Name: Steve Wood
Role: Clergy Delegate
Appointment: Mt. Pisgah UMC
Legislative Committee: General Board of Global Ministries
Q: So I understand that your legislative committee has already finished up. Isn’t that unheard of to finish with 10 hours to spare before the deadline?
A: The Global Ministries committee was one of the first ones to be done, largely because the General Board of Global Ministries and the Women’s Division had done such a good job of posturing their restructure. They had written really good legislation to make that happen, and virtually all those pieces passed unanimously. I would say that was 25 percent of the legislation that we had to consider.
Q: What was some of the other 75 percent that you all worked on?
A: The other pieces were of critical importance like resolutions against the genocide in the Congo, and human rights violations in the Philippines. The Methodist Church continues to take a strong stand for human rights all over the world.
Q: That is a lot of important legislation.
A: In addition to our legislation, a really significant and interesting thing happened with us that wasn’t a part of the legislation. We had a great conversation with the General Board of Global Ministries staff on building specific metrics to measure some of our denomination’s plans like the Latino, Korean, and Asian America plans.
Q: That was an organic conversation that developed in your committee?
A: Yes. So what we did in holy conversation was to develop something similar to the VitalSigns Dashboard for these plans and initiatives. I’m very encouraged by that. Our conversation created a model that they will use throughout the General Board of Global Ministries. That was a very influential thing we did even though it wasn’t a legislative piece.
Q: People are beginning to look tired. Steve, why do you this work?
A: I do this because I’m called to do it. Sure, it’s a taxing and grueling thing. If I’m called and elected, I feel a moral responsibility to the Church and the people in North Georgia Conference to do my best to give input and leadership and to listen well.
Q: It sounds like that calling helps keep you energized.
A: Well, yes, and it’s also energizing and gratifying to see how the Church is growing across the world. I know that there will be a season where the United Methodist Church will grow again in the U.S.
Q: You really feel that is the case?
A: Oh there is no question in my mind. Our culture tells us that all churches have been challenged, but churches that have taken on the persona of movement, whether they are denominational or independent churches, seem to be more culturally relevant. Methodists have a great gift in our connection. We may be living in an anti-institutional age, but I feel really encouraged about the next generation of leaders, many of whom are here at General Conference, and their ability to lead us into the future. It's an exciting time in the life of our Church!
To read more about Steve, please find his bio here.