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Message from Bishop Escobedo-Frank: Prayerful Anticipation of General Conference

Video Transcript:
Good morning everyone. I am Dottie Escobedo-Frank, the Bishop of the California-Pacific Conference, and I send you greetings today and wanted to have a word with you before we go into the general conference season.

The focus and theme of general conference comes from Psalm 46 where it says, God is our refuge and our strength. Later on in that chapter it says, be still and know that I am God.
At this moment, we take refuge and strength, not in our own understanding, but in who God is because of who God is, because of God’s strength. Because God is our refuge, we can just be still knowing that God is God. The California-Pacific Annual Conference believes that everyone is of equal value in God’s sight. Because of this, we seek justice for all during this time, mercy for all.

As we follow the way of Christ, we believe that there is inclusion for everyone. So whether we are conservative or progressive, or whether we believe things differently than other people, this is the time where we come together as United Methodists at the table. I believe there’s a big table, a table that is big enough to meet the wideness of God’s mercy and God’s grace for us. This big table is one that includes you, it includes me, includes people who are like us and people who are not like us.

The United Methodist Church has a long history of dealing with difficult situations. In 1956, we decided to ordain women, and that was a big difficult decision for the church at that time. There have been other issues that we have taken on over time and decided. God’s with us in a different way during this time. This moment in our history is one more of those times where we focus what is needed in our world today. You know, the world is hurting. There’s so much going on around us that we really need to pay attention and focus our gifts to help our world. Remembering that Christ died for the world. For God so loved the world. It says, it doesn’t say God just loved the church. It says, for God so loved the world.

In this moment, we ask that we be focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and of ending spiritual and physical hunger. I pray that you would pray with me as travelers come from around the globe to arrive at general conference. I pray that you’d pray for the delegates as they make decisions, the staff as they surround them, and those who will be deeply impacted by the decisions that are made. Thank you again for all the ways you’ve been Christ in the world today, and I look forward to seeing you again, and I am grateful. And thank you for the prayers that you have given the people.