Monday, May 14, 2012

Mission Central Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Bishop Neil L. Irons shares the history, ministry, and vision of Mission Central, the mission warehouse of the Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church.

Monday, May 7, 2012

U.M. General Conference 2012- A Time of Discernment

The Bishop, our communications director, and several other coworkers returned this weekend from two weeks at the United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. The General Conference calls together delegates from all of the United Methodist conferences all around the world to discuss important denominational issues. 

The biggest change is that clergy appointments will no longer be guaranteed. "Guaranteed appointments are a major contributing factor to mediocrity and ineffectiveness, the ministry study commission told the United Methodist Council of Bishops at its recent spring meeting," wrote Heather Hahn of the United Methodist News Service. This concerns some pastors who feel they could quickly be dismissed if not viewed as effective clergy members.

"The Rev. Jim Bryan, senior pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, Mo., and a former district superintendent, said sometimes the most gracious and loving thing is for church leaders to help ineffective pastors find their true calling outside pastoral ministry," wrote Hahn.

Other issues discussed at the Annual Conference often had a fair amount of dissenting views. Part of the beauty of the United Methodist Church is that we gather together 988 international lay and clergy delegates to decide on a direction for the future of our denomination.  Much of the fodder on Twitter circled around the feeling of under-representation. While this may be true, we still should feel blessed that we are given the opportunity to peacefully convene together, rather than being locked out of a room with a handful of people making key choices for the future of the church.

May we remember to pray for these leaders as they have the difficult task to listen to God's people and prayerfully discern God's will amid many complex issues.