UMs Asked to Pray for 50 Days for General Conference
January 19, 2012
By Cate Monaghan
Director of Communications, CA-NV Annual Conference
"If The United Methodist Church wants the will of God to be done, the people of The United Methodist Church need to be more persistent in their prayer." – the Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of the Upper Room, GBOD
General Conference 2012 will be bathed in prayer, according to the opening preacher at the Pre-General Conference News Briefing, hosted by United Methodist News Service (UMNS), taking place this week (Jan. 19-21) in Tampa, Florida.
Representing the California-Nevada Annual Conference delegation at the briefing are delegation chair Randall Miller and young adult delegate Delilah Fakalata.
General Conference delegates and Annual Conference communicators from throughout the connection have gathered at the site of General Conference to prepare for the 2012 meeting. Some 350 people are in attendance, unpacking the major issues to be faced at the legislative gathering. These include restructuring of General Agencies, reforming the Council of Bishops, changes to the appointment and ordination process, and of course the Church's stance on homosexuality.
Undergirding all the work at General Conference will be a 50-day, worldwide prayer meeting, according to the Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of the Upper Room, General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). He is asking for "praying people and prayer vigils" in every United Methodist Church in the world: that "every family, every small group, every district, every Conference, and every nation" will pray – for the 40 days preceding General Conference and for the 10 days of the meeting itself – for "God's will, God's way, in God's time."
"Obedient, persistent, receptive, whole-hearted, earnest, fervent prayer will transform The United Methodist Church," he said, and noted, "Prayer often requires perseverance."
There will be a March 11 service in which it is hoped that the whole Church "will be praying with its whole heart," and an April 23 prayer walk in Tampa. In addition, "We will pray through every square foot" of the Tampa Convention Center (where General Conference will take place), Albin said, including "every bathroom and every parking lot."