May 30, 2023
This week, Council of Bishops President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton released a brief video message for annual conferences and local churches. The presentation is intended for use at their gatherings and/or via their communication channels. It was filmed and produced by United Methodist Communications and is available for viewing at UMC.org/future on the denomination’s official website.
The message builds off of points included in Bishop Bickerton’s Mid-Term State of The United Methodist Church Address and his address to the Council of Bishops in which he encouraged members to ” reclaim, revive and renew” the beloved United Methodist connection.
“It’s now time for you and me to work together to architect the next expression of United Methodism. The future of The United Methodist Church hinges on our ability to deeply pray that God will give us the strength and the courage to do what we must, what we have been called to do all along,” stated Bishop Bickerton. “Let’s offer our radical love, genuine hospitality, and sincere engagement.”
He stressed the importance of members inviting others to church as “ministry is always about building relationships and it’s always about taking someone along with you on the journey toward Christ-like holiness.” And that a renewed focus and response to making disciples for Jesus Christ is needed because “the missional work we have before us is absolutely vital.”
“What we have must be passed on with purpose and conviction,” he added. “Our ministries, our faith in Christ, our presence in communities around the world. These are vibrant, lifegiving, transformative opportunities to make this world a better place – the place that God envisioned for all of us. . . where everyone can thrive.”
“Bishop Bickerton has asked members to be architects of the UMC’s next steps, but in order to build you need the right tools,” said Jennifer Rodia the Chief Communications Officer at United Methodist Communications. “As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church denomination we’re honored to be a part of delivering timely resources and messaging, such as this inspirational video, to help churches at such a time as this. We hope that it will serve as an encouragement for members and leaders alike.”