The Commission on the Annual Conference Session has adopted "Be, See, Do: Becoming a Movement of God's Mission in the World" as the theme for the 163rd ACS, June 15-18, 2011 at the Sacramento Convention Center.
The theme is drawn directly from the work of the congregational development team. "In order to become a movement of God's mission in the world we must BE who we are, SEE what we have, and DO what matters to God," says a foundation document from the team.
"We are approaching the dawn of a new day among the churches and people of our Annual Conference," the document begins. "It is a day that will not be birthed by our plans and strategies and efforts, but by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. Our work is a loving response to what God is doing in our midst.
"If we need to," the document continues, "let's repent of church as we want it to be. Let's repent of small thinking and puny visions. Let's repent of self-absorption and viewing church as something we consume.
"Let's turn toward God's vision and God's world and Christ's call to get about his mission. It is not about trying to save or maintain this body known as the California-Nevada Annual Conference or our local church. It is about losing our lives in Christ's mission, knowing that as we lose our lives in Christ we will find them again. It is about Christ's mission to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and [to] proclaim the year of God's favor. If we are just trying to hang on to our lives, our Conference, our churches, we will lose them."
Commission members said the concepts resonated with them.
One said it reflects her concerns that we in the local church can be "too concerned about clutching and holding on to what we have."
"This is a way of uniting people, moving them out, getting them out on the streets," said another.
The theme goes hand in hand with "Leading Beyond the Walls," the subject of the Rev. Adam Hamilton's talks at ACS. Hamilton (at left), pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas – the largest UM church in the country – is this year's special guest speaker. He will address the conference on Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Work on a logo design is underway.