Order of Elders Gathering, a wonderful experience
On Thursday Dec. 6, 175 Ordained Elders across the Upper New York Conference joined Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb for the Order of Elders Gathering at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, NY. The event included spirited worship and fellowship.
The featured speaker was Bishop Grant Hagiya from the California-Pacific Annual Conference. He introduced attendees to two ideas that could help them understand how to continue to be united as the Church enters the unknown.
- One idea is known as convicted humility. Bishop Hagiya said, “This is an attitude which combines honesty about the differing convictions which divide us with humility about the way in which each of our views may stand in need of corrections. It also involves humble repentance for all the ways in which we have spoken and acted as those seeking to win a fight rather than those called to discern the shape of faithfulness together. In that spirit, we wish to lift up the shared core commitments which define the Wesleyan movement, and ground our search for wisdom and holiness. They are offered as a starting point for conversation, and a reminder that what unites us is deeper and more central than what divides. “
- The other idea introduced was liminality, which is the sacred space in between the old ways and the new, unknown future. This involves breaking away from familiar ways or cycles and waiting before entering the new.
As we approach Special Session of General Conference, next February, the ideas of convicted humility and liminality that are now planted in the Elders of the Upper New York Conference will serve to help keep us deeply rooted in our connection and common purpose even as we face uncertainty in our way forward.