Name: Tonya Murphy
Role: Lay Delegate
Local Church: Grace UMC, Covington, GA
Legislative Committee: General Board of Global Ministries
Q: How did you enjoy the opening worship service?
A: I thought it was pretty fabulous, and not what I was expecting. I knew that there were indigenous people in Tampa, but I didn’t anticipate their part in opening worship.
Q: Was there anything that stood out for you?
A: I particularly enjoyed the authenticity of when they performed the smudging. I’m sure that it probably made some people uncomfortable but for me, in terms of the healing and cleansing, I really enjoyed it. I’m happy that they brought that practice to the entire delegation in a worship setting.
Q: What was the goal of the smudging?
A: To cleanse and bring unity to the body … and to just clear anything that might not be helpful. There was also a healing for the environment that was present, too. I think that it reminded us of our purpose and responsibility in terms of honoring our God, our time, and our ecology.
Q: So legislative committees began today. Which committee are you on?
A: Global Ministries. We will be talking about issues that affect the restructuring of the General Board of Global Ministries. One major issue will be the separation of Women’s Division from Global Ministries. We don’t anticipate there being any controversy around this issue. This issue, in particular, is big for me, and I will be paying close attention to how it plays out.
Q: I understand that you also elected your Legislative Committee chair people today, too.
A: Yes, we did. Our election was a wonderful affirmation of what our Church looks like. There is a strong emphasis on making sure that we not only elected persons that have experience, but also wanted to make sure that we had representation of the Central Conferences. We really took time and made sure that representation was there.
Q: How does the first week of General Conference differ from the second week?
A: This week we will deliberate in our legislative subcommittees and holy conference about what the issues are. Then next week, we will bring those issues to the entire delegation and allow them to make any changes.
Q: What would you like to say to the membership of the North Georgia Conference?
A: I would like for the North Georgia Conference to know that they are in good hands. We are making every effort to be faithful to their confidence in us, and that we are remaining faithful to them.
To read more about Tonya, please read her bio here.