February 14, 2019
By Alan Wild
Team members working to envision potential scenarios following the upcoming called special General Conference held their second of two meetings Monday, Feb. 11, at the Conference Center in Crestwood and plan to continue working on specific focus areas even beyond GC.
The sub-groups of three or four people each are focusing on various areas of emphasis, including prayer, communication, stewardship, and support for both clergy and lay leaders in the Kentucky Annual Conference.
“What I’ve witnessed from our scenario-planning team are men and women from across our Annual Conference letting go of their own agenda for the sake of the Kingdom,” Bishop Leonard Fairley said in an email request for a comment on the team’s work.
“Scenario-planning is creating sacred space for the work of the Holy Spirit,” the bishop continued. “It is a courageous and simple ‘letting go and letting God’ fill the spaces of our anxiety in order for His preferred future to be revealed. It is not sitting back and passively waiting,” but a strategy to “live into all God’s great possibilities for a future with hope.”
The scenarios team is made up of about two dozen clergy, laity and KAC staff. It was designed to be a short-term team to respond to questions from people wondering whether the KAC is anticipating what could happen after General Conference. Depending on the outcome, some churches or individuals could leave the denomination or withhold apportionments in protest, among other scenarios.
Most of the planning and work at Monday’s meeting involved making sure each of about a half-dozen sub-teams were on target to carry out their respective tasks, such as encouraging and leading intentional prayer across the Conference.
Craig Robertson, who served as facilitator of the team, said afterward that he was pleased with the progress the group has made. The work that the group and sub-teams are doing will continue beyond General Conference as needed, he said.
General Conference, Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, is a special session called specifically to consider the UMC’s policies on LGBTQ persons. Ten delegates – five clergy and five laity – will represent the KAC. Four alternates also are part of Kentucky’s delegation.
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church and normally meets every four years.
Darren Brandon, Eric Bryant, Kevin Burney, Tami Coleman, Bishop Fairley, Tony Franklin, David Garvin, Mark Gibbons, John Hatton, William Herndon, Esther Jadhav, Neil Janes, Mike Kenner, Julie Hager Love, Jere McIntyre, William Moore, Pam Moran, Craig Robertson (facilitator), Adam Shourds, Brad Smart, Mark Walz Jr., James Williams.