Posted by: morgan1965 | June 7, 2009

Going to Conference

Many West Virginia Conference United Methodists are preparing to assemble in Wesley Chapel on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. We are going to participate in the 2009 session of the West Virginia Annual Conference. Yes, there is an air of excitement among us; we are going to conference.

As a child growing up in a Methodist parsonage, I experienced the preparation that my parents made for going to conference. I knew that this was going to be a very special event. They would be able to participate in dynamic worship, see old friends, and wait to hear the reading of the pastoral appointments at the end of conference.

My siblings and I only had one interest in going to conference. My parents would take us with them on Sunday, the last day of the Old Delaware Conference session. We knew that we would see our maternal grandfather and other relatives. On arrival at the site of conference, we would launch a search for him until we found him. We also would get to eat at a restaurant (a rare thing for our family in those days). Going to conference was fun for me.

When I became a pastor, some of the childhood fantasy about going to annual conference was replaced by a more mature understanding of the spiritual nature of annual conference. Conference for me still contains an element of fun, but I am energized by the joyful worship (singing, preaching, prayers, etc.). I enjoy the rich fellowship of gathering with the laity and the clergy from across the nine districts. It is inspiring to meet people who are attending conference for the first time, because the experience for them is usually spiritually alive and uplifting.

The business of annual conference is important, but it does not define the annual conference experience. It is the spirituality of the annual conference experience that defines the business. Conference is about more than budgets, reports, resolutions, parliamentary procedures, banquets and appointments. Conference is about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We must bathe the conference experience in prayer, so I have been praying for a spirit filled conference. I am asking God to lead us and guide us in all that we do as members of the conference.

I invite you to be in prayer for the West Virginia Annual Conference in session from June 11-14, 2009. If you are not a member of conference [delegate], please come by and fellowship with us.

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