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Celebrating life, freedom, and being alive together in Christ

May 30, 2017

Sherrill and I thank you for joining us in rejoicing over the birth of John Philip Bryan, Jr., our first grandchild. Philip, Brittany, and the baby are doing fine. Especially meaningful to me is the fact that the labor began on Aldersgate Day, the birth was on Ascension Day, and he came home from the hospital on Memorial Day weekend.

On Memorial Day I remember my grandfather who helped raise me. John Algonas left school at the age of 16 to defend our country during World War I. Grandaddy was wounded in combat and suffered permanent disability as a result. Thousands of others have died while protecting us from those who would do us harm. Our newborn grandson is the beneficiary of the blessings made possible by those who gave their lives in defense of freedom. What a gift!

Annual Conference begins this Sunday, June 4, and concludes Wednesday, June 7. I am looking forward to my first annual conference session in the South Georgia Area of The United Methodist Church. For 40 years I have looked forward to each annual conference as an opportunity to experience what it means to be Alive Together in Christ. This year’s conference session will be alive with inspiring worship, vital signs of ministry, recognition of effective service, and thanksgiving for those who have joined the church triumphant over the past year.

Preparation for annual conference includes reviewing the standing rules, the General Conference rules, and Roberts Rules of Order. But more important than all of these is our focus on The General Rules which John Wesley gave to those early Methodists. It is expected that Methodists will demonstrate their desire for salvation,

First: By doing no harm, avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced.

Secondly: By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all people.

Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God; such are: the public worship of God; the ministry of the Word, either read or expounded; the Lord’s Supper; family and private prayer; searching the Scriptures; fasting or abstinence.

By practicing the General Rules our annual conference session will be Alive Together in Christ.

See you at Jekyll Island!

R. Lawson Bryan

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