resolve to serve Christ without end. That is the hope I maintain personally, for our church, and the world.
Despite the passage of legislation, questions certainly remain and many of our members were left rightly confused. I recommened that you follow the UM News Service for the official and latest source of UM news: https://www.umnews.org.
Also, there is a General Conference "de-briefing" session, to clarify information at Kennesaw UMC, March 17, 4-6pm. The Atlanta-Marietta, Northwest, and Rome-Carrolton districts will be joining together for this meeting, which is open to laity and clergy.
In the midst of things pending and yet to be determined following the closing of the special session of General Conference, I believe we should also keep our eyes ahead to the regular session of General Conference in May of 2020. There will be a need to wrap up old business and address new legislation that is submitted; and, a new slate of delegates will be attending to vote on matters. The new delegates will be elected at the Annual Conference sessions this summer, with North Georgia meeting in Athens, June 11-14. I encourage you to stay informed on issues of interest to the North Georgia Annual Conference at: www.ngumc.org.
Yours in Christ,