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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    UNY shares observations from General Conference

    April 30, 2024 / By UNY Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    United Methodists for all over the world are gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina from April 23-May 3 for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Elected clergy and laity delegates from 133 annual conferences, including delegates from Africa, Europe, and the Philippines, normally meet once every four years, but that wasn’t possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which postponed the top policy-making body of The UMC three times.  

    There are several representatives from Upper New York at General Conference, including ten delegates, reserve delegates, and volunteers. Ian Urriola is serving as a lay delegate and describes the atmosphere as Spirit-filled. 

    “My sense of the overall spirit throughout legislative committee rooms last week is that this is a General Conference unlike any other. This is a General Conference that harkens back to the early, Spirit-fueled days of traditional Methodism. Hard, difficult questions were wrestled with in legislative committees, of course, but we were able to have them with a heart of peace rather than a heart of war. I'm seeing strong relationships being formed by delegates that transcend borders that, with God's help, will continue to blossom long after we leave Charlotte. The new, faith-filled dawn of United Methodism is palpable as it just begins to break on the horizon." 

    The Rev. Carlos M. Rosa-Laguer, Cornerstone and Niagara Frontier District Superintendent, is also in Charlotte serving as a clergy reserve delegate. This is his first time attending General Conference.  

    "The cultural diversity I anticipated truly comes alive in the atmosphere. The clothing, hairstyles, and expressions of both face and body all seem to offer a glimpse of heaven—it feels like experiencing a daily, continuous Pentecost. The preaching and worship resemble an orchestra that has prepared for four years, fine-tuning every rehearsal to deliver each piece of music with finesse. On socio-political matters, it's clear that decisions have been made which demonstrate to the global community that The United Methodist Church is ready to be a conduit of God's grace—a necessity we, as humanity, urgently and desperately need in this complex, globalized era.” 

    The Rev. Bob Kolvik-Campbell, Binghamton and Oneonta District Superintendent, and the Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood, Crossroads and Finger Lakes District Superintendent, are both volunteering as marshals at General Conference. Read all about their roles at General Conference here. This is the fourth time Rev. Kolvik-Campbell has served as a marshal.  

    “The mood so far is good and the spirit is that we are working together. We are grappling with finances and seeking the new that God is calling us. And being a Methonerd is now a thing,” explained Rev. Kolvik-Campbell.  

    Rev. Dr. Rood attended General Conference in 2019 as a volunteer to support the Upper New York delegation. She describes this as an exciting time. 

    “I am always amazed by the diversity that exists in the UMC. In the plenary and legislative committee rooms there are interpreters so everyone can understand what is being said in real time. The interpreters speak French, German, Spanish Kiswahili, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Russian and English. Walking down the hallway as people move to a meeting or meal is like a taste of Pentecost. Each person, many in clothing from their culture, speaking in their own language is an awesome experience. I have been blessed to talk with someone I met in the Holy Land and to renew friendships from around the connection. We are a big church doing big things!” 

    You can watch the daily live stream of General Conference by clicking here. The General Conference is highest legislative body of The United Methodist Church and holds the power to revise The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions, while also initiating amendments to the denomination’s constitution. 

    TAGGED / Communications / General Conference 2024

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."