Each year—traditionally in June for the South Georgia Conference—all clergy members and an equal number of lay members selected from the local churches attend their conference’s Annual Conference session and meet together to worship, fellowship, and conduct the business of the conference, which may last 3-5 days. During these sessions, members of the conference hear reports of past and ongoing work; adopt future goals, programs and budgets; ordain clergy members as deacons and elders; and elect delegates to Jurisdictional and General Conferences (every 4 years). The bishop presides over these meetings.
What I witnessed at conference this year was clergy and laity coming together to work toward the mission of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” Conference was a reminder to me of how our church is connected to churches across our state and around the world. It was a reminder that we are better together than we are apart, that God works in miraculous and powerful ways when we are connected, and that our future will be miraculous and powerful because of the strength of our connection to Christ and to each other.
I want to share with you some reflections from our Annual Conference Delegates, Tim and Allison Wall:
- It was an honor to represent our church at Annual Conference, especially being back in person this year.
- It was great to worship and fellowship with our sisters and brothers from across our conference.
- We felt some uncertainty leading up to conference and, as expected, there were some tense moments in regards to the future of the conference and local church disaffiliations; however, we felt encouraged to know that right now our focus is and should be on our church and our mission to bring people to Jesus. As someone said, if we focus too much on the “what ifs” and the “unknowns”, we will miss opportunities to minister to those who need us.
In his Episcopal Address Bishop Graves quoted it best “chill out and do your work” and that’s our hope for Pittman Park. To continue focusing on our work as a church and not worry about tomorrow.
So, Pittman Park, let’s chill out and do our work…together to reach our community for Jesus Christ and for the Kingdom of God. If you would like more updates on the work of our Annual Conference please visit https://www.sgaumc.org/annualconference