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September 23, 2014

Episcopal Message: September 2014

messageGrace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus!

I wanted to give you an update on the work of your conference leaders and staff. We are off and running!

Imagine No Malaria

In July we said thank you and good bye to Katie Kevorkian for her hard and faithful work as our INM Coordinator. With her help we assessed our progress and what is yet to be done to meet our $3 Million Cal-Pac goal. In September we welcomed our new INM Coordinator, Toni Bond Leonard. Toni is an experienced fund raiser who is already leading us in a plan for continuing to support our local congregations in their engagement in INM. We are blessed to have coordinators like Katie and Toni through the financial support of our connectional church.

One of the most exciting things that has happened recently related to INM is the “Imagine Ride,” with Pastor Andy Mattick (Simi Valley United Methodist Church) and Mark Witman, who took to the road to get the word out about how we can save the lives of children by giving to Imagine No Malaria. They exceeded both their mileage and fundraising goals, biking 600 miles and raising $25,150!  Read more about their trip at imagineride.com

Our Cal-Pac Vision

Our vision of inspiring the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love has been the focus of our work at several tables. Our Mission Cabinet went on retreat earlier this month and worked hard on considering how we give hands and feet to this vision God has given us. Working with Scott Brewer, Associate General Secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration, and Erin Hawkins, General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, we considered critical statistics that showed us where we have opportunities to grow our ministry and how we need to do it in order to reach out to ALL God’s children.

Our Conference Table, a broad gathering of elected conference leaders, Cabinet and staff, then met and built on the work initiated by our Mission Cabinet going deeper in beginning to frame a strategic direction to help us live out our vision. As we met, we recognized the incredible work that each local church and each district did from Epiphany Sunday of this year and through the Spring on our visioning process. Your connectional work enabled us to bring the powerful vision statement that was embraced by our 2014 Annual Conference Session.

Allow me to thank you for all your good work in our visioning process:

  • We received 16,000 responses from Epiphany Day.  Thank you!
  • We had 1,400 participants in 9 district gatherings.  Thank you!
  • We had additional gatherings with our Korean clergy and lay as well as our youth and young adults.  Thank you!

We cannot thank you enough!  We do our best work when we work together connected to each other. The connectional nature of our United Methodist Church is one of our greatest strengths. We are now organizing the responses you in our local churches sent us for our conference visioning process. We will send the responses from your local church back to you for your ongoing work of living into the Vision that now binds us together. Together we can live as those who move out into the world each day inspiring the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love!

Congregational Loan and Rules and Structure Task Forces

You may remember that in my Episcopal Address to our 2014 Annual Conference Session I reported that I believed that our ministry as the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church could be helped by strengthening our Congregational Loan Program and aligning our rules and structure with our mission and vision. I am pleased to report that we have organized both of these task forces.

The Congregational Loan Program Task Force is holistically reviewing the current structure and fruitfulness of our California-Pacific Conference Congregational Loan Program. Its primary goal is to make Congregational Loans a vibrant program for the local churches of the Cal-Pac Conference.

The Rules and Structure Task Force is reviewing our present rules and structure with the primary goals of aligning them to our Mission and Vision. The Task Force is also assuring that our rules and structure are consistent with the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.

These Task Forces will bring a report to our 2015 Annual Conference Session including recommendations.

I give God thanks for the faithfulness of the people of the California-Pacific Conference! I know God is blessing our work and I am so very hopeful for our future as God’s people, servant leaders in the name of Christ Jesus.

God bless you!

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
United Methodist Church
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