LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE: AC2019Posted: May 28, 2019
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works.”
One of my prayers for the coming Annual Conferences is that we will let our light shine in such a way that those on the outside watching might say what was said of the early Christians, “See how they love one another.” When we shine the light of Christ and remove our egos from the process, we will offer a path for those broken by sin and grief to come near. The love that Christ offers will make a way for estrangements to be healed.
It would be naive of me to think that this session of Annual Conference will be without some measure of tension. It seems as if the bloggers have been relentless for the last two years and especially since the special session of General Conference.
We acknowledge that in our context, some left St. Louis thankful for the legislation that was passed. Others left feeling harmed. Among our people in the Nashville Episcopal Area, we have both. When we gather I pray that the Holy Spirit that calls us to faithfulness will bear witness to us in a mighty way.
I have a request: I ask you to lay aside your positions, your anger, your frustrations and come to Annual Conference shining the light of Christ with all you encounter.
We will NOT deal with matters related to the special session of General Conference. There are no action items to come before the Annual Conference.
We will honor those who have entered the Church Triumphant.
We will celebrate those who have given faithfully their lives in ministry and are choosing the retired relationship.
We will elect delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference.
This is important work. These persons represent us.
These persons will participate in shaping the future of our denomination. The General Conference is the only body with authority to speak for the United Methodist Church.
One common misunderstanding is that some people think bishops have voting privileges at General Conference. We do not.
Only those you elect to represent Conferences have the privilege of voting. We will want to elect those who will let their light shine before others.
We will present the resolution for a new conference.
If the vote is in the affirmative for the new conference, we will begin planning for a historic session of Annual Conference in 2020 to celebrate, give thanks, and remember who we have been.
The timeline is as follows:
June 2019 Final Vote for a New Conference
June 2020 Historic Conference Celebration
July 2020 Southeast Jurisdictional Conference
Fall 2020 Special Session of the New Conference to elect officers for the quadrennium.
We will order the ministry of our clergy.
We will care for the administrative matters that come before the conference, including adopting a budget.
We will have great worship and great music!
So come and let your light shine before others!
Your Servant for Christ’s Sake,