This Saturday (Feb. 25), Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. and other Conference leaders will be among 80-some people gathered at First United Methodist Church in Oroville for a day of "being, seeing, and doing what matters to God."
It is the first in a series of Discovery Events – one in each of the districts in the California-Nevada Annual Conference – intended to reconnect us with our passion for Jesus Christ and our compassion for all.
In January, each district superintendent sent out a letter, referencing the changes that have been underway in the Conference over the last several years.
"We have devised a plan to encourage, equip, and position servant leaders – both lay and clergy – to join with God's mission in the world," they wrote. "We are setting measurable goals and implementing tools [the Vital Signs dashboard] to help us focus on our faithfulness.
"We have dedicated ourselves not only to revitalizing existing congregations, but also to creating new places for new people. To that end, we have hired a new Conference superintendent, Bener Agtarap, to lead us in this effort.
"We have sought to rethink, renew, and re-form our churches around a network of circuits … [and] we partnered with Path 1.
"A new Conference structure is emerging. But all the ways we have been changing together are meant simply to focus us on reaching those who are close to the heart of Jesus."
Before we can understand how the Conference's emphases align, and what our new structure and plan have to do with church vitality, the letter said, we must ask ourselves: "Who is on my heart?" "For whom do I have compassion, because of my passion for Jesus Christ?" "Who are the people Jesus misses most in his church family?" And "Whom do I miss the most?"
In Oroville on Saturday, we will:
- learn from one another about starting movements that grow disciples,
- and about creating places for new people;
- explore how the decisions made as an Annual Conference are designed to provide churches and leaders with resources and support to fulfill God's mission in their own unique contexts; and
- discover how we as a Church can be effective in reaching those whom God has placed on our hearts.
Lunch will be provided.
If you're a part of the Great Northern District and have not yet done so, please register to attend now.
You also may go to www.cnumc.org/register to sign up – not only for this Saturday's event, but also for a Discovery Event in another district. (You may attend any of the four events, but please be aware that each is being customized to the hosting district.)
Additional dates and locations are:
Bridges District: Sunday, March 25, 2-6 p.m., at Fairfield UMC
El Camino Real District: Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley, in San Jose (includes lunch)
Central Valley District: Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Madera UMC (includes lunch)
Join us in the process of discovery! We hope to see you in Oroville on Saturday, or at one of the other Discovery Events.
First UMC of Oroville is located at 45 Acacia, Ave., Oroville, CA 95966. Check-in will open at 9:30 a.m.
To plan your trip using Google Maps, visit the FUMC Oroville page on the Conference website and type in your starting address.