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March 16, 2016

Introduction to the 32nd Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference

message-bishop-newBrothers and Sisters,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus! I am so looking forward to greeting you at our 2016 Annual Conference Session! We will be gathering just a few weeks after our United Methodist General Conference and just a few weeks before our Western Jurisdictional Conference. We are a connectional people!

What happens at both of these connectional conferences will impact our life and ministry in Cal-Pac so your Sessions team decided to work to help us bring General Conference 2016 home and prepare for Jurisdictional Conference. So we will carry the General Conference theme of "Therefore Go… Proclaim, Lead, Nurture, Send” …from Portland to Redlands!

Your delegation to General Conference will serve as key leaders at Annual Conference helping us to understand the decisions that will have been made in Portland. It is our hope that they will also guide us in Christian Conferencing around our Methodist identity and beliefs as well as our world-wide nature as a denomination, both of which are to be considered at General Conference.

As your delegation, volunteers and observers from our conference, and I return from General Conference, we will be accompanied by Bishop Gabriel Unda, the episcopal leader of the East Congo Conference, our youngest annual conference in the connection. Bishop Unda will be itinerating among our churches in Southern California and will be preaching at the opening service of the annual conference session. I am praying that we will find a way to be mission partners with Bishop Unda and his conference for the years to come.

At our annual conference session we will also begin to pray for our Western Jurisdictional Conference. With the retirement of Bishop Warner Brown, we will be electing one new bishop for our jurisdiction. Annual Conference will be a time for us to discern whether Cal-Pac is being called to lift up one of its own Elders for consideration for the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church.

Please join me in praying for the many persons who are helping to prepare for our upcoming annual conference session. And pray for our General and Western Jurisdictional Conferences. All of United Methodism is being asked to pray for General Conference and we in Cal-Pac have been asked to pray throughout the entire day of May 1, 2016 that God may bless our General Conference.

We know that God goes ahead of us.

Your sister in Christ,

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