FUMC New Albany | 207 East Bankhead | New Albany, MS 38652 | (662) 534-2206

The Pastor’s Pen

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I would like to extend to you an invitation to our upcoming listening session on January 27 at 3:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. The purpose of our time together is to review ALL the plans to be submitted to the upcoming special-called General Conference to be held February 23-26 in St. Louis, MO.

While this will be a time of learning and listening, it is NOT a time for speeches and scoring points. Those present are asked to limit their comments to questions pertaining to the plans being submitted for consideration by the General Conference. The most important value I hope to see displayed on January 27 is kindness.

With that being said, I’d like to offer a few rules for living as we approach both our listening session and General Conference:

1—Be Kind
Our church is doing incredibly well. New people visit seemingly every week, our giving is at an historic high, and we are unified in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. However, a lack of charity to one another can tear apart much of our momentum in ministry. Therefore, let every word we say and every action we take be grounded in kindness.

2—Have Faith
Many people are quite nervous about what the General Conference will or won’t do in February. Know that the United Methodist Church has survived 50 years of debate on questions of human sexuality. Hopefully, the coming special-called General Conference will bring resolution to our conflict.
Trust that God is at work in this process in ways we can’t yet see. Whatever the outcome, trust that God will continue to bless the “people called Methodist” and our congregation in particular.

3—Support the United Methodist Church|
I love the United Methodist Church. It is the church of my baptism and my ordination to ministry. I’ve served the church in many capacities including Chair of the Conference Board of Pensions and Chair of the District Committee on Ministry. I’m currently on the board of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation and chair the Conference Board of Trustees. I’m United Methodist to the core.

Of course, I realize that we have some real difficulties to work through as a denomination. But you know what? I’m growing more and more positive that something good will come out of our global gathering next month in St. Louis. Never forget that regardless of what we may say or do, Jesus Christ is still Lord of the church.
If you have any questions about the happenings in our church or denomination, please call me, and we’ll grab a cup of coffee. I look forward to seeing you on January 27.