Annual Conference Reflections!
Grace and peace to you all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
As we are all processing the events that took place at Annual Conference, I have to just say how very proud I am to serve as the Chairperson of our WCA chapter. Everyone stepped up to the plate from setting up the WCA table and being there engaging with people to preparing for and defending legislation to speaking up at the microphone on the floor of plenary to the kindness and respect exhibited by each and every one representing the orthodox perspective. A special shoutout to Nate for the work he did ahead of time in preparing and for handling himself so well in section and on the plenary floor. You all are amazing disciples of Jesus and demonstrated His love and grace!
We had an incredible speaker in the Rev. Dr. Bob Kaylor that packed out the Ballroom East and inspired and challenged all who heard. In case you missed it or would like to see his message, Scott Miller videotaped most of it and graciously shared it with us. You can find it on our YouTube channel by clicking the link here:
Many of you had asked for a copy of his manuscript and it is attached to this email. Listed below are the list of books that he referenced:
Danker, Ryan and Ken Collins, ed. The Next Methodism: Theological, Social, and Missional Foundations for Global Methodism (Seedbed).
Haidt, Jonathan. “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.” The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/social-media-democracy-trust-babel/629369/.
Kreider, Alan. The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire (Baker Academic, 2016).
Trueman, Carl. The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution. He has also come out with a shorter, more accessible version of this book titled Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution. Both are published by Crossway.
As for the work that happened at Annual Conference, a lot of revealing discussions happened that helped those in attendance to hear where people stand on a host of issues. Some of those discussions centered around social issues while others focused on the future of the denomination and the bishop’s vision for the future of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. All of that is good in that it gives people more information and perspective as both churches and clergy discern whether to stay in the UMC or to disaffiliate and join the GMC.
There is a lot of work to do as we move forward together. The most important work, of course, is making disciples of Jesus who make disciples who continually offer the love and grace of Jesus to a hurting, broken world. The technical work of getting from where we are denominationally to where we want to be is also a vital and important work. As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, continue to pray for wisdom and discernment in order that all that we do will point people to Him.