May 14, 2010

What is a Methodist Annual Conference?

The second week of June our pastors and lay leaders will attend the 2010 edition of Annual Conference in Fort Worth. As several bothers and sisters ask me each year what Annual Conference is, then let me provide something of an answer. An Annual Conference in the United Methodist Church is a regional body that governs much of the life of the broader or “Connectional Church.”

There are many Annual Conferences in world Methodism and they are composed primarily of the clergy members and lay member(s) from each ecclesial charge. On occasion people ask “what is a charge?” The answer is that a charge is one or more churches yoked together and served by a minister under Bishop Lowry’s appointment (in our Central Texas AC case). Generally every annual conference is a geographical division. In Texas we have five annual conferences with the Rio Grande Annual Conference superimposed over several others.

Next week in the blast/blog we will further explore the unique church structure that Mr. Wesley gave us Methodists, but this year one exciting things that will happen is with regard to missions—and we are a “One Mile Mission” Church—concerns wiping out Malaria as a dreaded world disease.

The Central Texas Conference’s Mission Leadership Team selected at their annual meeting March 6 “Imagine No Malaria” for the 2010 Annual Conference offering. Our launch date of April 25 coincides with World Malaria Day with a special emphasis at the 2010 Annual Conference June 6-9 in Fort Worth and a continuation throughout the year and beyond.

Pray for all our delegates as we represent a great church—FUMC, Arlington, Texas.

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