July 14, 2015

Conference Connectional Table Senses the Holy Spirit

newsLeaders of the California-Pacific Conference were upbeat and enthusiastic in discussing important matters at the organizing meeting of the new Conference Connectional Table.

Held at St. James United Methodist Church (Pasadena, CA) on Monday, July 13, 2015, the meeting began with a music video introduced by Rev. David McGlocklin entitled, “Do Something,” that led the Table to consider what action needed to be taken by each partner in ministry in intentionally embodying the Conference Vision.

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño led the Table in a devotion that affirmed that every second, United Methodists are doing something to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and that we in the California-Pacific Conference are doing this under God’s Vision for us to inspire the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love.

Rev. Dr. Stephen C. Hundley then led the group in a conversation about how our Conference Vision can become real and strategic in the life of the Conference and our local churches.   Five main questions shaped the conversation:

  • How do we train leadership for this Vision?
  • What does the outcome look like?
  • How do we do what we do in a distinctively Wesleyan way?
  • What are the most important measurements for us?
  • Who are we not reaching?

Comments in light of these questions included that:

  • the partnership between Clergy and Laity is critical to ministry vitality
  • a strategic plan must make room for the Holy Spirit
  • the Visioning process was organic, the Vision statement arose from the voices of our local churches, and ministry must be continued in this way
  • we must get to know one another in all of our diversity in a deeper way, perhaps in cultural humility in addition to cultural competency

The Conference Connectional Table also received good news on Apportionments.  Compared to the same time last year, Apportionments given through June 2015 were 2% higher at $4.6 million.

To further bolster its ministry effectiveness the Conference Connectional Table welcomed the Chair and the Director of Camps and Retreat Ministries, as well as the Chair of the newly formed Communications Commission, as participants with voice, but no vote.   The plan is for the Table to bring to Annual Conference 2016 a request for these persons to be added to the Table in line with the membership approved by Annual Conference 2015.

In addition, the Table moved to elect Rev. Lui Tran to serve on the Conference Rules Committee in response to a referral made to it by the 2015 Annual Conference.

The meeting ended with the sharing of celebrations from the various ministry areas represented at the Table and with a commitment to working as a team.  Hand in hand, the Table sang the doxology before moving into the mission field.