Welcome to the 2019 Annual Conference Session of the California-Nevada Conference!
As we prayerfully prepared for the 2019 Special-Called General Conference to consider whether The United Methodist Church would become fully inclusive of our LGBTQIA siblings, it became clear to our Commission on the Annual Conference Session that the preparations for our annual conference session could not be fully completed until after the General Conference. However, even before the General Conference 2019, Matthew 8:23-27 began to speak to us in new, comforting and hopeful ways.
Whether your own hopes were fulfilled by the actions of the General Conference 2019 or not, I believe we can all agree that the destabilizing impact of the negative spirit and the actions of the General Conference across the UMC, and the uncertainty as we await the declaratory decisions of the Judicial Council that will determine what of the actions of the General Conference are constitutional or not, leaves all of us feeling that we are journeying on stormy waters. We are, however, comforted by our faith in Jesus. We are in the boat of our life as United Methodists with Jesus.
Because we trust in Jesus and are of one mind that we are called to serve Christ Jesus without ceasing and with faithfulness, we continue in our ministry.
This year our missional offering will go to support the Theological Seminary of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma. When I had the privilege of attending the annual conference of this sister denomination last summer, I was invited to help our California-Nevada Conference consider a partnership that would strengthen and support the training of those who prepare for ordained ministry in Fiji, Rotuma and in other places in the world.
As I look across our conference, I am grateful for the clergy and lay leadership of our Fijian members. During my first annual conference session with you, I had the great privilege of ordaining the Rev. Tikiko Lesuma, who became the first ordained Elder in the world-wide United Methodist Church who is Fijian. Our brother Tikiko is but one of the gifts of our partnership with the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma.
I hope you will encourage your local church to give generously to our conference offering. Our communications department will soon provide you with resources for supporting this offering. It will be received at our opening worship service.
Soon we will be announcing preachers for our annual conference session. Pray for them even now as they consider our invitation to serve as spiritual leaders for our time together. Other highlights of what you can expect at our session are:
A night of envisioning the future of our witness and service in the world under the direction of our Core Team;
Commissioning and Ordaining of those called to Ordained Ministry;
Approval of our 2020 Conference Budget;
Wonderful times of worship and singing;
The opportunity to reconnect with friends and meet new friends;
An outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ Jesus!
Pray for our Annual Conference Session 2019. Pray for our Commission on the Annual Conference Session and its chair, Rev. Gary Pope-Sears, as they work diligently on your behalf. See you in Modesto!
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño