GC2012: Bishop encourages delegates

Translate Page
FOLLOW - closing worship The 2012 United Methodist General Conference comes to an end under the music direction of Marcia McFee. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.
Click on image to enlarge. View more photos.

The new president of The United Methodist Church's Council of Bishops gave a nod to the challenges and difficulties of the 2012 General Conference during the closing worship service late May 4 at the Tampa Convention Center.

"Many of us, sisters and brothers, leave hurt," said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of Germany. "We are called to go and make disciples, (even) in these mixed emotions we are in."

Preaching her homily on the closing verses of Mark's Gospel following a 10:30 p.m. adjournment, Wenner said that Christ's call to go out into the world applies to each and every one of us, no matter our situation.

"We are sent forth to be the church of Jesus Christ at the various places around the globe. We are sent out to proclaim the good news in our local congregations; but even more challenging, out there in the cities and villages to where we are going tomorrow; out there in God's world, the world full of beauty and wonders and full of suffering, brokenness and devastation. Jesus sends us to go.

"Christ is there in the young Native American, longing to find his identity. Christ is there in the child fighting against malaria in the village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Christ is there in my gay brother in the pew. Christ is there in the black American right here in this neighborhood in Florida, angry at a society in which racism is still a daily reality," she continued.

"Christ is ready to work with us as we are ready to go. What a message! I had to read it several times, right there in the very last sentences in the Gospel of Mark. It reads: 'While the Lord worked with them.' What a cooperation! Christ working with his disciples. This means the impossible becomes possible. Anxious United Methodists gain hope. Disappointed General Conference delegates move on together."

Christ is ready to work with us, the bishop said, no matter our attitude.

"At the end of all our business - unfinished though (it is), as we are ready to go, let us pause for a moment. Let us listen as the risen Christ says to us, 'Fear not! I am with you. And, therefore, follow me.'"

Following the recessional, delegates marched out singing the spiritual "Amen."

Worship leader Marcia McFee said, "After the storms, after the cleansing rain, we return to the words we began with: 'Follow me.'

We must be disciples to invite others to be disciples."

News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or [email protected]


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Human Sexuality
Supporters of LGBTQ rights in The United Methodist Church rally around the central Communion table at the close of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. An updated edition of “American Methodism,” a history of the denomination published by Abingdon Press, adds a chapter covering 20 years of contentious debate over sexuality. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Eventful 20 years added to Methodist history

Abingdon Press has published a revised edition of “American Methodism,” its history of The United Methodist Church and its predecessors. The new version adds a chapter covering 20 years of contentious debate over sexuality.
Annual Conferences
Conference members ratified disaffiliation agreements and prayed over departing churches during the 2022 North Georgia Annual Conference that took place June 2-4. In an email sent out Dec. 28, 2022, North Georgia Conference leaders announced they were pausing for now approving anymore disaffiliations. File photo courtesy of the North Georgia Conference.

North Georgia hits pause on disaffiliations

The largest United Methodist conference in the U.S. announced it is blocking church exits as a result of “the misleading, defamatory, and false statements and materials shared with local church members.”
Judicial Council
The Book of Discipline contains the rules that guide The United Methodist Church. The Judicial Council — the denomination’s top court — faces multiple questions related to how to interpret Disciplinary provisions about General Conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Church court deals with General Conference delay

Three United Methodist annual conferences, including one in Africa, have asked the denomination’s highest court to rule on the ramifications of General Conference’s third postponement since the onset of COVID. The Judicial Council also faces more questions about church disaffiliations.