Letter from RISEM re. Charge Conference

Church Conference 2013

Greetings Pastors and Laity,

Conditions change but fundamentals continue!

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:6,8)

Time flies. The church conference season is coming soon and it will create for us a lot of stress and work as well as joy and hope. Don’t be overwhelmed by the work, rather just relax and take a deep breath and allow the Spirit of the living God to work through you. Plan ahead of time and find a schedule to complete the paperwork that must be submitted on time for our freedom. Many of the forms can be completed on-line, saved and then printed out and shared at the Church Conference. Forms can be found at: http://www.neumc.org/pages/detail/482

This year the theme for our church conferences is the same as at the 2013 Annual Conference, “Strangely Warmed: Formed by God, Powered by Prayer to Service”. Our scripture focus is Luke 24:13-35 known by many as “the story of the walk to Emmaus”.

With some exceptions, I will meet with the Staff Parish Relations Committee one hour before the church conference and the pastor is asked to be present at this meeting for the first fifteen or so minutes.

We will then move to the church conference, beginning with a short devotion. I will lead the devotion. Please note and read through the Church Conference Agenda. As pastors and laity in every church, I hope you will concentrate on one thing at a time. Apart from the usual agenda, I want to focus on the main goal of the church for the next year and hear from you what you are presently doing and what resources you will use to achieve your goal in a more concretely and practical way.

More than anything else than preparing the Church Conference, we need to set aside the time to pray together. We cannot control the movement of the Spirit. Rather we are supposed to be controlled by the Spirit to do ministry effectively and productively. So I hope you have prayer in every committee meeting and give space for the Divine to breakthrough to us and to the church. I have learned how to prepare for the Conference through my ministry by allowing God’s intervention. Simply waiting for and resting in God’s moment, I have found the way out and a new direction for the ministry.

Let us learn how to enjoy the grace of God through tough, demanding, sometimes frustrating and unnecessary things (in our opinion). We continue to love our church that we are serving, in spite of all the frustrations and joys. Simply enjoy the problems and concerns enough to change them into the stepping stones for the transformation of ourselves and the church we serve, for we have the treasure of Jesus in jars of clay!

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact the district office. I look forward to seeing you soon!

2013 Charge Conference Agenda

Devotion

1. Prayer and Hymn together

2. Scripture Luke 24:13-35

3. Meditation (DS): Strangely Warmed: Formed by God, Powered by Prayer to Service!

Charge Conference (or Church Conference)

1. Bishop’s Video

2. Open CC and Election of Recording Secretary

3. Approval of 2012 CC minutes

4. 2014 Church Clergy Compensation Report

5. Pastor’s Report

6. Candidate for Ministry and Lay Speaker Annual Report

7. Lay Leadership (Nominations)

8. Trustees: bequests and Parsonage Inspection

9. Annual Report of the Committee on Finance

10. Membership

Questions for the coming year

1. If your church has one goal that is practical, concrete, and tangible next year, what would it be?

2. Does you congregation have Spiritual Disciplines to be transformed by the Spirit? (Prepare to share your concrete and practical spiritual disciplines)

Adjournment and Blessing

l Could you prepare a projector, screen, and speakers for the Church Conference? If not, let me know and I will plan to bring them to the Conference.

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