Category Archives: General Conference 2016

From The USA to now the World-GC-5/20/16

imagesAre you a big picture person or one who is just into details?

Regardless of one’s theological belief, a new reality has come.

Up until 2016 the United Methodist Church came out of England and has been managed in the USA.

Hello Holy Spirit. New development. We have now a truly world church. Faith and involvement in Jesus Christ is declining in the USA. Yet in Africa the faith and involvement in Jesus Christ is growing, exploding.

Thank you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-The United Methodist Church is truly making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the imagesworld.

What has happened here at General Conference I believe will lead to a stronger spiritual coalition between the Evangelical movement within the USA-and the spiritual leaders and people of Africa. It is my belief that by 2020 the majority of United Methodists will not be from North America but in the other countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Spiritually be a big picture person-God is on the move. Seek his face, seek the Holy Spirit’s instruction, and rejoice-the Risen Christ is truly at work-beyond what we may comprehend.  Jesus Christ reigns.

Stay tuned-its lunch time.  Pastor John

 

 

 

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Last Day GC 2016-Jonah-Shows Us the Way!

imagesAs I anticipate the 2016 General Conference closing, the Holy Spirit draws me to the lessons of Jonah, which are:

1. What we run from is what eventually what we will have to face up to. The Lord God is Alpha and Omega; one day all knees will bow and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is LORD;

2. Worship has been excellent; even now at GC, we are celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus; and His coming again-praise God;images

3.  Will we, individually, and as part of (The bride of Christ, called His Church) repent, and obediently follow?

Like Jonah, our witness isn’t through an institution, but through us individually.  I will be further writing about the dynamics I have witnessed here at General Conference. Bishop Elaine Stanovski is preaching about Jesus and Resurrection and I am intently listening to God’s witness through her. Part of her message right now are the words: “Lord, God have mercy on me a sinner.” Yes I agree. All any one of us can do is take responsibility for our own relationship with God through Christ.

imagesConference has been exciting, frustrating, inspiring, and discouraging, yet Jesus is on the throne.  Signs of the times are all around us-yet what do they point us to?  Jesus says:”An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4).

So hang in there-We love Jesus Christ, I Love His Church!  -Pastor John

 

Issues This Afternoon-Thurs-5/19/GC 2016

Some of the action this afternoon:

imagesPetitions:   1. Petition to remove United Methodist Church from imagesparticipating in the Religious Coalition for Reproduction Choice-a pro abortion group that uses the name of The United Methodist Church; this petition passed.

2.  Petition to remove white privilege; in that statistics show that law enforcement unfairly arrests non whites in proportion to  non white people for criminal offenses. Petition passed;

3. Petition calling for health care for all USA citizens-a movement toward a single payer system, based in increments. Petition passed.

85 petitions still need to come before General Conference before closing tomorrow. Relatively pleasant as compared to yesterday’s fireworks.

Stayed tuned-John

What Are You Seeing? GC 2016

imagesYears ago I asked a parishioner: “Grace what kind of people do you have here in this town?”  She replied, “Sonny, what kind of people are you looking for?”.

What do you see? The good, the bad, or the ugly.  What you look for is where you end up.

In General Conference 2016 I love what I see: personal holiness, social justice, an emphasis on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

What’s beautiful?: 1. There is no other Church in the world that includes as many people groups, races, and cultures.  2. Like all families at times we have different points of view; 3. Unlike many families and churches there is nothing the United Methodist Church won’t talk about. Many churches  won’t even recognize, or  have the  openness to discuss certain difficult topics.

Trivia petitions right now. No disrespect meant. Had lunch with Steve and Ann Swannack, visiting from St. John.

Just had a great conversation with a major official of our Pacific Northwest annual. I asked him questions and he was very open with me. The blessed Holy Spirit is at work. My energy and spirit are recharged.

Stay tuned-John

 

 

 

Boxing Match or Chess? GC 2016 in Portland

Honestly right now, I am a mix of thought and emotion. Today has been a roller coaster of doings. Its been like watching a spiritual chess or boxing match between the two sides.

1. Council of Bishops offered address calling for a further study of sexuality issues;

images2.   Motion to adopt Bishops call for special commission to study things defeated;

3.   Now there has been a call by the LGBTQ side to remove a conservative presiding bishop.

People are desperate. Could this be a spiritual battle that is taking place involving principality and powers???

A basic spiritual principle is involved here: what we run from is what one day we will run right into for God is in control.

Stay tuned-John

 

Turbulence -GC 16 in Portland!

Seven years ago a plane went through a flock of geese, ditching in the Hudson River-with all 157 safe aboard, known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”. Oh brothers and sisters we all have like those on that plane been rescued. In our case rescued by the cross of Jesus Christ-praise God!images

Latest today: at the Good News 6:30 am breakfast, it was announced that last night the Council of Bishops met to talk about a separation within the United Methodist Church. Behind the scenes Good News has been meeting with Bishops and Progressive reps, to see if something could be done to prevent schism. Someone on the progressive side chose to break the confidentiality agreement about these meetings, and here we are: with Jesus’ words:

imagesMy prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your WORD is truth (John 17:15-17).

Stay tuned. The plane known as The United Methodist Church, yes is in turbulence, but it has not ditched.   Your Servant for Christ-John

 

Forecast for GC 2016 !

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Jesus warns in Matthew 16:3  those who pride themselves in forecasting the weather but can’t interpret the spiritual signs. So what’s the forecast for the final four days of GC 2016 ? What’s the spiritual forecast? Here’s what’s before General Conference to approve or disapprove:

-petiton calling for Bishops being held accountable for not obeying the Book of Discipline; also setting term limits for bishops, and what do do with retired bishops;

images-petition calling for allowing those who do not agree with our Church’s stance on LGBTQ pastors to withdraw with their property and assets;

-petition denying The United States to withdraw from General Conference to form its own central conference.

Yes storms come our way in all kinds of ways-but Jesus is the one who stills the storms of life and leads us through the storm to only the peace He can offer.  Moving forward with the Blessed Holy Spirit- John

 

 

It’s About The People You Connect With-GC 2016

During lunch break I walked out into the convention center with cameras.In the process I connected with sisters and brothers in Christ-sights-sounds:

Connected with Kathy Cosner of The Wesleyan Covenant Connection and a new friend Paul Erwin of Lake Junaluska, North Carolina-powerful disciples of Jesus The Christ, then music by a college choir from Louisiana, then a powerful discipleship poster
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Delegates are working out the creating of new annual conferences for the massive growth of disciples for Jesus in Africa. Praise the Lord!

Stay tuned-John

 

Dog and Pony Shows vs Confer Business 2016

At any conference no matter what the type there are “dog and pony shows”. These are presentation-reports that have nothing to do with passing legislationimages

Just had GC delegates move that all dog and pony shows be put off till petitions and legislation are dealt with. The plenary conference just voted to refer this to Conference Calendar people.

Lord God, show this conference what really matters to you-in Jesus’ name.

Stay tuned- Pastor John

 

Taking Back The United Methodist Church !

Off and running with Jesus this morn as I hope you all are!

imagesAttended The Good News briefing breakfast this morn- 6:30 am. Rob Renfrow, president of Good News greeted me at the Crowne Plaza Hotel main entrance. Good News is one of the groups making up the Reform-Renewal Coalition. Each morn at breakfast- Good News will beIMG_1127 briefing delegates as to what is happening with legislative petitions Tom Lambrecht led us over what’s happening with petitions.

 

Good News. Petitions have been approved out of committees holding Bishops accountable and setting term limits. Now these petitions need to be approved by the full plenary.

imagesThanks for the affirmations I have received from so many of you for the blogs I’ve authored.  Hang in there-stay tuned. As John Wesley so often said: “The best is yet to come.”  Your Servant for Christ- John