In addition to our WPAUMC delegates and volunteers, others with ties to Western Pennsylvania are involved in the General Conference. As the gathering progresses, we'll offer some news and notes about their activities gleaned from news reports, messages and social media.
Gregory to Lead Lay Leaders Association
Conference Lay Leader and WPAUMC Delegation Chair is the new president of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. The organization, which works through UMC Discipleship Ministries, to equip laity for leadership in the local and global church, met May 7-9 at the Marriott in Portland.
The purpose of the Association is to initiate strategies and policies to strengthen the presence and voice of laity in the United Methodist Church; to enable a mutual ministry among lay people and clergy as set out in the Book of Discipline; to exchange information concerning the lay ministry of The United Methodist Church, and to take any and all action deemed desirable by the Association to promote and support lay ministry. The Association also provides conference lay leaders an opportunity to share experiences, ideas for ministry, and educational opportunities.
Bishops' Leader Ordained in Western PA
San Francisco Area Bishop Warner Brown, president of the Council of Bishops, delivered the message at the opening worship of the 2016 General Conference. Bishop Brown was ordained an elder in Western Pennsylvania and served as pastor of Warren UMC in Pittsburgh from 1975-79.
Prayers and Kindness
Several delegates have expressed appreciation for prayers offered by WPAUMC churches and individuals for the General Conference and for our delegates in particular. As Bob Zilhaver, the delegation secretary, shared this in a Facebook post after leading the delegation's morning devotions today:
We prayed for many things, but made special prayers of thanksgiving for all the prayer vigils and prayers of our brothers and sisters back in Western Pennsylvania. Was honored to lead our first devotional gathering using the Upper Room theme from Luke 6:35-38. Focused on call to be in the image of Christ in kindness, even when it is hard. The meaning of this type of kindness is rooted in the kindness, steadfast love of God. I thank you again for your kind thoughts and prayers, remembering the joy is not only in the journey, but also with those whom with you journey. Thanks be to God for the joy in my heart today.