Good Morning, Beautiful People -
Welcome to the 169th Annual Conference Session
I was reminded by Bishop James King of South Georgia that whenever the church is gathered for worship or scattered for witness around the world, we are God’s beautiful people.
General Conference 2012 is now history and the radical change some feared and others hoped for did not happen. What did take place was a visible reminder of the rich worship of an increasingly global church. The “Resurrection Revolution” we were invited to join by Bishop Peter Weaver in the Episcopal Address points to the unending work of being signs of God’s grace in a broken world.
I believe it is time for us to gather at Annual Conference to remember and to celebrate what it means to be United Methodist in Iowa and around the world.
I believe strongly that nothing is standing in our way of dreaming of and organizing our Annual Conference in such a way as to create and sustain vital congregations and community ministries.
Loving Jesus means loving neighbor and unapologetically fulfilling our global mission as disciple makers.
· What are we doing to increase worship attendance?
· What are we doing to cooperate as local congregations to serve more people in our counties in Iowa?
· What are we doing to nurture followers of Jesus who learn to experience prayer and mission work in a variety of settings?
· How are we encouraging young people to hear God’s calling and passionately pursue their dreams for a transformed world?
Coming together for a few days at Annual Conference is exciting to me. (Ask me how it is with my soul.)
As United Methodists, I believe we must always seek renewal. “A church that is passionate in its mission, confident about its future, and courageous enough to take risks as we serve with the poor reaches new people and helps them grow in Christ’s grace and love.”
Please COME to Annual Conference (all are welcome), not as a spectator or just a local church or institutional representative, COME as a Christian eager to worship with others. COME as a United Methodist willing to sacrifice the cost of one meal and one hour to participate in “Stop Hunger Now.”
COME as an Iowan, proud to be part of an Annual Conference committed to raising money for “Imagine No Malaria” and end the preventable deaths in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and many other countries.
COME as we focus on “New Place for New People” or as Rev. Clint Twedt-Ball said recently, “forgotten places and forgotten people.”
COME and meet a new friend and participate in a Transforming Learning Session.
COME and be encouraged!
Bishop Julius C. Trimble