Tomorrow (well, actually today), I'm on my way to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in preparation to attend General Conference as a part of the delegation from my Annual Conference (Southwest Texas). In this blog, I'm going to record my impressions and hopefully joys in seeing my first General Conference of the United Methodist Church. I speak for no one besides myself. I welcome your comments!
I am a 36 year old first career UMC pastor, ordained elder in 2003. I pastor a medium sized church in Austin, TX, although I will be moving to McAllen, TX in the Rio Grande Valley this June. I am the daughter of a retired clergy and a retired schoolteacher. My husband is also pursuing a call to ministry.
Just to tell you what our delegation has already done in preparation for this event. We have met several times, and I was incredibly happy to find out that all elected, from the head of the delegation to the last alternate to Jurisdictional was made to feel a part of the team. We've gotten together multiple times over the past 7 months to discuss theological, political and practical concerns about the decisions we will make. We've pored over documents and some of our delegation have even written petitions to the GC. I'm extraodrinarily proud that our delegation includes 4 of us under the age of 40 and several more in their 40's. It is a good cross-section of our Annual Conference, and I have been profoundly moved in my faith by our discussions. The amount of work that people on the delegation have put into helping us be as prepared as we can be is staggering.
That being said, I don't know what the next couple of weeks have in store. I don't know if or how much time I might have on the floor, given that I'm only an alternate for Jurisdictional. But I intend to go and aide our delegates and offer a newbie's eye view of the proceedings. Please continue to pray for all of us as we seek to listen to the Holy Spirit move and find joy in the discernment!