General Conference, May 14

May 14, 2016
The Saturday, May 14th session of General Conference began with an Intergenerational prelude by the Tamba Marimba Ensemble and liturgical dance by the Worship in Motion Dancers. Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar from the New England Annual Conference preached a sermon titled, “Listening to God’s Dream” drawn from Matthew 2:1-12.

Bishop Devadhar likened our time in Portland to the journey of the wise men saying, “We have been chosen to embark on an important journey to Portland for these two weeks…  We are here to do the serious business of the Church, knowing that our decisions have an impact upon all churches … all over the world.  You have been elected by your clergy and lay colleagues to represent them because of your wisdom and leadership in the Church.”
He went on to state,”if we truly listen to one another, and strive to learn from one another, we may correct our course and really find Jesus. Furthermore, if we listen for the voice of God, extraordinary things will happen.”

After opening worship, we transition straight into our plenary session where we were reminded by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey that, even though we are leaving our worship service, we should still be in worship mode as we enter into doing the business of the church.

Peter Cibuabua andChelsea Spyres delivered the Ministry with Young People address.  The address was a collaborative effort that they started on right about one year ago. Although, separated by many miles,  Peter is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chelsea is a Global Mission Fellow that lives in Michigan, they were able to do months of work by collaborating via Skype.

Peter and Chelsea shared, “We hope that through our voices you hear the challenges our generation is facing and solutions we are finding, so that together we can build the church of God with Love, faith and Hope.” Afterwards, in response to a question about differences between the older and younger generations , Peter stated that younger generations of United Methodists would rather focus on the “United” part of our denomination. As Peter put it, we are “one church, one spirit, one body because we have one God.”

The rest of Saturday was spent in Legislative Committees.