Dear Clergy and Lay Members of the Western Pa Annual Conference,
I invite and encourage you ALL to attend the Day of Spiritual Preparation activities on Wednesday, June 8TH. It is such an inspiring time and helps set the tone of the conference for me.
It is essential for the laity to attend all sessions of the Annual Conference. An alternate may be assigned to attend in your place (provided they have been duly elected by the charge conference or the district conference). If you cannot fulfill your obligation, please alert your pastor or District Superintendent so that the alternate may be notified.
There are many special worship services and experiences that also make up the Annual Conference. As you attend them, you begin to understand the meaning of being a Connectional Church. Our shared experiences help make us ONE in the Body of Christ. As we come together for ORDINATION we celebrate the lives of those called to ordained ministry. In the MEMORIAL SERVICE we celebrate the lives of lay and clergy alike who have served our God and us with their ministries and have passed into eternal glory. At the LAY ACADEMY we attend to our own growth and personal development. As we visit the DISPLAYS we realize the many ways God uses us all to further God’s kingdom. As we explore RESOURCES available to us to use in our local churches we realize that we CAN be the link that brings information back to help others come to know Jesus. Sharing ideas for ministry and networking with others, praying with and for each other, worshipping together, taking communion together, makes us ONE IN CHRIST.
Please prayerfully consider coming to Annual Conference a day early, on Wednesday to attend the DAY OF SPIRITUAL PREPARATION activities. Plan to arrive by 12 noon to attend the prayer service at 12:45 PM. Join others to PRAYER WALK the campus at 2 PM. Have a time of personal reflection while visiting the PRAYER ROOM until the evening PRAYER AND HEALING service at 6:00 PM, where our new ordinands will be prayed for and given their own vial of anointing oil to prepare them for this important aspect of their ministry. Be prayed for yourself by the new ordinands and others. Attend one of the Lay Academy classes offered at 8:00 PM, so you can attend a second class on Thursday morning, to maximize your learning experiences.
Clergy please note: You are invited and welcome to attend any of the Lay Academy Classes that are offered. The Wednesday evening classes would not interfere with your attendance at Clergy Session. Several of the classes offered on Wednesday evening may be helpful to you in your ministry. Please take a moment to read the listing of classes and register to attend.
If your lay member is a first time attendee, you could attend a class on Wednesday evening with them, so they will not feel so overwhelmed by the Annual Conference experience. If they attend a class on Wednesday, they can attend a second class on Thursday morning.
When you prepare your report for your local church, try to include a description of all of these experiences as well as the legislative reports. Let them know what you saw, how you felt, what emotions you experienced, how YOUR LIFE was BLESSED AND CHANGED. Use photos, video, PowerPoint or slides to show them what the plenary hall was like, how large the youth delegation was, what the exhibit hall looked like, who were the friends you met.
Remember, if you have any comments, questions or concerns about the annual conference meeting; please contact me at 724-834-4798(H), 814-341-9327(C), or firstname.lastname@example.org or any member of the lay ministry team. We are here to serve you.
Please pray. for our Annual Conference meeting, our Bishop, the cabinet members, all clergy and lay delegates, the sessions team and youth pages, and God's work that is before us.
Conference Lay Leader
email at HBarbus@comcast.net