Technically delegates had Sunday as a day of rest, but there were many activities for the delegates to engage in. Many of the bishops were scheduled to speak at various UM churches throughout the Tampa area.
Rev. Debbie Wallace-Padgett, clergy delegate from Kentucky and an Episcopal candidate, spoke at the spirited COSROW (Commission on the Status & Role of Women) 40th anniversary celebration. Along with Wallace-Padgett, the message was delivered by two other elders, Pamela Lightsey and Carmen Scheuerman.
Another event on Sunday was the Missionary Commissioning Service. Seventeen people were commissioned as Deaconesses and Home Missioners, and 17 were commissioned as Global Missionaries.
The evening plenary session, "We Need a River": A Plenary Celebration and Challenge of the Mission and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, began with announcements concerning the calendar and agenda for the upcoming week.
Then we were called into a spirit of worship by song "We Need a River, Come to the Water." Afterwards we began to hear the wonderful stories of mission work throughout our connection: celebrating one hundred years of the Girl Scouts , whose first troop met here in Tampa at the Hyde Park UMC; stories of how our Four Areas of Focus have had an impact, such as building Urban Village, a new church plant in Chicago, that has built a "church" that is "people focused and not property focused"; celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Communities of Shalom a movement that grew out of the civil unrest that resulted after riots that ensued in 1992 in Los Angeles and many other missionary endeavors.
Celebration of the mission and ministry of the UMC. Photo by Cathy Bruce