I've enjoyed reading the reports from all the UMC conference meetings. It's interesting to get a sense of the different annual conference personalities, of the issues which are most important to them, and of some of the ways they do their work somewhat differently than we do in North Georgia UMC.
I appreciate the strong missional response in Virginia. They had opportunity for all the congregations of the conference to respond with funding and participation that shows some big collective numbers. "Members collected 53,469 kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, including 26,617 health kits and 944 cleaning buckets. The Society of St. Andrew’s “Potato Drop” involved more than 220 participants who unloaded and packed 39,000 pounds of sweet potatoes that went out to 12 feeding agencies in Virginia and West Virginia." Wow, did all those kits arrive at Annual Conference?
In addition, they really got my attention with a subtle, yet important way they showcase ALL those who fall under the auspices of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Is this the norm in most conferences? Does someone have a link, or copy, of the order of worship for this service?
"At the Ordering of Ministry service there were 25 people licensed as local pastors, one received as an associate member, 20 commissioned as provisional members, one ordained as a deacon and 19 ordained as elders."
I like this inclusivee approach and hope some UM's out there will teach me more about the ways the VAUMC, and perhaps other conferences, are doing this.
VA UMC Conference Report