The General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation of the Iowa Annual Conference recently endorsed a document from the Council of Bishops titled, "For the Sake of a New World, We See a New Church: A Call to Action." The document outlines suggested changes in The United Methodist Church; some will require General Conference legislation, and some will not.
The Rev. Brian K. Milford, head of the Iowa delegation, said, "Our delegation specifically endorsed the document for study and discussion in the wider Church and wishes to challenge all General Conference delegates to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider this document and its implications for our denomination."
The Bishops' letter begins, "We see a new church. It is a renewed church that is clear about its mission and confident about its future, a church that is always reaching out, inviting, alive, agile, and resilient. We see a church that is hope-filled, passionate, nimble, called of God and courageous. It is a church that is passionately committed to the doctrine, mission and vision of the Wesleyan movement. The church takes risks to reach new people for Jesus Christ, and it searches continuously for creative ways to help each person grow in grace, love and holiness."
The Iowa Delegation was inspired by several proposals in the letter, including:
- The opening statement of the letter, which encourages hopeful imagination in responding to the critical needs of our world.
- The call for a redirection of the flow of attention, energy, and resources of the denomination to fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations that are effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- The consolidation of program and administrative agencies to help align our efforts toward our shared mission and ministry.
The Iowa delegation recognizes that there likely will be many changes to The Call to Action proposals from the Council of Bishops, but found this document to be very helpful in describing the need for significant changes in structure and alignment of the United Methodist Church.