It was nearly SRO at Redding United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 14 for the first "Rethink Conference" event with Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.
The bishop outlined his vision for the conference, along with some legislative changes to be put before Annual Conference Session in June, and answered questions for more than half an hour.
The bishop next will travel to Stockton (Central UMC) on Saturday, April 10, 3-5 p.m.
Then on Saturday, April 17 he will be at Asbury UMC in Livermore from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; on Sunday, April 18 at First UMC of Palo Alto from 3 to 5:30 p.m.; on Saturday, April 24 at Visalia UMC from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and on Saturday, May 1 at Sparks UMC from 10 a.m. to noon.
In a letter to United Methodists conference-wide, the bishop says we have been inconsistent in our covenant to be disciples who make a difference, and says, "It is time that we recommit to living the Wesleyan way."
"This is not a time to be timid," he continues. "We must take responsibility to make the future to which we are called."
The Conference Council on Ministries is calling for a suspension of the conference rules governing program, organization, and administrative practices; the Cabinet, for realignment and consolidation of districts; the Clergy Benefits Task Force, for direct billing for pastor pension costs; and the Commission on Equitable Salaries, for adjustments to the plan and structure for minimum salary.
The proposed legislation is designed to help the conference become both mission-focused and fiscally responsible.
"These changes will help us shape our future," the bishop writes.