NEJ delegates prepare for Special Session of GC
On Saturday Sept. 22, delegates from the 10 Conferences within the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church gathered together at the Westin Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The purpose of the meeting was for delegates to learn how to go about entering the Special Session of General Conference in February 2019 in a Christ-like manner.
The Rev. Bill Allen, head of the Upper New York (UNY) Delegation of the General Conference (GC), attended the event as did all but four of UNY’s 16 delegates. He said, “The gathering was meaningful; it was a way for delegates to develop deeper relationships with others in the Northeastern Jurisdiction. It was a time to prepare us to enter the Special Session of GC in a good place emotionally and spiritually.”
The 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. day included worship, a truly informative report from two members of the Commission on a Way Forward, lunch, and a lot of time devoted to small table meetings where delegates would converse with delegates from other Conferences.
Dr. Scott Johnson of UNY and the Rev. Dr. Tom Salsgiver of the Susquehanna Conference, both Commission on a Way Forward members, as well as West Virginia Area Resident Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball (a Commission on the Way Forward moderator) presented at this gathering. Rev. Allen said, “It was a very helpful presentation. It was less about what their report concluded and more of a discussion on how they came up with the report.” Dr. Johnson, Rev. Salsgiver, and Bishop Steiner Ball also allowed for a time to answer questions about the process to be expected at the Special Session of General Conference.
The way in which this gathering most helped to empower and encourage the delegates was through the small table meetings. Rev. Allen said, “It was a great way to get to know each other.” Delegates sat around the table with others from different Conferences across the NEJ to answer questions, such as “Where have you seen Christ at work in your lives?” and “What feeds your soul outside of church?”
With the Special Session of GC taking place in February, Rev. Bill Allen said that this gathering was a great approach to help delegates not to be outcome-oriented. He said the NEJ Delegate gathering helped answer the question, “How can you work through whatever the outcome is to remain Christ-like?”
Please continue to pray for our Upper New York delegates as they prepare for the Special Session of GC. Click here to learn more about UNY delegates.