Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!
I love you, South Georgia, and I am excited about the way God continues to shape our journey as we seek to grow a Christlike world. Below are several matters on my heart.
I hope you will read the Annual Conference session summary statement that is part of this issue of the Advocate. You can read it here.
I wish to highlight three things:
The “Least of These” theme was lived out at this year’s annual Conference with:
A special offering of $39,000 being given to the ministry of Stop Hunger Now;
Nearly 150 volunteers packed more than 30,000 meals to support Stop Hunger Now;
Members of the Annual Conference made donations to our local mission agencies.
The change from nine to six districts will continue to shape our work for some time to come as we focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states that the Annual Conference determines the number of districts and the bishop, after consultation with the cabinet, forms the districts. As Bishop I have identified a transition team to assist the cabinet and me in forming the six districts. We are also putting in place several means to listen to those who have thoughts and ideas regarding the best way to engage in this important work.
The Annual Conference session summary also lifts up the fact that we are still decreasing in several important indicators that are important to being a healthy, disciple-making Conference. Our Conference membership this year declined by 3,249; our worship attendance declined by 1,046; and our church school attendance decreased by 1,703.
Many of you are doing well in our growth areas and I believe more will show better results as we center ourselves in the work of God.
I am still developing the bishopking.org site. My hope is that there will be new additions to the blog each week which will be a blessing to our work together.
I plan to get a Twitter account soon so that you can follow me as we share thoughts and experiences from around the conference. Check this blog for the beginning date on Twitter.
Many of you have started to form CLUs – yay! Each district has been given the goal to add a minimum of 100 CLUs in each district by Dec. 1, 2013.
The CLU book is finally ready – go to my blog to find out more about how you can purchase the book. It explains more thoroughly why CLUs are so important.
I hope that many of you will come to Pathways to Discipleship on Aug. 17, 2013. Take advantage of this great opportunity to attend thought-provoking workshops and hear wonderful presentations. A small part of my workshop will include the 10 Timeless Values, but the focus will center on CLUs and how this transforming experience can come alive in your life, congregation, or ministries.CLU is the centerpiece for Growing a Christlike world. If you can’t attend my workshop, maybe I could autograph a book for you during our break or at some other time.
For a faster response when communicating with me by email, use firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, remember – God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
Growing a Christlike World
With love, Your Bishop,
James R. King, Jr.