In a called session of the Annual Conference, clergy and lay members representing the 900 United Methodist churches in the North Georgia Conference voted to empower the Board of Trustees to continue to act on behalf of the Conference to complete the sale of the Simpsonwood property. Approximately 1,400 people were in attendance.
Members also voted to approve a motion involving moving the offices of the Conference and a motion to preserve the Simpson Chapel and stone chimney that are on Simpsonwood property. A plan will be put in place to preserve the beloved artifacts such as the Jesus doors and the stained glass windows on the property.
This is the official statement from our called session of the Annual Conference on Saturday, October 25. It was very long day that dealt with some very important issues. One person has said that what was amazing was the spirit of the Church that kept focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
I am grateful to God for the coming together of the Body of Christ in such a spirit and for doing what we felt God was calling us to do as the Church.
If I am to be honest, I did come away a bit low in spirit because there seems to be a sense that as a people of God, as a United and a Connected people we don't fully trust one another. I was really concerned with the expression of the lack of trust in allowing the Trustees of the Annual Conference to do the work we have empowered them to perform.
Maybe it was me, maybe I like for all things to flow smoothly. Maybe I'm foolish or maybe I'm a total lunatic. But I have this belief that as Methodists, the word United means something. It means we trust and we work though our fears and doubts together. It means we are not congregational in our make-up, but rather we are connectional where we empower our leaders to lead. We ask questions for sure, but not to second guess their work or their ethics. Has the world creeped into our faith so much that we can't trust those who lead us? Has the culture of our congregational brothers and sisters caught our attention and hearts so much that we think it is the fruit we must have?
Don't get me wrong, please. I am for open discussion and questioning, but I am also a person who believes that God has empowered the leaders we have chosen to lead and to keep before the whole church the best.
I apologize if this upsets any of you, I'm just sharing my struggles. I am sharing them, my clergy brothers and sisters, and am seeking understanding. I so want us to be one in Christ, and there is so much that seems to be dividing us. We cannot let something as powerful and meaningful as trust in one another be taken away.
I'm grateful to all who were able to attend on Saturday. Thank you for making the sacrifice to give up the day for Christ and His Church. Keep praying that things move in the direction that will honor God and the North Georgia Annual Conference.
I trust each of you and love you deeply,
Sunday was a blessing as I got to fill the pulpit at Brookhaven United Methodist Church. Thank you to Wesley and Don for inviting me.